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Great Playoff Debate: 2011 Conference Finals

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers broadcasters Steve Goldstein (FSN Florida) and Randy Moller (560 WQAM) are back for their fourth go around to break down the Playoffs series all the way until the Stanley Cup. The two will each pick a winner for each series and why they think that team will win. There will of course be some jawing, but all in good fun.

It wasn't a good round during the Conference Semifinals as Randy Moller was the only one to guess a winner as he chose Vancouver to outlast Nashville. Steve Goldstein was shut out in his predictions. With that Mr. Moller is 8-4 in his playoff predictions while Goldie is 4-8.

Eastern Conference

The Lightning's Martin St. Louis and the Bruins' Chris Kelly
(#3) Boston vs (#5) Tampa Bay

Randy Moller - It should be an interesting series to begin with as both teams try to find their legs after not playing in at least week after sweeping their opponents in the second round. How long will Boston's leading scorer (Patrice Bergeron) be out with a mild concussion? Boston has my favorite netminder between the pipes in Timmy "Tool Time" Thomas. The Bolts answer with Dwayne Roloson who has played extremely well. Yes they have Steven Stamkos, Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis up front, but Boston also has the scoring with Nathan Horton, David Krejci Brad Marchand lighting the lamp...Boston in 7.

Steve Goldstein - The Lightning have won seven in a row and seem destined to win the Cup. They beat my pre-season puck, Washington, easily. Steven Stamkos is hot and Vinny Lecavalier has visited the fountain of youth. Boston is tough and Tim Thomas is one of the best goalies around but Dwayne Roloson has been super. Hard fought games, down to the wire...Hey, Stanley needs a tan, right?...Tampa in 7.

Western Conference

The Canucks Mason Raymond & Ryan Kesler and the Sharks Antti Niemi
(#1) Vancouver vs (#2) San Jose

Goldstein - I've picked against the best team in the regular season, Vancouver, two series in a row. Chicago took it to overtime in game 7 while Nashville went down in six. San Jose is next as the Sharks can breath a sigh if relief after winning Game 7 against Detroit. I think San Jose's playoff failures are in the past. They will find a way to control Ryan Kesler, who has been all-world in the post season. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau get over the hump and set up a California vs Florida Cup final. You gotta love it...Sharks on 6.

Moller - How can you not go against Vancouver here? They're the President's trophy winners for a reason and while having tough series against Chicago and Nashville in the first two rounds, they have won without all of their cylinders running at the same time. The Sedin twins (Daniel and Henrik) recorded just seven points against the Predators combined. The Sharks answer with Thornton, Marleau and super rookie Logan Couture, but a drawn out seven game series against Detroit, Kesler and home ice will be the difference...Vancouver in 7.
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