Cats radio play-by-play announcer Steve "Goldie" Goldstein and analyst Randy "Red Deer" Moller provide their insight on the NHL's Eastern and Western Conference Finals. They make a fantastic tandem in the radio booth, but as you will read, they drastically differ on their Stanley Cup predictions.
East...Carolina in seven...These are two teams that epitomize the new NHL. Fast players, a defense that can move the puck, fantastic special teams and a low payroll! I like the Canes experience with Brind'Amour, Recchi, Weight, Hedican and Whitney. Plus the seventh game will be in Raleigh and the Canes have posted a great mark at home all season long.
West...A surprising match-up as the eighth seed, Edmonton, plays the sixth seed, Anaheim. Both teams have been impressive in the playoffs winning series against teams that most thought they would lose. Edmonton seems to have something magical going winning the last four games against San Jose after falling behind 2-0. I also don't like the long layoff for Anaheim. The Oil will be Canada's pride in the Stanley Cup finals taking out the Ducks in six
East...Once again, Goldie thinks Carolina will continue their "Magical Ride" in the Eastern Conference Finals with a series win over Buffalo. I predict they will not. Even though the Hurricanes possess speed and skill with the likes of Brind'Amour, Staal and Recchi, they will not be able to match up well with the pressure forecheck of the Sabres. Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff has his Sabres on "High Octane" with four lines that can score and check (just ask the Ottawa Senators) with any team in the NHL. Carolina has home ice advantage, but Buffalo takes the series in six.
West...The eighth seed Edmonton Oilers are coming off a very physical and draining series with their win over the San Jose Sharks. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are well rested and confident after sweeping Colorado. Anaheim All-Star defenseman Scott Niedermayer is my leader in votes so far for the Conn Smythe Trophy and he will shut down the Oilers defensively. Ducks forwards Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul will continue to spark the offense for Anaheim. Sorry Goldie...Ducks skate to the Stanley Cup finals in seven games.