Happy Motherís Day, hope all you poolies called your mom today!
Here we go with the Conference Finals. I was really hoping to see the Washington Capitals pull off the upset last night but the New York Rangers are just too deep and strong. It is their Cup to lose as far as I am concerned. My only worry for the Rangers is that they have played 14 games already, will they have enough in the tank to beat whoever they face from the West.
Brad Richards was brought in to help push this team over the edge into Elite status and he has done just that. He has put this team on his back and carried them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Yes Henrik Lundqvist has been great but Richards would be my vote for Conn Smythe right now.
I think that the Rangers will beat out the New Jersey Devils in five. Not even Ilya Kovalchuk or Martin Brodeur will be able to deny the Rangers a visit to the Stanley Cup Finals. The finish line is in sight, expect the Rangers to turn it up another notch and make short work of the Devils.
Over on the West things get a lot more unknown. Both the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes are playing similar style of hockey. Both have extremely strong goaltending and both have shown solid depth in scoring.
Anze Kopitar is red hot right now as he has six points in the last three games and Dustin Brown has been a beast.
Here I go again using my heart to predict rather than my head, much like I did in the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators series.
My head says the Kings are playing too strong right now and have more proven depth than the Coyotes.
My heart says go with the Coyotes, what a great story that would be for them, going from almost being sold, owned by the NHL, almost being moved and now they seem to have a solid owner and a great playoff run. I would love to see Shane Doan hoist the Stanley Cup as he has stuck it out with the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise. Phoenix takes the series in seven.
Itís the playoffs so players are playing banged up and injury details are extremely vague. The only players of note are Dainius Zubrus, Anton Volchenkov and Marek Zidlicky are all probable for the Devils. Brandon Dubinsky is doubtful for the Rangers. Rostislav Klesla is probable and Adrian Aucoin will miss the first game for the Coyotes.
I am curious as the what the Capitals are going to do this off-season. They have tried everything over the past three seasons, from all-out offense to stingy defence and a coaching change, what will they do now. Will Dale Hunter be back? Will Alexander Semin be back? As a fantasy GM who owns Alex Ovechkin is multiple pools I sure hope they go back to a more offensive model.
Here is the latest tweets from Twitter:
NYDNRangers - Dubinsky, by the way, still wearing the boot on his right foot. It's clearly removable and on/off whatever, he's not skating yet
DSE_Hockey - Capitals' Ovechkin, Semin to join Russia at worlds
DetroitRedWings - Tomas Tatar scored the game-winning goal in Slovakia's 1-0 win over Switzerland in World Championship play this afternoon.
Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of fantasyhockeycoach.com. FHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge. Brouwer writes a weekly fantasy hockey column for Bleacher Report, The Star Phoenix, Fantrax and Inside Hockey. Email Coach Brouwer at [email protected] or check us out on twitter at twitter.com/fanhockeycoach.