Sunday, May 27, 2007

Finals Preview

I've mentioned a lot about these Finals already, but I'll lump everything into one post now.
I don't like Anaheim's chances for various reasons.

1. The Ducks didn't have their "A" game going on in the final 3 games against Detroit. Sure, they still closed out the series with Giguere's terrific play, but I don't see them getting away with anything lackluster against a team like Ottawa. The Sens have buried all 3 teams they have faced this post season, all in 5 games. They are more composed than Anaheim is. Who knows. Perhaps the Ducks will now step it up in the Finals.

2. In the playoffs (forget about the regular season), the Sens' power play is ranked 2nd at 20% efficiency. The Ducks' PP is 7th overall at a 15.3% efficiency. (Thanks, TSN!) Where is the output from a team that boasts 2 of the best defencemen in the NHL?

3. The Sens' penalty killing is ranked 4th at 88.6% efficiency. The Ducks: 6th at 87.5%. The PP and PK stats are crucial.

4. Depth advantage: Ottawa, easily. Up front and on defence. Wouldn't you rather have Dean McAmmond than Brad May? Not to knock May as much. I think he's played well. Between the pipes it's Anaheim all the way. If anything were to happen to Ray Emery, the wheels would fall off for the Senators, because you know that Martin Gerber is not nearly as good as Ray is. Ilya Bryzgalov is more than capable of backing Giguere. I'd say that the odds ofd Emery becoming injured are slim, but I haven't easily forgotten what happened to Dwayne Roloson in Game 1 in last year's Finals.

In the Ducks' favor:

1. Experience. The Niedermayers, Pronger, Giguere, and Pahlsson have much combined Finals experience for the Ducks. The Sens have Martin Gerber, who didn't even play in those Finals last year. This experience for the Ducks should pay off if the series goes the distance, which it won't so.... heheh.

2. Size? Does the Ducks' size matter? They are the bigger team by a bit of a margin. It may be hard to wear down a team that has only played 15 playoff games so far. The Sens should be fresh.

3. Home ice advantage. They had better take advantage of it.


It will take a lot of things to go wrong in order for the Sens to lose. It's hard to see that happening the way they have looked so poised and confident.
I am looking forward to the goaltender battle between Emery and Giguere. Can Emery maintain his composure with all the pressure he is about to face?
I'm also interested in the shorthanded battles. Marchant, Pahlsson, Fisher and McAmmond are threats to score shorthanded.
Which powerplay will be hotter?
Which team will dominate 5-on-5?

Is it Monday night yet?! I'm tired of waiting.

Go Sens! Bring Lord Stanley back home!

Sens in 5 is my call.

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At May 28, 2007 at 5:18 a.m. , Blogger jimbuff said...

A Leafs fan cheering for Ottawa - WTF!!! Toronto should revoke your fan membership:)

At May 28, 2007 at 10:06 a.m. , Blogger James said...

I like how Roenick didn't want his picks ending up worse than that ugly monkey (pang) and bailed. Oh and maggie's too

At May 28, 2007 at 12:21 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Jimbuff- I'm afraid it has already happened!

James- JR wasn't getting along all that well with McKenzie either. They kept interrupting eachother. 2 hot heads going at it...

McKenzie would keep saying: "Let me finish!" But JR would keep chattering to prove his point. Pretty comical.

I also heard JR quit because he was coming to Vancouver to suck up to Dave Nonis for a spot on the Canucks' roster!!! haha

At May 28, 2007 at 1:07 p.m. , Blogger Jes GÅ‘lbez said...

You are doing worse than Dreger? Why do you even bother?

Not only is Zanstorm cheering for Ottawa, but he's actually watching the series (unlike 99.9% of Leafers). What kind of Leafs fan are you?

At May 28, 2007 at 1:58 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

One with an open mind!!
I love hockey, man!

As long as the damned monkey doesn't out smart me ever, I'm fine with being worse than Dreger! :)

At May 28, 2007 at 2:38 p.m. , Blogger The KEMPNER's said...

Zanstorm I think you had some good thoughts and good pts but I got to disagree with you on a few and definitely the outcome.

For my thoughts check out

No the Ducks didn't have their "A" game but they closed out the best team in the Western Conference.

I agree PP and PK mean a ton...that might be the best factor not the past 3 rds but what the PP and PK does in the final.

I agree Ottawa is better up front but NOT on D...come on dude. That was a bad call. The Ducks are stacked on D.

And the difficulty to wear down a team who has only played 15 games is a decent point but you got to remember that the Ducks have only played 16. They are both rested and ready to go...what's with the lengthy schedule?

I want the Cup to be in Canada but I am not distorted in my thinking because I am Canadian.

Love ready your posts. Thx.

At May 28, 2007 at 3:29 p.m. , Blogger James said...

Zanstrom: I saw that. JR was being quite a twit, he could shoot down anything Mackenzie said just by saying "You haven't played the game so you don't know."

Frankly, I find JR amusing, but if I want in-depth, knowledgeable analysis of the nhl or hockey in general, I'd take Mackenzie any day over JR's off-the-cuff remarks..

At May 28, 2007 at 4:03 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

The Sens' depth on D is a good call. They have 6 decent guys. The Ducks' D drops off after Beauchemin. I'd rather have the Sens' D over Anaheim's believe it or not, especially because they pay Prongs and Nieds so bloody much! Plus I'm a a big fan of Preissing.

The Ducks closed out Detroit mostly because:
1. Giguere and 2. Detroit folded for 2 of 3 periods in a do-or-die game.

Ottawa will be so much better than anyone they have faced, and all I'm saying is that Anaheim's efforts have to be much better than their Games 5 and 6 against the Wings.

Sens in 5! You say Ducks in 5. Wanna place a wager??!!


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.