Chicago vs. Detroit. My heart says Chicago, my head says Detroit. Chicago can win if they can out skate the older Wings, if Nikolai Khabibulin can play better than he did in the second round, and if Jonathan Toews gets healthy. Also, if Chris Osgood reverts to mid-season form, if the games are grinding and tiring affairs, if Paval Datsyuk stays off the scoreboard, and the Red Wing secondary scoring dries up. The Red Wings win if the opposite happens.
Carolina vs. Pittsburgh. I say Pittsburgh and it is hard to make a case for the ‘Canes. It’s hard because for every strong point I can make regarding Carolina, the Penguins have an answer. Maybe Pittsburgh will cool off and not be able to answer if Carolina can get a jump on them. But it doesn’t look that way.
This is looking more and more like a re-match of last year.