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Updated: Strader's Blog for May 19th

Thursday, 05.11.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Updated: Strader\'s Blog for May 19th

Hello to South Florida from Southern California!!

My latest playoff journey brings me to the left coast for the start of the Western Conference finals between the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Edmonton Oilers. I'll be covering this series on NHL Radio with my former ESPN partner Darren Pang (for those of you with XM Radio, you can tune in on channel 204). We had a "warmup" game in the second round as we called Game 5 of the Edmonton-San Jose series at the Shark Tank. I believe it was the first time I had done play-by-play of a hockey game on radio since my last game as the voice of the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League back in April of 1985! It was an interesting experience and I remembered right away how different it is to call a game on radio. It's a challenge to be the eyes and ears of the audience in describing all the action. No wonder Goldie and Red Deer Randy have so much fun!

Both conference finals should be great hockey to watch and very difficult to predict the outcome. The Oilers have the only number one goalie, Dwayne Roloson, who has played in a conference final. He was with the Wild in '03 when they lost in the conference finals to Anaheim. The other three teams each have rookies in net: Cam Ward (Carolina), Ryan Miller (Buffalo), and Ilya Bryzgalov (Anaheim). The Ducks current backup, J.S. Giguere, led Anaheim all the way to Game 7 of the Staney Cup Finals in '03 before losing to the Devils. It's interesting that two of the teams started these playoffs with a different number one goalie: Martin Gerber was the man in Carolina until he lost the first two games of round one to Montreal and J.S. Giguere was replaced by Bryzgalov for Games 5 & 6 of the opening series vs. Calgary.

In the west, the Oilers have beaten the top seed Red Wings and then dispatched the top remaining seed in the second round, San Jose. I think Chris Pronger has been the most dominant non-goalie in these playoffs. But the Ducks have beaten the Calgary Flames (the team everyone said was the most feared in a seven game series) and completely dominated a very good Colorado team. I'm picking the Ducks in a long series. Their young players: Perry, Penner, Getzlaf, Lupul, Beauchemin, Kunitz and Bryzgalov have been terrific.

In the east, the Sabres beat the top seed Senators while the Hurricanes disposed of a Devils team that had won 15 straight. Carolina is one of the few teams that can match Buffalo's quickness, so I'm picking the Canes in another long series.

If I'm right, that sets up a matchup between the '02 Finals loser (Carolina) an the '03 Finals loser (Anaheim). If that happens...I'll take the Ducks in 6.

I'll "talk" to you all again from Edmonton.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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