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Dave Strader's Playoff Blog for May 19th

Friday, 05.19.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Dave Strader\'s Playoff 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.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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