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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.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 73 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jagr 71 15 26 -2 41
J. Jokinen 75 8 33 -2 41
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 75 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 66 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 65 14 17 -1 31
B. Campbell 76 3 22 2 25
B. Pirri 43 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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