Despite a hard fought effort throughout the playoffs, and more specifically in this series, the Nashville Predators could not contain the Canucks versatile offense or solve Roberto Luongo in net. It’s not the end of the world for the Preds, who finish the season knowing they achieved more than what many predicted and set a higher standard for the franchise and its fans. Who ever thought Nashville could draw such a vibrant, supportive crowd? Even without a player over the 50-point barrier, the Preds achieved their success by committee. One thing is certain. In the NHL season preview magazines releasing in the fall, there will be observers counting the Preds out of the post season picture, just as they did before this season. Nashville wouldn’t have it any other way.
Although the Vancouver Canucks still have a few days off before Game 1 of the Western Conference final, they will anticipate their next opponent. The San Jose Sharks can wrap up their series with Detroit tonight and secure a berth in the second round. After playing all seven possible games the opening round against Chicago, and more recently six with Nashville, the Canucks havent taken the easy route to the final four. Compare that to the Bruins and Lightning, who both went seven games in round one, but swept their respective series following that. The grind out West, combined with the heavy travel schedule and level playing field, would lead to an Eastern team having a clear advantage. However, that may not be the case. A series versus either the Sharks or Red Wings will be the best Stanley Cup final preparation.
The Wings look to complete their comeback over the Sharks.
First-time owner Jeff Vinik, general manager Steve Yzerman and head coach Guy Boucher have led the Lightning back to the promise land.
A look at five players from the Toronto area who are guiding their respective teams into the conference finals.
Bruins’ rookie Tyler Seguin will make his first playoff appearance in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay.
World Championship Links:
Canada finishes atop their division in the preliminary round with a perfect 6-0 record.
Leafs Prospect Links:
Mississauga and Owen Sound are very different hockey towns.
Can Detroit force a Game 7 and complete the comeback or will they succumb to the Sharks attack? What are your early round three predictions?