The chase for Lord Stanley's Cup is down to four teams as the NHL Conference Finals get underway tomorrow night in Detroit. Both series should be very entertaining and hard fought. Much is being made of the physical aspect of the Flyers/Pens series in particular, but I think the Western Conference Final has the potential to get a bit nasty as well. In any case, on to the predictions!
(1) Detroit vs. (5) Dallas
Player to Watch: Marty Turco (DAL) - Playing in Detroit has never been kind to Turco, as his 0-7-2 record at "The Joe" will attest. Turco is going to have to forget about that and focus on the now if the Stars are going to return to the Stanley Cup Finals. If Turco can continue to play at the level he has in the first two rounds, then I really like the Stars' chances to move on.
Prediction: Stars in 6
Eastern Conference Final
(2) Pittsburgh vs. (6) Philadelphia
Player to Watch: Jarkko Ruutu (PIT) - Ruutu is one of those guys who is always trying to stir up trouble. If he can get under the Flyers' skin without crossing the line (to much) and ending up in the box then he could really help tilt the special teams battle in Pens' favor. Plus he is one of those guys for Pittsburgh who has the ability to chip in with a very timely goal.
Prediction: Pens in 5