Edmonton vs. Carolina
Are you Ready? I must admit, I have not seen a lot of the Edmonton Oilers so I had to call a few buddies who were former players to help get everything in perspective for this series. The goaltending seems to be fairly even according to my sources,but for me, the Oilers seem to give up a lot of shots. We will have to wait and see if those shots are coming from the outside or if they are quality scoring chances. If there the latter, the Canes will be in good shape. The defense is again pretty even, with perhaps a slight edge going to the Oilers because of Chris Pronger. Ironic that he was once a part of the Hurricane franchise when it was in Hartford and is now probably the biggest obstacle standing between them and the Cup. Up front I think the Canes have an edge. They have a lot more depth and experience, and this is where I think the Canes need to be better than the Oilers if they want to win. A couple of suprising comments I heard from friends were that the Oilers will be the quickest team the Canes have faced so far in the playoffs and that the Oilers are an extremely physical team. Here is a little point of interest for you. Every team who has had an extended break between series, has lost the next series in 5 games or less( ie. Colorado against Anaheim, Anaheim against Edmonton, and New Jersey against Carolina). Edmonton has had 9 days since their last series. The other thing to look for in this series will be, once again, the special teams. Carolina comes into the finals with the #1 power play in the playoffs, and Edmonton comes in with the #1 penalty killing unit. It's to easy to say who ever wins the special teams battle will win the series, but I do beleive it will play a big part in who ultimately wins the Cup. The last series was great, but with the stakes a lot higher and the prize a lot closer, this series looks to be even better. You've had your rest, now it's time to get back at it!!!