Halfway Home: The NHL Conference Finals

Greg FearCorrespondent IMay 8, 2008

As we anxiously await tonight's start to the Western Conference Finals, we can't help but to look ahead at the possible match-ups in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Before we do that, however, we must take a look at the pending match-ups, of the next 2 weeks. First we have the Dallas Stars facing a slight uphill climb against the top seeded Detroit Red Wings.

It has been well documented, as of late, Marty Turco's inability to win in Detroit. In fact, he has never won a game in the 'Motor City'. I am of the belief that there is a first time for everything. You can probably figure out where I am going with this. You take Dallas's depth down the middle, their sturdy defence, and one of the best goalies in the league, and I like the chances of the Stars to upset the Wings. Next up you go east for the Eastern Finals.

Sure Philadelphia took five of eight versus the Penguins this season. But, as the saying goes, "the regular season is different from the playoffs". Think about it. For years the Ottawa Senators would sweep the season series against the Leafs. Come playoff time, the Leafs would turn it up and win every time the two teams played each other. This season Montreal beat Philly rather handily in the regular season, but, in the playoffs.... So now we got Pittsburgh versus Philly (bye bye Habs). I picked them from the start of the playoffs, so why change horses mid-stream. I will pick the Pens to reach the finals for the first time since 1992.

In Summary my picks are:

West - Dallas over Detroit (6)

East - Pittsburgh over Philadelphia (7)