From great series matchups in the Western Conference Semifinals, we move onto another key matchup that could hold the winner of the Stanley Cup this season.
The Western Conference Finals hold the following matchup:
Detroit Red Wings (1) vs. Dallas Stars (5)
The Red Wings are flying high, but don't count out the Stars. Detroit went 3-1 against Dallas this regular season. However, Osgood and Turco only faced each other in two of those games.
In my opinion, the winners of this series can engrave their name onto the Stanley Cup. Let’s look at each team.
Detroit easily handled the depleted Colorado Avalanche, sweeping them out of the playoffs. Franzen was spectacular, scoring a club playoff record nine goals in a series.
Detroit's big guns are also performing. Ever since the switch to Osgood in net, the Red Wings are a perfect 6-0. All looks good for the Wings right?
The one thing that matters the most is: Can they put behind their playoff failures and make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals?
Dallas has beaten the tougher competition in my opinion, ousting both the Ducks and Sharks. Brenden Morrow has his name on the Conn Smythe at this moment after a great series against the Sharks.
It seemed that every goal Dallas scored involved Brenden Morrow in the play. The team plays well as an entire unit, and Turco has been unstoppable. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, I don't think facing 30-plus shots a night will negatively affect his game.
His years of bad playoffs are in the past, and he has to be considered a great playoff goaltender.
Here again is a quick summary of the advantages per category.
Forwards: Advantage Detroit
Defense: Advantage Detroit
Goalie: Advantage Dallas
Coaching: Advantage Detroit
Special Teams: Tie
Intangibles: Advantage Dallas
After looking closely at each team, I still think the Stars will win this series in six games. I would have said Dallas in seven, however, winning a game seven on the road will be quite a task.
Detroit has a record of mediocre postseasons. I admit they are one of my favorite hockey teams, but the Red Wings have only had their success in the regular season.
This postseason, Dallas has scored key goals, and Turco has made the big saves. My gut is saying that is the formula for playoff success.
This series reminds me a lot of the Detroit and Anaheim series last season. If anybody needs a refresher, the Ducks took the series in six and eventually took the Cup.
Will the third round be the end to another Detroit season? I think so.
Overall: Stars in six.