Once again Dwayne Roloson led the way for the Oilers stopping 33 saves to put the Mighty Ducks in 2-0 hole that looks impossible to get out of. Game 3 is Tuesday in Edmonton as the Oilers are riding a 6 game winning streak and have been tough to beat at home ( 5-1 ) during the playoffs. Chris Pronger has been the key for Edmonton during their surprising run and tonight was no difference as he scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs and 14th point. Management in St.Louis wrote Pronger off after the lockout and shipped him off to Edmonton for Eric Brewer and a couple picks. Let’s see here, St.Louis finished with the worst record in hockey and missed the playoffs for the first time in 20+ seasons: and Edmonton the team that took the former M.V.P. who was suspose to be washed up is 2 wins from returning to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1990. As for Anaheim, im sorry to say that im jumping off the Mighty Ducks bandwagon and im sticking with the Oilers to get to the finals. There’s no way the Ducks take more than 1 game in Edmonton. Overall Anaheim is the better team, but this series is over and the Mighty Ducks can start making their tee times because Anaheim has skated into a team of destiny.
Carolina got a big lift from Ray Whitney who scored 2 goals to lead the Canes to their 4-3 win. A must win for the Canes and like they have all year came up with it. The series tied 1-1 now heads to Buffalo. This is going to be a great series but i still like Buffalo in 6. As were seeing during the playoffs, the National Hockey League has got it’s wish of parity through out the league. With a tough salary cap in place it’s all about building through the draft and adding a few piecies here and there. The days of Detroit, Dallas and Colorado being the only teams that are going to compete for a championship are over, so whether fans like it or not, get use to seeing the Edmonton’s and Buffalo’s of hockey in the final four. For years to come it will be more frequent than not.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting former Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Ricky Dudley met with the Penguins organization friday afternoon about their GM vacancy. Dudley 57 has been general manager of Ottawa, Florida and Tampa Bay where he pretty much put that 03-04 championship roster together. Neil Smith who is the front runner for the job has had 2 conversations with Pens owner Ken Sawyer so it looks like it’s his job to lose. Whether it’s Smith, Dudley or somebody else, there going to have the edge over most teams that are in rebuilding mode because not to many GM’s get to build a team around one of the best players in the world who is only 18 yrs.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed center Brad Richards to a 5 yr – 39 million extension. Richards recorded 91 points for the Bolts this past season and was the Conn Smythe trophy winner in the 04 playoffs. With this signing the Lightning now have 20 million inked into three players ( Richards, St.Louis and Lecavalier ). Don’t be surprised to hear Marty St.Louis name being thrown around in trade rumors this offseason. The Lightning are desperate for a #1 goaltender and the only way to obtain one will be through trades not free agency as top flight goalies like Giguere and Nabokov will be on the trade market.
Petr Forsberg will be out until atleast January and possibly the entire 06-07 season after getting surgery on both ankles that will take 6 months each to heal. Despite the prospect of missing the entire season, there are reports out of Philadelphia that the Flyers have approached Forsberg’s agent about giving him a extension. Flyers management is crazy for giving this guy a extension but with Bobby Clarke at the helm nothing would surprise me.