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05-15-2006, 12:52 PM
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Mike8
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Eastern Conference Finals: Carolina vs Buffalo

Who do you expect to win, and why?

I'm not sure here. I was hoping for Ottawa and NJ to come through, but no luck.

Both teams have a good amount of resilience. Both teams have had different people stepping up. Both teams have unspectacular defenses that are overachieving & blocking a lot of shots.

I think Buffalo's got the deeper, more well-rounded team, but Carolina's got better top-end forwards. Their forward group has been gaining more confidence over time, and are going to the net with increasingly more authority and physicality.

Both teams are strong & dangerous in transition. Perhaps Buffalo a little moreso than Carolina, due to their speed (Afinogenov, Briere, Pominville, Dumont, et al). They do well in converting chances off the rush, whereas many Carolina goals seem to come off the cycle with some sort of screening going on.

Miller IMO has an edge on Ward, based on their play this past round ... but not by much. And this is solely based on the fact that Ward had issues with the Habs game two, and Devils game four (when both teams were skating & moving the puck around the offensive zone better) .

I'm torn on this one. I think Buffalo might have the better all-around team, but Carolina has so much resilience and warriors that it's tough to bet against them.

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