This should be a far tighter series than the ranking indicate. I think the Mules have some great pieces to stop the heavy offense of the Millionaire.
- In Vancouver territory is another thing, but at home I would throw the fantastic third line of Pulford-Backstrom-Provost anytime the line of Lindsay-Savard-Darragh is on the ice. Claude Provost have the speed, strength, durability & fearlessness to frustrate Ted Lindsay, the Millionaire's best forward, and put is effectiveness to a minimum. And the Mules third line is so talented that they could score more than a few goals on the counter attack.
- Well, some people didn't like the idea of reuniting a famous Boston Bruins line and having Dave Poulin on a second line, but in this case you couldn't ask for better! Brian Propp is an amazing playoff performer, great all-around player and Dave Poulin is a defensive ace. If I'm the Mules, I match them up vs. Vancouver second line. Marty Barry will face Dave Poulin, Alexander Maltsev will face Brian Propp. It's gonna be hard for the Millionaire to take Tim Kerr out of the front of the net.
- Harris-Perreault-Neely vs. Ramsay-Crawford-Westfall. It's a VERY difficult matchup for the Mules. Neely vs. Ramsay should be a dandy. Gilbert Perreault is too talented to be completely shutdown, but it's gonna be hard to repeat his magic time & time again against those guy. Just like Vancouver 1st line against the Mules 3rd, there won't be too much goals scored in this clash. The thing going on for the Mules is that their 3rd line is much more offensively potent than the Millionaire.
- The hard edge I see for the Millionaire in this matchup is the defensive depth, especially the second pairing. You couldn't ask for a better pairing of defenceman with Scott Stevens and Vladimir Konstantinov to control Terrible Ted. I think overall the first pairing of each team is pretty equal. The second pairing is where the real problem lie. Eddie Gerard is a fantastic #3 defenceman (understatement) and Teppo Numminen is a more than capable second pairing D. I really like Lutchenko and he's a more than capable #3 defenceman, but Albert Leduc seems to be a bit over his head. I would take advantage of this matchup as much as I can if I was the Millionaires.
- Well, if the Mules wanna win that series, they'll need a fantastic performance by his goaltender, who lucky enough is one of the greatest of All-Time. Ken Dryden do own the ability to steal a game and a series, and in such a tight checking series, one mistake by the goaltender could cost the game, hell, the series. Tony Esposito is far more prone to brain fart and huge mistake at a costly time than Ken Dryden. It's a very important matchup for the Millionaire, as a strong performances by Dryden and a shaky one by Esposito could be their downfall
ALL THIS TO SAY: I really want to hear the argument on both side & hopefully people will take attention to this series. No doubt in my mind that the Vancouver Millionaire own the most gifted team, but I think the Mules possess the tools to make this a very interesting series, and they could possibly upset the division first seed. Anyone thinking that this will be an easy fought series for the Millionaire are out of their lunch!
I don't think anyone should have expected an easy series against anyone, EB (well, maybe a couple teams).
BTW it's ''out to lunch'' .
Ah, MB, you know how it work: sometimes people quickly look at the lineup and cast their vote accordingly. I was just making the point that this series, although it's 1 vs. 4, should be very close and I know personally that it's the debate that's gonna swing my vote on either way.