I am really hoping for anaheim to win this series, because then canucks will have home ice advantage next round. if the ducks win, they will play detroit next round, while the canucks will play the winner of calgary/chicago.
The calgary chicago series is definitely the best series of the first round. the blackhawks definitely look like the favorite at this point for two reasons. 1) the blackhawks have home ice advantage for the final best of 3 series. 2) the flames roster is very depleted. i have been saying that this one will go to seven games for a while and i still believe it will. tsn injury update is saying that lang-con-bourque are all questionable for saturdays game.
having a lot of injuries this time of year is not bad luck. it is a sign that your players have been overworked and have not had enough time to rest. for the canucks past 3 years there have been massive injuries on their defensive core. i first thought that we were just unlucky, and that we had the curse of the jade groin. but it was really because we were asking our players to do too much. even while their groins were soar, we were asking them to play because its better to have an injured willie mitchell than a healthy ossi vanaanen.
the fact of the matter for the flames is that they have lost two of their best faceoff men in langkow and conroy. they have lost their best defenseman in regher. and they have lost their best secondary scorer in rene bourque, who has likely reinjured his ankle. while the chicago blackwhores have no injuries to contend with, although they probably have some sore players on the ice like patrick kane. if the flames can find a way to beat the blackhawks with this injury riddled team, then if they are able to get some of their injured players back in the second round, they will be a force to contend with. for now, iginla needs to keep on scoring, you need to keep getting secondary scoring from guys like nystrom, and phaneuf has to keep playing effective.
interesting note: todd bertuzzi is leading the team in plus/minus with a plus 4. he is tied with jordan leopold who i have not been very impressed with so far this series. leopold has already taken 4 minor penalties this playoffs.