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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Round 3... One Step Closer to the Cup!

With the beginning of round three of the playoffs comes a realization- there is only about a month left to the NHL season. If that hasn't broken your heart, then nothing will. And the four teams vying to get to the Stanley Cup Finals are in the thick of it now.

The Western Conference matchup is between the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings, and so far the Wings have cruised out to a 2-0 lead over the Stars. The boys from Detroit make up for speed what they lack in youth, and they have skated all over the Stars thus far. Chris Osgood has been solid, but luckily for him, has not had to be spectacular as of yet. As far as the entire team goes, they have been doing the little things necessary to keep Dallas from sneaking up on them, but now Dallas will have something to motivate them: the end of Game 2, when Mike Ribeiro reacted badly to a little butt-end pop from Osgood and slashed the goalie in the neck. Now Ribeiro may likely face suspension, and the Stars will look to avenge against Osgood and what they may feel is his show of complete nonchalance and disrespect toward the Stars.

As for the East, and the series I must admit I'm watching more intently, there is a great matchup between two division rivals- the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. As predicted, the Penguins have taken the early lead over Philly thanks to their potent offense, but don't count the Flyers out just yet. Their own offense- with Mike Richards, Daniel Briere and the like- has done well, especially on the PP. However, the most clear-cut competition is between defense and offense- Timonen, Hatcher, Coburn, Parent and the gang against Crosby, Malkin, Hossa and their offensive band. As far as goaltending is concerned, Martin Biron has the edge over Marc-Andre Fleury, but as long as Pittsburgh holds up on defense, offense stays hot, and most importantly, there is no parade to the penalty box for the Pens, they will be able to stay the course and stay on top.

My Predictions: Wings in 5, Pens in 6.

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