©MMIX Tank Productions. Predictions Made by Frank Fleming on May 17, 2009 at 1:30 am ET
Penguins in 6
The Hurricanes have been gritty and battle harden in the first two rounds winning two game sevens on the road to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. The Penguins are looking to get to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight year, and are the team that may have hit its stride at just the right time, as they have been the best team in the NHL since Dan Bylsma took over the coaching reigns on February 15th. The Hurricanes only advantage is between the pipes, as Cam Ward will be the best goalie on the ice. However, Marc-Andre Fleury is not awful, and will do nothing to hurt the Penguins cause. Unless Ward stands on his head, the Penguins will win, as the scoring attack of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will be too much for the Hurricanes to overcome as the Penguins win the series in six games.
Red Wings in 5
The Red Wings and Blackhawks are a rivalry that goes back to the early days of the NHL. In recent years it has been all Red Wings, as the last time the Blackhawks made it to the Western Conference Finals in 1995 they were beaten by the Red Wings. In the 14 years since, the Wings have won four Stanley Cups, while the Hawks have been at the bottom of the NHL. However, with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews they are on the rise, and could be a force for years to come. The Red Wings though are all about now, as the defending Stanley Cup Champions know how to win the big game on the big stage, and the Conference Finals is where players like Kane and Toews lack of experience will come to haunt them, as the proven veterans like Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk will make the difference.