You may recall me in 2006 saying that Edmonton could beat anybody in the West except Detroit if they can stay healthy and get some luck.
When Datsyuk was rusty, Legace was shaky, and Edmonton got momentum... well, that surprised the hell out of me.
During the third round, I wondered aloud why everybody thought Anaheim was so much better than San Jose. Thornton/ Niedermayer, pot-eh-to pot-aw-to.
The big difference between the two teams is mental toughness. San Jose crushed us the first two games but folded at the first sign of adversity. Toskala held the fort in game three but Edmonton kept pushing back and suddenly the scores were 6-3, 6-3.
Anaheim doesn't fold. They fought tooth and nail every second of every game. I recall us being up 3 games to 0 and that had to be a miracle. Anaheim outplayed us but Roloson stood on his head and the hockey gods were on our side (until game 1 of the Carolina series).
I never felt confortable. That third game, we were up 4-0 in the third. Laraque beat up Fedoruk for a second time. All of a sudden, the floodgates opened and we barely hung on. It was 5-4 and Penner almost scored with 5 seconds left to tie it.
Then, in Game Four, the Ducks peppered Roloson with like 22 shots in the first period. They were like a team possessed. I was so impressed with their tenacity and never-say-die attitude. I think Anaheim was a lot better than Carolina but the breaks went our way.
On paper and talent-wise, there is not much difference between Anaheim and San Jose. Except the Ducks now have TWO stud defensemen. But it is certainly not a stretch to think Detroit can't beat them.
With Hasek on a roll and the Wings playing their defensive game to perfection, they could shut down the Ducks. Anaheim doesn't have a lot of offensive depth after Selanne. That being said, I say Ducks in 7.