Saturday, June 10, 2006

2006 Stanley Cup Final
Keys for Game 3

Edmonton
Goals from Horcoff, Smyth and Stoll
During the regular season, this trio finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in scoring. In the first two games of this series, they combined for just one assist. These three — and Horcoff, in particular — have to lead the way offensively for this team. That hasn't happened so far.

The play of Jussi Markkanen
Granted, as everyone is saying, he wasn't the reason Edmonton lost in Game 2. Still, Edmonton needs a huge 'game of his life' performance from Markkanen — and they need it tonight.

Win
It's ridiculous — and obvious — to point this out, but this is it. If Edmonton doesn't win here, the Hurricanes become the second Southeast Division team to win the Stanley Cup in a row. (Whew, there's something I never thought I'd say.) If it's ugly, dirty and boring hockey — well, that doesn't matter one whit. If it's 1-0 in quintuple overtime, bring it on.


Carolina
Quieting the crowd
As good as the Raleigh crowd was the first two games, Rexall Place is going to be completely green bananas tonight. The Hurricanes were phenomenal at home this season, but have stumbled at times on the road (in fact, they're in the midst of a 1-3 streak away from home right now), and need to overcome that here. Edmonton's going to throw all they've got at them.

Coaching against MacTavish's line-matching
I think a big part of why Carolina's been so dominant at home is the meticulous coaching job Peter Laviolette does — something that's going to be less of a factor in an opponent's building. Still, expect to see Rod Brind'Amour hopping over the boards on the fly at all times — even only to just take a faceoff — and all sorts of other odd line maneuvering. It's an approach that could burn them in a game like this, but they've been pulling it off well all season.


Prediction: Carolina 3, Edmonton 2

2 Comments:

At 4:54 AM, June 10, 2006, Anonymous jon said...

Thanks James, we both know why.

 
At 7:57 AM, June 10, 2006, Anonymous toad said...

good observation. but the other big one is the power play. not only has edmonton got to score on one or two, but they cannot let their aggressivness put them in a hole. as a canes fan, i sometimes would like to see them retaliate more, but it has proven effective all season for us to just skate away from a conflict and then burn your ass on a pp goal. see peroid 3 game 2.

 

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