2006 Stanley Cup playoffs
Keys for Game 4
Keys for Game 4
Crash the net
All of this nonsense about goaltender interference is a good thing for the Oilers, as their own goaltending 'controversy' has been seemingly long forgotten. With the Hurricanes a little on edge about Ryan Smyth's game winner on Saturday, Edmonton should be in Cam Ward's face on every play possible — even if it means taking an interference penalty or two. Carolina seems to be a few steps away from blowing a gasket, which is exactly where you want your opposition to be.
Pronger is going to have to be much better — especially on the power play. Edmonton's 1 for 20 with the man advantage in this series and that's something that's either going to be rectified or be this team's downfall.
The Hurricanes have done a tremendous job so far in this series of playing a very penalty-free type of hockey, but with all the tension building, they have to forget all the funny business that comes with a series like this. Given that they're such a veteran club, I don't think this will be a problem.
While he says it's not the case, Staal has to be hurt. Or at the very least extremely fatigued. After dominating all season and the first 2 1/2 rounds of the playoffs, Staal has, well, Staal'ed. A huge game from him could blow this series wide open. (Edmonton, be wary. This kid should be scaring you every time has the puck a la Joe Thornton in Round 2.)
After creaming the Oilers 73 to 48 (more than 60 per cent) on draws the first two games, Carolina went just 20 of 48 in Game 3. Faceoffs are really a strength of Rod Brind'Amour's more than his team (Staal's awful, Doug Weight mediocre), so much of the responsibility here lies with the captain.
Prediction: Carolina 3, Edmonton 0