LCS Hockey: Born Again
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June 19, 2019
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Campbell Conference Finals



DALLAS STARS (5) VS DETROIT RED WINGS (1)

Those filthy Red Wings have had a free ride this postseason, getting the AHL Predators in round one and the injury-ravaged Avalanche in round two. And had Alexander Radulov not buried Jason Arnott into the boards, even the lowly Preds may have knocked 'em off. That series was 2-2 until Arnott and David Legwand got injured. And even then the Wings needed overtime in Game Five and a fluky goal from center in Game Six to survive.

Meanwhile, the Stars dispatched the defending champion Ducks in round one and outlasted a powerful San Jose squad in round two. Best of all, they did it without a winged-wheel on their chests.



Chris Osgood
photo by Matthieu Masquelet

Key Matchup: Dallas has to find a way to contain the top line of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Tomas Holmstrom. I reckon Sergei Zubov and Matty Norstrom will get the assignment on the backend, with Mike Modano, Antti Miettinen, and Niklas Hagman likely getting the nod up front. Stu Barnes, still recovering from a concussion, will miss at least Game One, so that actually hinders the checking efforts.

The man most responsible, though, for limiting Datsyuk and Zetterberg is Marty Turco. A lot's been made of his 0-7-2 lifetime mark at Joe Louis Arena, but that's gonna mean a whole lot of nothing when the puck drops.


Players to Watch: Tomas Holmstrom could be huge for Detroit. The Wings want to get in Turco's kitchen, and Holmstrom is the Gordon Ramsay of the NHL. At the other end, Brenden Morrow, the leading Conn Smythe candidate, will be doing the same thing for Dallas. Winning the three feet in front of the crease could determine the series.

And expect Steve Ott to make things fun. Detroit's game is all about discipline and puck possession. Ott needs to be as disruptive as possible.


Prediction: I hate Detroit. I'm always going to pick against them. But I legitimately believe the Stars will win. I like Dallas' depth up the middle with Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro, and Modano, and Morrow is a hockey god. The defense is still young, but they just went through Anaheim and San Jose, so they're not as young as they used to be. And Turco is playing the best hockey of his career. He's determined to prove his critics wrong.

I still say Detroit is soft. Osgood is terrible. And the Wings haven't been tested yet.

Dallas in six.





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