2007 NHL Stanley Cup Game 2 - Ottawa Senators at Anaheim Ducks (-130, 5) 8:00 PM ET
Anaheim has made it to the Finals for the second time and has the right combination of power strength to bring the fabled Cup to Disney Land for the world to see.
While it might seem goofy to see Goofy drinking from the Lord Stanley’s cup, Anaheim is favored to so, despite the fact that no team has had a better record since the end of November then Ottawa in the NHL.
The Senators are deep, fast and playing their best hockey of the season. Ottawa has dispatched each of the teams from the Eastern Conference in five games and is an underdog only because the Ducks have home ice advantage.
Ottawa has had the best line in the postseason with Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson tearing up the opposition for a combined 58 points. This trio has better hotter then a jar full of jalapeño’s, ranking 1-2-4 in scoring in the playoffs. The Senators are not done there either just with this outstanding line.
Buffalo was supposed to have speed and depth edge over Ottawa, they did not. In fact, everything the Sabres tried, the Senators could do better and easily matched Buffalo’s four lines. Ottawa came in waves and overwhelmed divisional foe.
This is why they believe they can improve upon 12-5 ATS versus very good teams - outscoring their opponents by 0.5+ goals a game this season.
Anaheim has a few speedsters of their own in Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald manning their top line. The Ducks can not match the depth of Ottawa as shown by eight forwards having scored for Anaheim compared to 11 for the Senators. In this case it will be up to youngsters Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Dustin Penner to supplement the scoring efforts.
If the Ducks are to get off to a flying start at home, the young players will have to be a big part. Anaheim is 14-3 ATS in home games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) this season.
The names Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin of Anaheim make any opposing team nervous. They will each be on the ice for 30 or more minutes, wreak havoc on Ottawa’s offense and crazy enough to play old fashion Hudson Brothers hockey and lay somebody out, like they did to Tomas Holmstrom of Detroit.
Ottawa may not boast a collection of names that impressive; however the numbers speak for themselves. Teams in the postseason are averaging 2.07 goals a game against the Sens who held the league’s highest scoring team, Buffalo to just 10 goals. Only nine power play goals have been scored on them in 79 chances.
Advantage – Even
While Anaheim’s netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere may not receive the publicity of other higher profile goaltenders, he has other worldly at times in putting together 1.87 goals against average and .931 save percentage. This was especially so against Detroit, as he frequently faced onslaughts of Red Wings shots and turned them away with the grace and cool of James Bond, being so fundamentally sound.
Ray Emery is all of 24 years old making his debut in this pressured situation. He has been sharp if not spectacular in holding the opposition to 1.95 GAA and .919 save percentage. He must hold up against Anaheim who will pick away at him and see kind on mental institution he has.
Advantage – Anaheim
Betting numbers – The Ducks are 33-17 ATS at home this season and are 12-4 ATS in the playoffs picking up +6.4 units. On the road they are 27-21 ATS and impressive 5-2 in the postseason. Anaheim is 35-19 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
Ottawa has been superlative on the road with 30-19 ATS mark. The Senators are tough as nails 6-1 as a postseason visitor to go along 12-3 playoff record. Back home in Canada they are 30-18 ATS and are 31-11 ATS after having won three of their last four games this season.
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