Who will drink from the Stanley Cup?
Sports Illustrated staff writer Kostya Kennedy gives you the inside scoop
Posted: Sunday June 07, 1998 07:02 PM
STANLEY CUP FINALS
Washington Capitals (40-30-12) vs. Detroit Red Wings
(44-23-15) Season series: Red Wings lead 2-0
How they got here: Capitals defeated Bruins (4-2 in first round),
Senators (4-1 in semis) and Sabres (4-2 in Eastern Conference finals); Red
Wings defeated Coyotes (4-2 in first round), Blues (4-2 in semis) and Stars
(4-2 in Western Conference finals).
The skinny: You want the finals to be a close, hard fought series,
a thrilling seven-gamer that could go either way. Not this year. I just
can't find any reason to think the Capitals can make a long series of it.
The Wings are faster and stronger -- and, while the game does not always go
to the fastest and strongest, that is certainly the way to predict.
Kolzig has played extremely well for the Capitals. He's their Conn
Smythe candidate, and to my mind he should get consideration for the trophy
if he plays well and wins a couple of games in the finals, even if the Caps
wind up losing. But while Kolzig may steal a game and the Wings have a
tendency to take a game off from time to time. Detroit should win this
I expect Sergei
Fedorov and/or Steve Yzerman to
re-emerge as real offensive forces. Nicklas Lidstrom
and Larry Murphy
will control the flow defensively and I think the Red Wings' depth will
really wear out the Caps. I wouldn't be surprised to see Detroit get a
couple of three- or four-goal wins by piling on in the third period.
Prediction: Red Wings in five.