Puck Playoffs by Kevin Stott for Thur., May 1, 2008

May 1, 2008 7:58 PM

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers (G4) (Versus TV):

With the way the Penguins are playing in the postseason, it’s hard to fade them at this juncture. A nice blend of confidence, momentum, expectation and raw talent appear to be just too much for a Rangers’ team wondering how they can beat this team and try and make this a series somehow. Pens Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury are also showing the world that Pittsburgh is more than just Sid the Kid.

New York hasn’t been playing badly, but when one looks at the fact it was outscored 7-1 in the first two skates of this East semifinal, and that the Penguins have outscored their playoff opponents, 23-6 to start the postseason, it’s not hard to back this team. PENGUINS.

Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche (G4) (Versus TV): Poor Colorado. It worked so very hard to get all the pieces in place – and it did – only to draw the team with the best record in hockey in the second round here. And that team, the Wings, have had the Avs number all season. Detroit can almost taste the West finals, they’re so close but those in Hockeytown remember past postseasons all too well. No Cup for you…

The big move for Detroit in the playoffs was the decision to go with a solid Osgood to start in net as opposed to a shaky Hasek. Mission accomplished. For Colorado, Theodore has been stellar in goal, but the Winged Wheels have found a way to outscore the Avalanche and are the team to beat in this matchup. RED WINGS.