Carolina's skill level is higher, as is evident when Eric Staal carries thepuck or launches rocketlike shots. The Hurricanes have a nice corps ofveterans, including slick passer Doug Weight, but are short on physicalpresence. The well-rounded Oilers have speed, and left wing Ryan Smyth scorestough goals. Edmonton's third line of Michael Peca, Raffi Torres and FernandoPisani will be a big factor.
Again the Hurricanes have skill but aren't physically intimidating. Expectsuperskater Bret Hedican to be targeted by Oilers forwards. Edmonton, led bythe tandem of Chris Pronger and Jason Smith, keeps the opposition to theoutside, making it hard to get second-chance opportunities.
Carolina rookie Cam Ward has played well but could be rattled by Oilersforwards, who create goalmouth chaos. Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson has made moresaves than any goalie this playoffs and allows few rebounds.
The Hurricanes' league-best power play goes up against the Oilers' league-bestpenalty kill. Expect Edmonton's speed to frustrate Carolina in thismatchup.
The Oilers are faster, bigger and play with more emotion. The Hurricanes, ledby Rod Brind'Amour, need to win face-offs to help them control the pace.