Thursday, April 15, 2010

Playoff Predictions: Western Conference



No Player's Facing More Pressure Than Nabokov In San Jose

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Here's how I predicted the West at the start of the yearI only got five out of the eight playoff teams.  And only got one matchup.



(1) San Jose Sharks v. (8) Colorado Avalanche

Yes, the Sharks could find themselves upset again in the first-round but I think they take care of business this year.  The Avs are a good young team with surprising depth but San Jose is too loaded at every position.  The Sharks advantage in high-end talent will come up big in the end.  San Jose may struggle a bit but their talent will win out over the feisty Avs.  SHARKS IN SEVEN.

(2) Chicago Blackhawks v. (7) Nashville Predators

I've never believed in the Preds even when they had Peter Forsberg a few seasons ago.  I'm not going to start now.  I respect what Barry Trotz does every year getting his Preds into the postseason but this won't be the season they get out of the first round.  Chicago's goaltending is a huge unknown but their team makeup even without Brian Campbell is among the best in the league.  Nashville could make it interesting but I see Chicago taking the series easily.  BLACKHAWKS IN FIVE.

(3) Vancouver Canucks v. (6) Los Angeles Kings

KINGS IN SIX.  Over-analysis to come.

(4) Phoenix Coyotes v. (5) Detroit Red Wings

The Coyotes 2010 season has been amazing and something to be celebrated but let's be real.  The Red Wings are finally healthy and hitting on all cylinders.  Jimmy Howard is a huge question mark but he should be able to provide the average-goaltending Detroit needs to get past the Coyotes in the first-round.  Chris Osgood was never asked to steal a series and Howard won't be asked to do it here.  Make the saves he's supposed to and the Wings win this series easily.  RED WINGS IN FIVE.

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