With the playoffs looming, here is our Western Conference round 1 playoff predictions. See our Eastern Conference predictions here.
Before the season began, the Avs were pinned by all the experts to finish last in the league and end up with Taylor Hall. To them just making the playoffs is like winning the Stanley Cup. They’ve been riding a hot goalie all season long and fatigue is about to set in. In the 6 pervious seasons, Craig Anderson had played in 109 games. This season alone he started 71 games. Also, I am pretty sure if the Sharks choke again in the playoffs they will be folding and moving to Quebec.
The Pick: San Jose in 4
Call me crazy, but this will be the year Nashville will finally make it to the second round. Pekka Rinne has been blazing hot with 4 shutouts in his last 14 games, and Shea Weber was the NHL best kept secret until his coming out party at the Olympics. Goaltending, coaching, and defence are the proven recipe for success in the playoffs and I trust Pekka Rinne more then I trust Antti Niemi or Cristobal Huet.
The Pick: Nashville in 6
I could write a book on this series but we all know how good the Canucks are. All I would like to say about this series is if the Canucks don’t get past the 1st round, they are forever dead to me.
The Pick: Vancouver in 5.
The clock is about to strike twelve for Cinderella. Phoenix blew away everyone’s expectations and finished with home advantage for round 1 of the playoffs, but is there actually any advantage of playing in front of 4000 people? Detroit was marred with injuries at the beginning of the season, but are now healthy and had everyone here in Vancouver worried that they were going to finish 6th. We all know that Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom are going to show up for the playoffs, but the question is can Jimmy Howard?
The pick: Detroit in 6
Now if you weren’t already excited for the playoffs this will definitely get your heart pumping. History Will be Made.