Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2011 Playoff Predictions-West

1) Oh geez, where do we start?? Firstly, we are very excited about all the matchups here. We couldn't have chosen a better 1st round with all 4 playoff series providing an interesting story line. As has been the case the past few years the West is by far the stronger conference and we will certainly see a very strong team be eliminated in the first round.

  • Vancouver (1) -vs- Chicago (8): Last years Cup champs vs this years Cup favourites. Can't get any better than this. The Blackhawks have had significant turnover and don't appear near as strong as last year, but their nucleus remains and never count out a reigning champ. That said, while the Black hawks scoring seems intact from last season, their team D is not. We believe the Sedins and crew will be able to penetrate the rear guards and Luongo will play well enough to propel the Canucks forward this round. Canucks in 6

  • San Jose (2) vs. No. 7 Los Angeles (7): The battle of California(part 1?) Gary Bettman must be pleased as punch to see all 3 Golden State teams in the playoffs at the same time for the first time. Too bad we don't think though that it will last too long for the Kings. They already were offensive challenged and have lost leading scorer Anze Kopitar as well as Justin Williams(who might play even if not 100%). The Sharks much maligned in recent years for playoff chokes couldn't have chosen a better 1st round opponent to start their Cup run. They should have little problem with the Kings and move on to a much more difficult round 2. Sharks in 5

  • Detroit(3) vs. Phoenix (6): Overshadowing this potentially exciting matchup is the continuing ownership issues in Phoenix. We'll address that(again) in an upcoming post. Its a nice story to see the Yotes come together and have a very successful season. It would be a sad thing to see yet another franchise leave just before it was ready to compete for a Cup(Nordique, Northstars). That said, we don't think the boys from the desert will be good enough quite yet to unseat perennial power house Detroit. RedWings in 5

  • Anaheim (4) vs. Nashville (5) This should be a very close series. The high flying Ducks verses the tough Preds. While Nashville prevailed in 3 of the 4 meetings we don't think this will be cake walk for the Preds by any means. In the end we feel, as it usually does, defense and goaltending win out. Nashville in Pekke Rinne have one of the best in the business. While the explosive line of Richard Trophy winner Perry and Getzlaf will get their goals, they won't get enough of them and not get consistent enough goaltending to prevail. Predators in 6

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