Playoff Predictions: West

Warning these predictions come with extreme bias, little thought to what may actually happen, and lots of sarcasm.

1. San Jose Sharks vs. 8. Colorado Avalanche

Every hockey fan not wearing a San Jose jersey has made at least 50 jokes this season about the Sharks always choking in the first round. (Did you know that San Jose has played past the first round in half the seasons they have been in existence?) But these Avs are not the Ducks of yesteryear. That Ducks team had the Sharks number and very nearly upset the Red Wings. Of course these Sharks are not the Sharks of yesteryear either. Nabokov struggled following his Olympic disaster, but seems to have found his groove at the right time. The Avs, on the other hand, have been living off their early season success. The future is bright in Colorado, but not this year. The Sharks will overcome the ghosts of playoffs past.

Sharks in 5

2. Chicago Blackhawks vs. 7. Nashville Predators

The Blackhawks have been the favorite to come out of the west much of this season. But this is a team that has both been dominate and “wildly” inconsistent.

The Hawks are team full of talent, and a Captain i respect the heck out of. (Fighting Sioux Forever) But this is also a team that struggled to solve the Blue Jackets down the stretch. Nashville on the other hand has always been a tough customer, especially in the playoffs. And, they may have the best coach in the league not named Lemaire. Barry Trotz will have his boys ready and they will be a nightmare to play against. Chicago had a great run season, and Lord Stanley looks to be in their future, but this season Barry Trotz puts on the glass slippers.

Predators in 7

3. Vancouver Canucks vs. 6 Los Angeles Kings

Ask the Vancouverputins and every year is the year they will win the cup. Every signing and trade acquisition from Mats sundin to Pavol Demitra to Christian Erhoff is the one that will put them over the top. There is no doubt the Canucks have been dominate this season. The Sedins have been absolute amazing. The Kings on the other hand have finally come into their own and boast quite a bit of young hungry talent. The Canucks however have the X factor. You see the leagues biggest crybaby, the leagues king of embellishment, the only man in the league to get straight 10’s for his dives, doesnt play for the Penguins, no he wears the whale. Yes Alex Burrows I’m talking about you.

My favorite part is when Lu skates over to see if he’s all right and Burrows looks up and says, “Nah it’s all good man, just getting us a power play.” Luongo has been terrible down the stretch and it took overtime to beat the lowly Minnesota Wild. How did that OT end? Oh yeah Alex Burrows lifted the stick towards his own face and whipped his head back to get the Nucks a 4-3 power play. However this is the playoffs, and the referees won’t put up with his crap. Luongo will choke once again, Burrows gets called for diving at least three times and the Kings come out on top.

Kings in 6

4. Phoenix Coyotes vs. 5. Detroit Red Wings

The Wings have been the hottest team in hockey and they know what it takes to get to the finals and win the cup. The Yotes are the feel good story. The team no one thought would even sniff the playoffs this season has been one of the conferences best. Their reward: playing the Wings. but while other teams would lament this (see: Sharks and Hawks) the Coyotes are a team that has thrived on doubt all season long. And unlike in Detroit (playoff seats still available) their will be no empty seats in Glendale. This is a franchise built on heart with a fan base aching to prove the doubters wrong. Detroit will bring everything they have, but it won’t be enough.

Yotes in 6

-BHD

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