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NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

Posted on: April 10, 2011 11:07 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 4:31 pm

No. 1 Vancouver Canucks vs. No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks 

Season series: Chicago 2-2 ; Vancouver 2-1-1

Player to watch: Daniel Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks. The twin of last year's Hart Trophy winne, Henrik, turned in another stellar regular season, leading the league in points (104) and assists (75). He’s averaged better than a point per game over the last two postseasons. 

X-factor: The Blackhawks’ energy level. The Blackhawks, like any Stanley Cup winner, had the shortest summer in hockey. Celebrations, a day with the Cup and all the ancillary rewards can take their toll. Then you lose a good chunk of the team via salary cap moves and you struggle to remain a contender all season. Chicago eventually needed a Dallas Stars loss Sunday to make it in. Let’s see what they have left. 

Game 1 - Wednesday (10 p.m.) Chicago at Vancouver                
Game 2 - Friday (10 p.m.)  Chicago at Vancouver                
Game 3 - April 17  (8 p.m.) Vancouver at Chicago                
Game 4 - April 19 (8 p.m.) Vancouver at Chicago                            
*Game 5 - April 21 (10 p.m.) Chicago at Vancouver                
*Game 6 - April 24 (8 p.m.) Vancouver at Chicago                
*Game 7 - April 26 (TBD) Chicago at Vancouver                

No. 2 San Jose Sharks vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Kings

Season series: Los Angeles 3-3-0; Jose Sharks 3-1-2

Player to watch: Joe Thornton, F, San Jose Sharks. Thornton took only a couple faceoffs over the last five games of the regular season, although the center said on a conference call with reporters that could change in the playoffs. (As is the case, nobody is calling the move off the faceoff dot was caused by an injury.) He scored his 1000th NHL point earlier this weekend and had 70 points (21 goals and 49 assists) this season. 

X-factor: The Kings’ offense. Los Angeles lost its two top scorers -- Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams -- in closing weeks of the regular season. It’ll be up to Dustin Brown, Ryan Smyth and Dustin Penner to pick up the slack. 

Schedule:   Game 1 - Thursday (10 p.m.) Los Angeles at San Jose                
Game 2 - Saturday (10 p.m.) Los Angeles at San Jose                
Game 3 - April 19 (10:30 p.m.)  San Jose at Los Angeles                
Game 4 - April 21 (10:30 p.m.) San Jose at Los Angeles                
*Game 5 - April 23 (10:30 p.m.) Los Angeles at San Jose                
*Game 6 - April 25 (TBD) San Jose at Los Angeles                
*Game 7 - April 27 (TBD)  Los Angeles at San Jose                

No. 3 Detroit Red Wings vs. No. 6 Phoenix Coyotes

Season series: Detroit, 2-1-1; Phoenix 2-0-2

Player to watch: Shane Doan, F, Phoenix Coyotes. The last Winnipeg Jets player left on the Coyotes missed the final four games with a separated shoulder when these two teams clashed in the first round a season ago. He was the Coyotes’ only 20-goal scorer this season and led the team with 60 points. 

X-factor: Will Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg make it back? He missed the final two regular season games with a lower body injury, and coach Mike Babcock told reporters Sunday that he doesn’t expect him back for the start of the series. He led the Wings with 80 points (24 goals and 56 assists). 

Game 1 - Wednesday (7 p.m.) Phoenix at Detroit                
Game 2 - Saturday (1 p.m.) Phoenix at Detroit                
Game 3 - April 18 (10:30 p.m.)  Detroit at Phoenix                
Game 4 - April 20 (10:30 p.m.) Detroit at Phoenix                
*Game 5 - April 22 (7 p.m.) Phoenix at Detroit                
*Game 6 - April 24 (TBD) Detroit at Phoenix                
*Game 7 - April 27 (TBD) Phoenix at Detroit                                          

No. 4 Anaheim Ducks vs. No. 5 Nashville Predators

Season series: Anaheim 1-3-1;  Nashville 3-1-0

Player to watch: Corey Perry, F, Anaheim Ducks. He’s the only player to reach 50 goals this season. Sure, he plays on arguably the best line in hockey, but he did have to carry things when Ryan Getzlaf was out about a month with a sinus fracture.

X-factor: The Ducks’ goalie situation. Dan Ellis, acquired before the deadline from the Tampa Bay Lightning, could be the starter by default. Starter Jonas Hiller returned for one game (March 24) after a 15-game absence due to vertigo and went on to miss the final eight games. Ray Emery suffered a lower body injury in the penultimate game of the season and his status is also not clear for the playoffs. It's certainly not nearly as stable as Nashville, who have a Vezina candidate, Pekka Rinne, healthy in net. 

Game 1 - Wednesday (10:30 p.m.)  Nashville at Anaheim                          
Game 2 - Friday (10:30 p.m.) Nashville at Anaheim                          
Game 3 - April 17 (TBD) Anaheim at Nashville                
Game 4 - April 20 (TBD) Anaheim at Nashville                
*Game 5 - April 22 (10 p.m.) Nashville at Anaheim                
*Game 6 - April 24 (TBD) Anaheim at Nashville                        
*Game 7 - April 26 (TBD) - Nashville at Anaheim   

* - if necessary 

All times Eastern
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 6:43 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 18, 2009
Posted on: April 11, 2011 10:18 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

Yeah, that one scoring line is a real head scratcher.  The Canucks are probably worried about that as well, and I hear they are going to get rid of Kesler, he only had 40 goals this year.  One of only 5 players in the entire league to score 40 and he played on the Canucks second line.  Man are they crap on that second line!  Get a clue shehe

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: April 11, 2011 6:53 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

he can't even spell luongo's name properly...what do you expect?

go canucks go!!

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: April 11, 2011 6:22 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

cannots?...that's really clever kid. canucks in 5.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 11, 2011 4:46 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

The thing about the Cannots , they can't win with Loungo in the net . His disapearing act will come again . The otrher thing about the Cannots , you can't win with only one scoring line . You shut down the Twin sisters , it's all over . Sure , they won the Hart , but this is the playoffs , people . This is where the first round makes men of mem and send the boys home . I don't think that the Cannots are ready yet . And the Detroit and the Desert Dogs , it's the Detroit's series to loose . The Ducks , ( Wabit seasons ) and the Pedators , anybody came win this one . It's too close to call . But I do think it's time for the Sharks to make a run at the Cup , them in 5 .

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: April 11, 2011 4:35 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

Got that fixed. Some bad math on my part. Went through the wins and losses and miscounted. We're going to have full previews up tomorrow. AJ

Since: Dec 3, 2010
Posted on: April 11, 2011 3:38 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

(1)Vancouver in 4 over the reigning champions (8)Blackhawks...Vancouver has proved they're an elite squad all year, while Chicago continues to find the magic of last year on the golf course.
(2) San Jose benefits from the end of the season punchless (7) Los Angeles Kings in a quick 5 game series.
(3) Detroit gets lost in the "sands of time", I mean (6)Phoenix...Goaltending is the difference in the series which lasts 6 games.
(4) Anaheim Ducks make a call to their fan base for a goaltender here as all land on the IR.  (5) Nashville enjoys their FIRST playoff series win while only making the fans wait 5 games.
(1)Washington fans line the bridge to begin jumping until a game 7 victory over the surging (8)NY Rangers.
(2)Philadelphia in 5 over (7)Buffalo (even with Miller in the next)
(3)Boston is wanted for questioning by (6)Montreal authorities as the Bruins make the Canadiens disappear in 6.
(4)Pittsburgh and Tampa's game 1 takes as long to play as the entire Washington/NY series...Bettman draws straws for a winner.

Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: April 11, 2011 2:59 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

Ahh the playoffs how Ive missed you! NBA starts Saturday too!

My picks: Canucks over Hawks in 6...Sharks over Kings in 5....Wings over Coyotes in 6...Predators over Ducks in 6...Caps over Rangers in 5...Flyers over Sabres in 7...Bruins over Canadiens in 6...Lightning over Penguins in 6 (even with Crosby)

Since: Jul 23, 2010
Posted on: April 11, 2011 2:29 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

I wish sports writer would at least make an attempt to know what their writing about. The season series between the Ducks and Preds is 3-1 Nashville. Oct 9th Preds 4 Ducks 1, Nov 7th Ducks 5 Preds 4, Jan 5th Preds 4 Ducks 1 and march 24, Preds 5 ducks 4. It is really not that hard to look up the facts before you write about something.

Since: Sep 26, 2007
Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:06 pm

NHL Playoffs: Western Conference breakdown

Hawks in 6. The Blackhawks have Luongo;s number.

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