The Western Conference Round 1 matchups have been set, so it's time to get our predictions on this half of the planet. For starters, let's cut out all the garbage about the West being so much stronger than the East. There are two teams in the West that matter. The rest are average at best. It's 50/50 on the Sharks or the Redwings. Don't bother considering any other team from this side. Just because I couldn't possibly stomach another Redwings Cup victory, I'm going to have to go with the Sharks to finally make the finals.
No contest here. The Ducks might have matched up better against the Redwings this season. Against San Jose, we're looking at a very short series. The Sharks have way too many options for scoring and the Ducks have lost their Cup-winning shutdown line. Sharks in 4.
As much as I would love to see an upset here, I would be betraying my conscience to think that Detroit could lose in the first round this season. Especially after adding Hossa to a Cup winning squad. The Jackets would have beat Vancouver, had they held on to the 6 seed, but it won't matter this time around. Redwings in 6.
Toughest series to call in the West, as neither team is all that impressive or predictable. On goaltending, this series would obviously go to Vancouver. But in the end, you have to score goals. Keith Tkachuk will come through and lead St. Louis through one round. Blues in 7.
Although they haven't done it all year, it's playoff time, and the Flames will finally remember how good they can be defensively. Jokinen will have a huge impact and Calgary will find themselves mathing up against Detroit in Round 2. Flames in 4.