Western Conference Semifinals
1) Vancouver Canucks vs 5) Nashville Predators
The Canucks started off the playoffs hot, then nearly caved. Meanwhile, the Preds took care of business in a evenly matched series. This round, things aren’t so even. Vancouver trumps them in every category except goaltending. Still, I don’t think Nashville has the depth to pressure Luongo enough. It doesn’t matter how good Pekka Rinne is, because I think the puck will be in their zone most of the time. I expect complete domination, and a Vancouver win in 5 games.
2) San Jose Sharks vs Detroit Red Wings
The Wings are older, but talented. They swept aside Phoenix easily, and make a good goalie look bad. And now, they’re pretty rested too. Meanwhile, the Sharks at times looked like they’d choke, and then turned things around and dominated. San Jose has better centers, and neither team has a good goalie. Both sides have wingers capable of lighting the lamp often, and defensemen that are solid in their own end and dangerous on offense. Both teams have top players who like to possess the puck and make plays (Thornton, Datsyuk). San Jose is from a tougher division and I think little more playoff primed, so I’m taking the Sharks in 6.
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