Thursday, April 15, 2010

2010 Stanley Cup Round 1 - Western Conference

Go west, young man! It should be a couple of good series. I am, of course, pulling for my Western Home Team, the Nashville Predators. If I'm lucky there will be a game 5 in their series and I will be able to go. Let's take a look at the west.

San Jose Sharks (1st place) vs Colorado Avalanche (8th Place)
These guys met 4 times this season with each team winning twice.

Once again the San Jose Sharks have been total beasts in the western conference and are firmly in the first place. They are hoping things go a little differently for them in the playoffs and they don't choke in the first round.

The Colorado Avalanche weren't expected to do much this season. They did a lot of restructuring in the off season and were relying on a lot of youth. They brought in a goalie, Craig Anderson, who had started like 30 something games the previous year. What a surprise! Anderson got off to a fabulous start and managed to keep his team in the top of standings for the season. I've enjoyed following this team this season and I love their story, but it needs to be over! You got to the playoffs...good story...enough. The Sharks need to freaking win for a change. I wouldn't be broken hearted if the Avs did advance though.

Chicago Black Hawks(2nd place) vs Nashville Predators (7th place)
Rivals in the Central Division, Chicago won 4 of the 6 games when these teams met in the regular season.

Chicago's goal tending has been questioned all year. Look at that face! What could possibly questionable?

Hopefully the Predators will make it past the first round. They will need Pekka Rinne to be on his game! They have one of the worst playoff records, winning only 6 of 22 games. Go Preds!

Vancouver Canucks (3rd place) vs LA Kings(6th place)
The Canucks won 4 out of the 5 games in which these two teams met in the regular season. (ouch).
Consensus seems to be that this is THE year for the Canucks. Henrik Sedin has been on a tear. Luongo has been steady and reliable.

After a long absence from the playoffs, the Kings are back. They've been getting good goal tending from Quick. Young stars like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty have stepped up as well.

Phoenix Coyotes(4th place) vs Detroit Redwings(5th place)
These teams split it down the middle, they saw each other 4 times in the regular season and each one twice.

Without a doubt, the Phoenix Coyotes are the story this season. Despite a lack of super stars and off ice issues regarding ownership and moving the team, this team kept marching along winning game after game. They rely heavily on their super star goal tender, Ilya Bryzgalov. Career long Coyote, Shane Doan, is ready to lead his team to the cup!

Just about every radio show, tv show, blog or magazine said "Detroit is not the team you want to get in the playoffs." The team struggled early in the season due to injury. For a while it was looking like they might not even make the play offs. Not a chance. Healthy and gunning for another cup, they are a dangerous opponent!



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