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Western Conference First Round Predictions (NHL)

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by user Madproof9

Detroit over Edmonton in 7 games. Almost everyone thinks that Detroit is going to breeze through the playoffs. I don't think that will happen. Like I've said many times before, yes, Detroit is a good team; however, the way the NHL is set up now, with so many inter-division games, Detroit's 124 points is impressive, yet it is deceiving, because a good chunk of those points came against St. Louis, Columbus, and Chicago, who are the three worst teams in hockey. Take any team from the Northwest division, and switch them with Detroit, and that team would have also ended up with 124 points. Edmonton beat Detroit the same amount of times as Nashville, Columbus, St. Louis and Chicago (Detroit's entire division) combined. Detroit is so used to playing bad teams, that when they have to play so many in a row against a much better team, they will struggle. However, they will win it in 7 games.

Colorado over Dallas in 6 games. Dallas is good in shootouts. Colorado isn't. Good thing there are no shootouts in the playoffs. The Avalanche and Stars split the regular season 1-1 in regulation games. The only reason Dallas won the series overall 3-1 is because of two shootout victories. The Avalanche have a better-conditioned team, which helps them out in the long run when it gets down to the end of the games, and down to double or triple overtime. A majority of the Stars losses this season came after they were up by a goal or tied, and lost the lead or gave up a goal late in the game. In the playoffs, games go down to the very end, and Colorado is better suited for staying alive to the very end of regulation, or into multiple overtimes.

Calgary over Anaheim in 6 games. Both teams proved themselves this year, Calgary a little more though. Calgary has had to battle against 4 of the top teams in the conference regularly throughout the season (the entire Northwest Division), and has more strength and momentum coming into the playoffs. Anaheim split the series with the Flames, including a win in the regular-season finale, but Calgary had already known their playoff situation, and weren't in top form last night (because they didn't need to be). They have too much momentum and too much talent to go down to the Ducks.

Nashville over San Jose in 6 games. Just like with Detroit, Nashville's points are a deceiving number. The only reason that Nashville doesn't have as many as Detroit, is because they had to play Detroit. They did get off very easy playing the three worst teams in the West, however, they are still a very good team. San Jose hasn't really proven themselves in what is probably the 3rd best division in hockey, behind the Northwest and the Atlantic. They have a losing record against the Northwest division, which Nashville dominated. Joe Thorton, the Sharks leader, doesn't have any Western Conference playoff experience, which is a lot different than the experience he has from the Bruins. Paul Kariya has enough playoff experience with the Avalanche and the Ducks to know the situation of the West, and will lead his team to the next round.


Tue 04/18/06, 8:32 pm EST

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