NHL Playoffs Predictions – Western Conference Picks


The NHL Playoffs start tonight, and yesterday I picked the first round winners of the Eastern Conference both by stat line who I thought was going to win the series, and who I actually wanted to win the series (the heartline).

Today we will take a look at the Western Conference match-ups and give you my annual picks for the Western Conference quarterfinals.  My second favorite hockey team is the Colorado Avalanche, and since they are not in the Western Conference playoff picture either, I have pretty much free reign over who ever I want to root for in this years playoffs.

Have you filled your bracket out – if you haven’t signed up for the NHL Bracket challenge, you still have some time, but all brackets freeze upon the start of the game action – so you still have a few hours to get your picks in. Will your picks match up with mine?

St. Louis Blues vs Minnesota Wild

This is a tough call here for me, as I wouldn’t mind seeing either of these teams advance.  I am going to go with the Minnesota Wild however, because of Thomas Vanek.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Vanek see some success in the post season.  Will this be the year that the St. Louis Blues have done enough to make sure the post season is not a quick flash in the pan instance?  St. Louis hasn’t made it out of the second round since the 2001 NHL Playoffs, and has only made it past the first round twice since then.

Stat line pick – St. Louis Blues in five.

Heartline pick – Minnesota Wild in six games.

Nashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks

The paper here says that the Nashville Predators don’t stand a chance in the playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.  Since rejoining the playoff scene as regulars in the 2009 NHL Playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks have won two Stanley Cups, and have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals two other times.

With Kane coming back early, the odds of the Blackhawks being a favorite in the post season – and that wouldn’t be too bad with Buffalo’s own Patrick Kane the chance to add another Stanley Cup to his resume.

Stat Line pick – Chicago Blackhawks in five games

Heart line pick – Chicago Blackhawks in five games.

Anaheim Ducks vs Winnipeg Jets

Do the Ducks have the magic touch to bring another Stanley Cup to California?  The Winnipeg Jets are looking for their first Stanley Cup since returning to Winnipeg and their first Stanley Cup period.  On paper here this is the Anaheim Ducks series to lose; but I would like to see Tyler Myers get some post season success in his new home.

Stat line pick – Anaheim Ducks sweep the Winnipeg Jets

Heart line pick – Winnipeg Jets in five.

Vancouver Canucks versus Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames are the cinderella story of the NHL this year, and I don’t think may outside of the sea of red could see the Flames in the post season.  Well  they are in, and they have drawn a Canadian opponent in the Vancouver Canucks.  I was really hoping for the Vancouver Canucks and Ryan Miller to miss the playoffs; additionally former SabreNoise editor Rich Spalding’s son plays hockey and they wear the Calgary Flames sweaters/colors – so another reason to root for the Flames.

Stat line pick – Calgary Flames in seven games

Heart line pick – Calgary Flames sweep the Vancouver Canucks

Next: Picking the Eastern Conference

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