The NHL Playoffs start later tonight and man is this year going to be exciting. Earlier this week I went over my Eastern Conference predictions, and how each series will pan out.
Now lets take a look at the Western Conference:
Nashville Predators (C1) v. Colorado Avalanche (WC2):
Well first well done for the Avs getting in the playoffs, they beat the Blues in a MUST win game. However, they are playing the team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, the Nashville Predators. Avalanche are going to rely heavily on Forward Nathan Mackinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, due to there starting goalie out for no matter the first series. Predators will see a nice outing from P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg, and goaltender Pekka Rinne. Nashville will sweep the series, and eventually win the Stanley Cup.
Winnipeg Jets (C2) v. Minnesota Wild (C3)
An underrated team, making big things happen this year. The Winnipeg Jets have taken this season by stride, winning 52 of 82 games. Winnipeg took the season series 3-1, so if the Wild want to redeem themselves they will have to count on their goaltender, Devan Dubnyk and Captain, Eric Staal. While the Jets plan on seeing the natural goal scoring skill from Patrick Laine and terrific performance in net from Connor Hellebuyck. Winnipeg will be taking this series over the team from the state of hockey, Jets in five.
Vegas Golden Knights(P1) v. Los Angeles Kings (WC1)
First of all, no one probably thought a first-year expansion would make the playoffs, or even be the one seed. They bought into the system and meshed so well together. From scoring only six goals last year, to now having 43 goals, William Karlsson is having his career year. In addition to him, Jonathon Marchessault is also having a great year with 27 goals, and 48 assists. Even with some of the goalie issues they had, Marc-Andre Fleury is the goalie they will rely on, and coming off a team that went back-to-back, he has the experience. Sorry Kings, nothing really special in my eyes about you this year, Golden Knights will be sweeping this series away.
Lastly, Anaheim Ducks (P2) v. San Jose Sharks (P3)
Here we have another inner-state rival series going on. San Jose and the Ducks have been to the playoffs and have gone far enough to know what is on the line. San Jose won the season series 3-1 with that lost coming in form of shootout. Anaheim has something special in their young player Rickard Rakell, so we will be watching to see how he performs. On the other hand, the Sharks have had major contributions this year from veterans Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski. The only thing that worries me for San Jose is their goal-tending, which in my eyes, has been shaky. However, the Sharks are taking this series in six games.
Well here you have it, here are my predictions for the Western Conference.