Tine to take a quick look at the 15 teams out West and see who will come out on top in this exciting 48-game sprint to the finish.
- Chicago(1)- wasn’t that long ago they won the cup. Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa mean a lot of firepower.
- St. Louis(4)- should challenge Chicago in a good sprint to the finish. Ken Hitchcock one of the leagues best.
- Detroit(6)- feels weird to pick them here but this is where they belong. Strange days without Lidstrom around anymore.
- Nashville(8)- We’ll see how they hold up without Ryan Suter seeing he and Shea Weber seemed to play the entire game on defense.
- Columbus- so long Rick Nash. This is the worst team in hockey. Why is there a team here anyway?
- Vancouver (2)- the team we all love to hate. Going with Cory Schneider is the right call. Plus nobody does the regular season better than the Sedin twins.
- Minnesota(7)- made a huge splash with Parise and Suter. Something tells me they won’t be as good as everyone thinks. Still good for second in a weak division.
- Edmonton-my pick for surprise team of 2013. Hall and Nugent-Hopkins are a treat to watch. Lack of defense and goaltending could lead to some high scoring games and entertainment. Will barely miss playoffs
- Calgary- Iginla is really the only reason to watch. Not enough in a tough Western Conference. Kiprusoff can still get it done in net though
- Colorado- young team who will likely struggle. Not a lot of big name talent here. Bonus point if you knew that Ryan O’Reilly was their leading scorer.
- San Jose(3)- picking against the defending champs in the division? A powerful group of forwards dominate short regular season. But in the playoffs?? Another story.
- Los Angeles(5)- make the playoffs and have a hot goalie and you can win the cup. Sometimes making the playoffs is the challenge. Kings better than an 8 this time.
- Phoenix- Mike Smith who gave the B’s problems in the 2011 playoffs has a great season in the desert. Ray Whitney is gone but 35 goal scorer Vrbata was a nice surprise.
- Dallas- Old friend Michael Ryder led them with 35 goals last season. Jagr and Whitney bring experience but Stars don’t have enough in the West.
- Anaheim- a great top scoring line but it may not matter. What do they end up doing with Bobby Ryan. He’d look nice in Black and Gold.
Western Conference Playoffs Opening Round
(8) Nashville over (1) Chicago * (3) San Jose over (6) Detroit
(2) Vancouver over (7) Minnesota (4) St. Louis over (5) Los Angeles
* C’mon folks, you know an 8 always wins a round
Western Conference Playoffs Semi-Finals
(2) Vancouver over (8) Nashville (4) St. Louis over (3) San Jose
Western Conference Playoffs Finals
(4) St. Louis over (2) Vancouver
Stanley Cup Finals
NY Rangers over St. Louis