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Western Conference Predictions for the First Round (Article drafted April 19th)

Jeremy Lauzon tries to hit Vancouver's Nils Hoglander in a game at Rogers Arena on November 5th.

Image Credits: NHL, YouTube

P1 Vancouver Canucks vs. WC1 Nashville Predators

I had Vancouver winning this one in 5 games. I just can't see a scenario where Nashville comes out on top, because the Canucks have the better offense, a shutdown defense that has only gotten better, and even at their worst, are still adequate. I also don't trust the Nashville Predators recent playoff track record, as they have lost 10 of their last 12 playoff games.

P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 LA Kings

This is a promotional picture used ahead of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in anticipation of the Edmonton Oilers and LA Kings meeting for the 3rd year in a row.

Image Credits:

I have the Oilers pulling ahead in 7 games. Though the Oilers have the offensive edge, and arguably the better team, they simply rely on the superstars too much, and such a playoff formula is unsustainable. I'm also not too sure about Stuart Skinner's goaltending abilities in the playoffs, as last year he had an .883 save percentage, and was pulled in last year's series once. The only reason the Oilers are getting by the Kings is because the Kings don't quite have the defense to withstand McDavid and Draisaitl.

C1 Dallas Stars vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights

Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars faces off against Chandler Stephenson of the Vegas Golden Knights. Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars is ready on the left wing.

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The Dallas Stars really caught fire down the stretch to beat out the Winnipeg Jets and the Colorado Avalanche to beat them to the Western Conference regular season championship. Their reward is revenge on the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights are not the same team as last year's, still hung over from last year's Cup win, and facing a team that gave them a good scare after it looked like they had them beat convincingly. Dallas has a very well balanced team, led by arguably the strongest forward group in the NHL. Even though Jason Robertson led the team with just 80 points, they finished 3rd in goals scored and had 8 20-goal scorers. For this series, it won't be pretty for Vegas, especially if Jake Oettinger can get back to his peak form, so I'm picking Dallas to win in 6.

C2 Winnipeg Jets vs. C3 Colorado Avalanche

Alexandar Georgiev of the Colorado Avalanche gets beat on a shot by Josh Morrissey of the Winnipeg Jets.

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I have to say that the Avalanche are going to win this one in 6 games. I know I didn't pick a single First Round sweep, but those are hard to predict sometimes. The Avalanche may have lost all their games to the Jets this year, but the Jets always disappoint in the playoffs, and with average goaltending, over a 7 game series, the Avalanche prevail. They have the best offense in the league, and 2 of the best playoff performers in Nathan Mackinnon and Cale Makar, and not to mention their right wing is stacked with Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin. They also have one of the best shutdown defensemen in the league with Devon Toews, and a game where speed and puck possession is central. Connor Hellebuyck has also left a lot to be desired with a lackluster playoff performance last year as well.

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Apr 26
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

10/10 must read again !!!

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