Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Which Western Conference Team Will Take the 8 Seed?

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Which Western Conference Team Will Take the 8 Seed?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Last week, I wrote an article predicting which Eastern Conference teams currently out of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture had the best chance at taking the last spot. This week, I will switch focus and predict which Western Conference team could lock up the No. 8 seed.

The Western Conference is always extremely competitive. Currently, the 11th place team in the conference, the San Jose Sharks, are just one point away from the eighth seed. The Anaheim Ducks are only eight points out, and if they go on a tear, they too can snatch the last spot from the Calgary Flames.

However, when it comes down to the last spot, teams will do whatever they can to secure it, and this conference race is sure to be tight right to the end of the season.

Here is a look at the five teams that have the best chance to secure the West's final spot. Just like the Eastern Conference, I will analyze each team's strengths and weaknesses, their record against playoff-bound teams and predict whether or not they can make the postseason.

All statistics presented are as of the end of games on Sunday, March 11.

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