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I believe the Blues will face the Predators in the Western Conference finals.
Both teams play a physical brand of hockey and are very good as a whole. Both teams also have solid goaltending. The Blues starting goaltender, Brian Elliot, leads the league in goals-against average and save percentage, while the Predators' star goaltender, Pekka Rinne, leads the NHL in wins.
The Predators will eliminate the Blues for three reasons:
- They have the league's best power play
- They have playoff experience
- They are a desperate team
Both teams have stellar goaltending. It will be crucial for each team to cash in on the man advantage. The Blues convert on the power play at a decent 16.7 percent; Nashville scores at an exceptional 21.6 percent.
The Blues also lack playoff experience. They are a young team, and this year's playoffs will prepare them for future playoff runs. Nashville is a perennial playoff team; consequently, they understand what they need to do to win.
Unlike Nashville, the Blues are not desperate to win the Stanley Cup now. Their core players are locked up for next season—the Predators top two defensemen in Shea Weber and Ryan Suter could both potentially walk after this season.
Prediction: Predators in 6