NHL Playoffs: Are the Detroit Red Wings the Real Deal?

Ian ZymarakisSenior Analyst IMarch 15, 2008

Much like I did with the Eastern Conference I am going to be making my prediction if the seeds were set after tonight, from the first round all the way up to who wins the Western Conference.

First Round:

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (8) Vancouver Canuck: Canucks Win Series 4-2

I know what you all are thinking, Detroit has 100 points thus far in the season there is no way they can be beaten, especially by an 8 seed. This however, is not your average 8 seed. Roberto Luongo will put the Canucks on his back in this series and put them over the top in 6 games. Naslund, Morrison and the Sedin Twins will step up finally in a playoff series on offense and Vancouvers solid defense will hold Zetterberg and Datsyuk in check. Vancouver in 7 games.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (7) Calgary Flames: Flames Win Series 4-3

Calgary might be the scariest team in the entire Western Conference playoffs, with Iginla, Phaneouf and Kiprusoff in net this team is ready to make a playoff run. Calgary is by far the most skilled team all around and will show it in this series. The Sharks counter with a star studded lineup of their own but if Thornton doesn't show up in the playoffs again it will be an early exit for this NHL regular season powerhouse. Flames advance in 7 games.

(3) Minnesota Wild vs. (6) Colorado Avalanche: Wild Win Series 4-2

A battle between bitter Northwest foes will turn out to be the most physical matchup from the Western Conference first round, Minnesota has the type of play that can put a team to sleep but then surprise with a flurry of goals. Rolston and Demitra look prepared to lead the Wild through to the next round but Colorado has a few veterans that they brought back that look to carry this team. With Colorados uncertainty in net with Theodore or Budaj it might be a long series. This team will go as Forsberg does, and I dont think Forsberg will do much of anything. This might be the last time we see Sakic play in the playoffs. We will see. Wild advance in 6 games.

(4) Dallas Stars vs. (5) Anaheim Ducks: Ducks Win Series 4-1

The Stanley Cup Champions started the season slow but got back team leaders Niedermayer and Selanne midway through the season, this will make Turco uneasy knowing what fire power the Ducks have on the other side. I believe the Ducks will make a long playoff run once again with grinding play and a solid offense. Stars are no much even with Turco, Modano and Richards as the Ducks advance in 5 games.

Western Conference Semifinals:

(3) Minnesota Wild vs. (8) Vancouver Canucks: Canucks Win Series 4-2

Another matchup between rivals from the Northwest. This game would seem to favor Minnesota and their style of play but if Vancouver can make it through the first round without any major injuries especially to the defense they should prevail. Luongo has another outstanding series and makes a push for Western Conference Playoff MVP. I also think veteran Trevor Linden will play a big part in this series if given the chance to play, he is a smart player and will play Minnesotas big players extremely tough. Minnesota just cant seem to get the puck past Luongo as often as they want to as Vancouver advances in 6 games.

(5) Anaheim Ducks vs. (7) Calgary Flames: Anaheim Wins Series 4-2

Anaheim shows why they are still considered the most solid all around team in the NHL with a solid showing in this one. Anaheims suffocating defense and quick offense is too much for Iginla and the Flames to handle. If Calgary expects to have a chance they will need big contribution from Langkow and Lombardi, none the less, Anaheim advances in 6 games.

Western Conference Finals:

(5) Anaheim Ducks vs. (8) Vancouver Canucks: Anaheim Wins Series 4-3

In a rematch from last years playoff Anaheim and Vancouver have an all time great playoff series with tough grinding play and great goaltending from JS Giguere and Roberto Luongo. Anaheims team proves too much as Selanne and Getzlaf prove to be too much for Vancouvers already tired defense. Luongo does all he can in game 7 but Anaheim gets by Vancouver and moves on to play the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals by advancing in 7 games.

Playoff MVP for Western Conference:

Roberto Luongo



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