The Stanley Cup Playoffs: Western Conference Preview

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On Wednesday night the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs will commence in the NHL and you better be ready. This year’s playoffs will bring all the intensity and excitement that one could ask for as a hockey fan. All the matchups are set and every team is ready to go all out for their run at the ultimate prize: the Stanley Cup. The NHL’s Western Conference has been a powerhouse this year so here are the breakdowns of each series that will take place in the west:

Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild: After finishing a dismal season last year the rejuvenated Avalanche are back in the playoffs. Head coach Patrick Roy deserves all the credit for bringing the team back from the depths. Rookie sensation Nathan Mackinnon also played a big part in the team’s success. Looking to stop the Avalanche, Minnesota also is looking for redemption after last year’s first round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Colorado took the season series for the most part going 4-0-1 against the Wild. One team will survive the series but Colorado holds the upper hand as of now.

St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks: If there was ever a time to watch a certain series out of the eight taking place, this one would be it. St. Louis has been a juggernaut the whole season but ended it with six straight losses. Defending Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago, will have a big challenge in front of them in this series. The Blackhawks also played a stellar season following their championship last year. The season series between each squad was 3-2 in favor of the Blues. Each team is more than capable of going all the way but as always, only one will move on.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars: This series should be one that could go either way. The Ducks have a powerhouse offense plus some great goaltending yet so do the Stars. Dallas forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin will be the x-factors because they have such great chemistry and scoring ability. The season series went to Dallas as they took two out of 3 games. This will be another series with the potential of being very close.

San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings: The west has been a force to be reckoned with this season with the Sharks being close to the top. These two teams met in last year’s playoffs and the series was a great one that went seven games. LA got the best of the Sharks in the season series so they may come out on top. Only time will tell who moves closer to winning it all.

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