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Ker Plunk - where strategy meets toothpicks

Well I’m 1.5 for 4 so it hasn’t gone my way so far for my Western Conference Predictions, but at least my write up part of how the series will look like was correct. Small comfort I know…but you have to stay positive about stuff right?

The Western Conference now will not be a shot’em up extravaganza like a Left 4 Dead 2 game, but more of a slow methodical game like Ker Plunk.

So here we go with my analysis of the Western Conference Semi-Finals….

…ROUND 2…FIGHT!!!

St. Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings

I have to give LA huge credit for coming together as a team and beating my Canucks. They deserved to win. You cannot fault the Canucks goalie tandem for this series lost, the D was bad and we didn’t score much. Yes, if we had Hodgson on the team we wouldn’t have been so bad and would’ve had some secondary scoring. But who, and be honest now, would have predicted that Daniel would be out with a concussion or Kesler would have been a no show? Regardless, that is now the past and this Stanley Cup run is no longer about my Canucks.

The Kings vs. The Blues… this is gonna be hard because I like both teams.

Both teams have great goaltending. Quick vs. Elliot…no Halak? Hope not. Can Quick continue his stellar play in net? Here’s thinking that he will. Elliot was good in the series against The Sharks, but the San Jose Sharks are NOT the Canucks. No one coming into the Playoffs are saying “Ohhh…No…we have to face the Sharks”. I’m not saying that St. Louis were looking past them, but they just focused on playing their game and knowing if they did, they will knock out the Sharks. The Sharks have iffy goaltending, like I stated before…Niemi is a one hit wonder. In this series, they will be going up against a future Vezina winning goalie in Quick; so goals will be harder to come by.

Both teams play a hardnosed checking game which leaves no room for error for their respective opponents. So this will be a wash.

Jonathan Quick stretching while an ice girl skates by - had to do it, too funny not to

So this series has to go to which team has the offence to make a difference? Which team has a game changer on their team? I see Dustin Brown as the difference in this game like he was in the 1st series. He can hit, score timely goals and give his team a shot of energy when they need it the most. Believe me, they will need it in this series; when you take 40 shots on net and nothing is going in and every time you have the puck…someone is on you like white on rice…I never did like brown rice…the team will need their captain to show them how to stay the course and don’t lose heart.

My Pick, as much as I like the Blues organization from top to bottom; I have to pick the Kings to win this one in 6. Book it Danno!!

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators

Welcome to the Second round Mr. Doan, we have a table ready for you.

Shane Doan crashing the net - He will need to do a lot of this if the Yotes plan on making a series out of this series

Congrats to the Coyotes for making it to the second round, it’s been a long time coming. I’m one of the few people from Canada who wishes that your team will stay in sunny Arizona because my friends and I would love to visit Phoenix next year to watch some hockey in the fall and help fill up some seats in your arena. It costs the same as watching the game here in Vancouver as it is to flying to Phoenix and watching the game there.

Ok, back to hockey…

The surprise of the Playoffs has to be Mike Smith backstopping the Coyotes to the second round. Did anyone see this coming? Sure did; he was pretty darn good in the regular season also and the fact that they played against Leaky Crawford helped them out lots. Chicago, your organization seriously needs a goalie, and no…you cannot have one of ours.

Saying that, Pekka is no Crawford and the Preds D is second to none. It will be hard for the Yotes offence to get through Nashville’s tight checking defense. Doan and company will need to keep punishing the opposing team with hits to wear them down if they hope to get to the net for some dirty scoring chances.

Weber shoots a Laser at something. What is that something? I don't know, that's why I said something...

Who wants to block a booming shot from the point a la Weber? I don’t, I don’t…unless you are paying me millions of dollars a year to do it. Not many people in the league would either, but if you wish to win in the playoffs…just drop down and hope that it doesn’t catch you in the wrong place. Scoring for either team will be at a premium due to the solid goaltending from both ends of the rink so it goes without saying that whatever scoring chances either team has, they better finish it. I do have a feeling that this will be the longest series in NHL history with every game going to at least two overtimes. Both goalies will have a combined 5 shutouts for this series. Just kidding…only 4 shutouts…the 5th game will be a high scoring affair; the score will be 3-2.

Phoenix or Predators? My money is on…The Preds in 5.

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