Yesterday we previews the East, today we deal with the Western Conference Finals which begin tonight. Without further ado we give you our predictions.
Paul - I saw the Sharks play last night and I think that they will get that monkey off of their backs once and for all making it in for the Stanley Cup Finals. I think they are clearly motivated to upset the Canucks. Even though I saw Vancouver play a physical game (albeit right on the edge), I think top to bottom, San Jose is better in that regard. Plus, they have guys that have been to this dance once before (Danny Boyle 04, Ben Eager 10, and Antti Niemi. However, this might also be a goaltending duel as well which might make for some exciting hockey.
Jordan - After an emotionally draining series that saw them blow several leads, I'm not sure the Sharks have much left in the tank. The Canucks meanwhile may possibly get back Manny Malhotra before the end of this series which would be a huge boost for them. It's too early in his recovery to really make a call on that, but it's at least a possibility. Regardless, they've shown that they have a plenty deep and balanced team in knocking out a very defensively solid and tenacious Nashville squad. If the Sedins get clicking and Luongo doesn't have a meltdown like he started to against Chicago, I'll take Vancouver. But there's always the possibility that the gutless (Marleau), choking (Thornton) Sharks will keep getting all the bounces they need and finally make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, you slice it (in either series really), I'm not going to be terribly happy with who wins the Stanley Cup this year...just sayin'. I'll take the Canucks, just because.
Travis - Sharks. Hopefully they’ve finally shed the weight of all those previous let downs and can make it to the Cup Finals for once. I just can’t bring myself to say the Canucks will win either. I can’t stand them. And another Sunbelt team too. The Cup doesn’t belong where it snows ;)
Carl - The boys from B.C. have been the better of the two on special teams this post season even while sometimes giving up short handed goals like they are candy. I expect the Sedins to have less trouble against the Sharks than they did against the Predators. There are no Webers or Suters on the San Jose blueline. I like the Canucks defensive roster and depth better than San Jose's as well. If Todd McClellan can somehow get guys like Heatley, Marleau, and Thornton to show up every night in the series then they could certainly win it. My problem is history says that isn't going to happen. As much as I'd like to pick the Sharks I can't. I'm taking the Canucks in 6 or 7 games.