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The West’s second round is set

Apr 24, 2012, 12:05 AM EDT

Jaroslav Halak, Jarret Stoll AP

If you love goals, you might want to put the Penguins-Flyers series on “save until delete” status on your DVR. The Western Conference’s semifinals bracket is chock-full of tight-checking teams, with these two intriguing matchups coming down the pike:

2. St. Louis Blues vs. 8. Los Angeles Kings

3. Phoenix Coyotes vs. 4. Nashville Predators

It’s strange that three of the top four seeds advanced to the second round yet that foursome seems to defy conventional wisdom. Balmy weather could very well be a factor for three “non-traditional” ice surfaces. The Blues haven’t smelled the first round since 2002. The Coyotes haven’t been to the semifinals since 1987 (when they were the Winnipeg Jets) while the Predators are on their second-ever trip to round two.

In other words, expect a lot of new faces but probably not a ton of goals.

Actually, that brings me to a fun question to get things started: if you could roll with any of the goalies on those four teams, which one would you choose? It’s almost as tough to make that call as it is to score on these squads.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Kings and Preds, winner of that wins the Cup.

    • oside760 - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      kings

  2. hockinj25 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    I’m going to say Preds and Blues advance with an average of 3 goals per game.

    • capsrockva - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      I’ll agree with both of those goalies

    • oside760 - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      yes the blues will average 3 goals per game vs quick… ur dumb

      • hockinj25 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

        No you’re the dumb one. I’m saying each game will only have 3 goals total.

  3. xaf605 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I’ll go with some pekka rinne

  4. nobandwagoners - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    The more I think about it, I’m betting that the Preds will make it out of the West. Great goal-tending, some great anchors on the blue line and pretty deep and well-rounded forwards. Their time is now given the roster uncertainty for the next year; maybe that’ll provide that extra motivation.

  5. misterlucid - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Im guessing Preds and Blues in WCF. Should be a great matchup if that happens.

    Blues have a tough matchup with Kings first. Heres to some great hockey ahead

  6. misterlucid - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Rinne

  7. islandersfan - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    “Actually, that brings me to a fun question to get things started: if you could roll with any of the goalies on those four teams, which one would you choose? It’s almost as tough to make that call as it is to score on these squads.”

    Quick, with a nod to Rinne. the Other three (Elliot, Halak, Smith) have had amazing years, but if you look past this year each have had their ups and downs. This year each was given a team with great defense and thrived in it. (Not to minimize their accomplishments this year, Crawford’s got a pretty good Defense as well and he wasn’t that good, same as Luongo)

    Quick and Rinne have both been very good for a long haul, giving their resumes a longevity the other three just don’t have. Only reason I give Quick a slight nod over Rinne is Quick’s rebound control may be slightly better, but I am really splitting hairs with that. Any team would be ecstatic to have either goalie.

    • balewsquare - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:57 AM

      Great post. I agree with everything you said (even if I didn’t it’s still a good post). These are the types of comments that are fun to read.

  8. bensawesomeness - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    As upset as i am that my team isn’t around any more, i’m estatic for these matchups

  9. blomfeld - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    ATTENTION ALL LA KINGS FANS !

    Gather round friends … hey man, how’s it going ? I don’t know about you guys, but today I seriously felt like I was floating about on clouds, such is the joy which I’m feeling from last night’s glorious victory … what a terrific win for us ! For the longest time ever, “I” probably like “you” have been absolutely ridiculed for being an “ardent and unwavering” supporter of the Los Angeles Kings … well look who’s laughing now, eh ! :) We did it friends and we did it in grand style ! I’m so proud of our team and I’m so proud to be a fan of the Los Angeles Kings … our team ! :)

    Now our next opponent is apparently going to be the Blues. Well I can’t say that I know any more about them than the next guy ? However, I do understand that this next round won’t be very easy. Nonetheless, if we can dispatch the “very best” which the NHL has to offer in only 5 games, then I’m convinced that we can beat anybody at anytime and that the sky’s the limit ! God bless you friends and enjoy our wonderful victory in the meantime, before we reform again in just a few days time for round two …

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    PS to O’Brien: … “Actually, that brings me to a fun question to get things started: if you could roll with any of the goalies on those four teams, which one would you choose? It’s almost as tough to make that call, as it is to score on these squads”.

    answer: it probably is, if you’re missing a pair of eyes and a brain ! .. the answer to your question my friend is Comrade Quick ! … end of story ! :)

  10. harrisryan - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    You have to go with Rinne.

    If you’re talking just purely stopping the puck you could pick any of them and you would sleep well. Rinne does some of his best work when he leaves the crease. He is the best puck handling goalie I have seen in a while. You realize he had 5 assists this year? 5!!

    Go back and watch the Red wings series, they tried over and over again to dump and chase; every time the puck passed the D-men, Rinne was there. He always held the puck, waited for a red wing to commit, and then he would send the puck the other way. (Smith is pretty good here too, but Rinne is tops)

    Seriously how often in the last 10 years have you watched a goalie play the puck as often as Pekka does, and not had you sphincter tighten?

  11. vshehane - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Rinne.

  12. dahutz - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    In Rinne We Trust

  13. wicky888 - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Can’t believe we are even discussing these 4 teams out of the west. Maybe an AFC tandem of the Jaguars, Bills, Browns, Raiders, Dolphins and Titans will bless us with their presence in the NFL playoffs this year. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. I was tired of seeing Detroit, San Jose, Chicago and Vancouver every year. My vote is for Nashville.

  14. lsxphotog - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    These matchups may not be what people expected to see…but they’re going to be closer games than ever. Nashville is my favorite for the west…they seem to be the deepest team out there that doesn’t HAVE to rely on goaltending every night to win…but they have it.

  15. betrayedbylife - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    remember when the entire PHT staff picked the penguins to win the cup? lol.

  16. highlander24 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    GO KINGS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

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