Apr 28, 2013, 1:17 AM EDT
Saturday presented a range of emotions for Western Conference fans, who went from crossing their fingers for preferable seeding to pondering all the ways two teams will exploit each others’ weaknesses.
Here are the four quarterfinal matchups in the West in 2013:
1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. 8) Minnesota Wild
The Blackhawks haven’t played against a Minnesota team in the postseason since the North Stars knocked them out 4-2 in 1991. (Click here for a little more on this series.)
2) Anaheim Ducks vs. 7) Detroit Red Wings
As former Ducks blogger Earl Sleek points out, the two teams have had a quirky tendency to meet in odd playoff years. They’ve met in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2009 and now 2013. In fact, Mike Babcock once coached a lower-seed Anaheim team against a favored Red Wings squad and now finds himself in the opposite situation.
3) Vancouver Canucks vs. 6) San Jose Sharks
4) St. Louis Blues vs. 5) Los Angeles Kings
The Kings might go into this series as the favorites despite the lower seed. They swept the Blues in the two teams’ 2012 playoff series and swept this season’s three games to boot (winning by at least two goals in every contest in 2013).
- Blackhawks tease good injury news for Kane 1
- Tough times in Tampa: Garrison out 3-4 weeks after ‘pretty dirty’ Abdelkader hit 19
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 29
- NHL on NBCSN: Stakes high for Kings, ‘Hawks tonight 21
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 12
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 13
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 18
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump 7
- Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings 4