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2013 Western Conference first-round matchups are set

Apr 28, 2013, 1:17 AM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v St. Louis Blues - Game Two Getty Images

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

The last time these two teams faced off, the Canucks beat the Sharks 4-1 in the 2011 Western Conference finals. You may recall the bizarre Kevin Bieksa goal that ended that series in OT.

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).

  1. jimw81 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    i think ducks come out of west. most consistent team all around this season.

    • acepylut - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Huh????

  2. 13datsyuk13 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    I think the ducks are out in the first round! It’s not easy playing the scrappy team in the first round.

    • budzo83 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      The Wings have played too far below their potential and lack the physical element needed to be called “scrappy.”

      • clefty1 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        You could not be more wrong as far as a lack of physical element budzo13, obviously you have not watched the last couple of weeks…

  3. se7enbladez - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Yes most consistent team? Why aren’t they first seed then?

  4. se7enbladez - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Also the ducks have been playing great of late, too funny.

  5. deezenucks - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Chicago, Detroit, Vancouver and St. Louis

  6. profsudz - Apr 28, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Should be an interesting first round when the top 3 seeds all lose.

  7. thewaytonever - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    blackhawks, ducks, sharks, kings

  8. Jeff - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    Wild, Ducks, Canucks, Kings

  9. sjsharks86 - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Hawks, Wings, Sharks, Kings

  10. wannabebluesplayer - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Chicago, Detroit, San Jose, St. Louis

  11. polegojim - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    James –

    Can you confirm the last time that all Orig 6 teams were in the playoffs?

    Looks like 1996 from what I can find… 17 years.

    Very cool.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Nice catch! Given that five will be in the same conference starting next year, one would have to think the chances of this happening again aren’t the best.

  12. tfaltin - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Chicago in 5 – too much talent. Detroit in 6 – healthy and getting hot at the right time. San Jose in 6 – sleepy talent, great at home, and the Canucks will always be fragile. Blues in 7 – Physical and low scoring series won by the team who will want it more.

  13. blomfeld - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    CALIFORNIA RULES !!!

    Unlike fake lockouts or contrived labor impasses whose endings are easy to predict, the NHL playoffs are an entirely different story. Nonetheless, I say that along with Chicago, the state of California will see “all three” of it’s teams emerge victorious from the first round! And I say that they do that in a most “convincing” fashion! Check it out … :)

    – Kings in 4
    – Ducks in 4
    – Sharks in 4
    – Hawks in 4 … possibly 5

    • imauggiedoggie - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      …bahahaha!

  14. clefty1 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Chicago has to much for the Wild to handle this one will be a short series. The Wings are hot at the right time and took 2 games at the Pond this season for once the Wings are a lower seeded team that a higher one does not want to play, Wings in 6. The Blues and Kings will be low scoring and tight checking with the Kings getting through IMO. Goaltending could be the story in the Sharks-Canucks series it all depends on which Vancouver goalie decides to grab the reigns but I think the Sharks will prevail..With the exception of the Wild-Hawks series the others will go at least 6-7 games.

  15. thehighcountrybear - Apr 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    blomfeld:

    After looking at your calls, I was wondering if you’d like to join me and the guys for saturday night poker…?

    • blomfeld - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:15 AM

      Friend .. I have to admit that my executive predictions above, are probably more a product of my heart than my brain ! :)

  16. dtownbeatdown - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Chicago, Detroit, San Jose, St. Louis

    Then

    Detroit, St. Louis

    Then

    Detroit vs Penguins in the cup

    Then Detroit raises it’s last Western Conference Stanley Cup win.

    Hey a man can wish.

    ( I actually think St. Louis might be being overlooked )

    • manchestermiracle - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Perhaps St. Louis is being overlooked, but when you’re 0-7 in your last 7 games against the Kings….Detroit winning the Cup from the 7th seed isn’t likely, but the Kings won from the 8th seed last year so it’s possible, just not probable. The San Jose/Vancouver series will be interesting. Both of those teams tend to fold like a card table in the playoffs so I’m wondering who survives. Picking Chicago seems like an easy prediction, leaving you 1-3.

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