Western conference semifinals.
Detroit Red Wings (1) - San Jose Sharks (5)
The Detroit Red Wings finished in first place of the Western conference and defeated the Calgary Flames in 6 games during the first round. The Wings offensively can count on Niklas Lidstrom who registered 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points during the first round, Pavel Datsyuk with 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points and Johan Franzen with 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points were the best offensive players for Detroit during the first round. The Wings can also count on Dominik Hasek in their net. The team has a nice balance between offense, defense, youth and experience.
The San Jose Sharks finished 5th of the conference then defeated the Nashville Predators in 5 quick games during the first round. Offensively, Patrick Marleau has 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points. Joe Thornton has 6 assists, and still only 1 career playoff goal. Craig Rivet, acquired from the Montreal Canadiens during the season is the best San Jose defensemen this far in the playoffs with 2 goals and 3 assists.
The Sharks are already beyond what I expected from them. I tought that they would lose during the first round but they played a very good series against Nashville and managed to defeat them pretty quickly. But this time they are facing a better team and I doubt that they can win more than 2 games against the Wings.
The Detroit Red Wings in 6 games.
Anaheim Ducks (2) - Vancouver Canucks (3)
The Anaheim Ducks finished in 2nd place of the conference then defeated the Minnesota Wild during the first round in 5 games. The series with Minnesota was a real defensive battle and the Ducks showed their defensive power. The Ducks' main offensive weapons this far in the playoffs consist in Chris Pronger who registered 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points and Ryan Getzlaf with 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points. Jean-Sebastien Giguere will be in front of Anaheim's net and is among the best goaltenders in the league.
The Vancouver Canucks finished 3rd of the conference and defeated the Dallas Stars in 7 games during the first round. The best offensive players for the Canucks thru round one are: Taylor Pyatt and Trevor Linden with 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points. Don't count out Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Brendan Morrisson and Markus Naslund. Goaltender Roberto Luongo will be in net for Vancouver. Two of the best goaltenders of the NHL will face each other in this series.
I predict a Vancouver win in 6 games.