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New Blood in the NHL West

April 25, 2012

In the NHL, there are 3 seventh and deciding games in the preliminary round all in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile in the Western Conference, “new blood” is the order of the day. None of the four first round winners; St.Louis, Los Angeles, Phoenix or Nashville has ever won the Stanley Cup. One of them will play for the Stanley Cup in the NHL Finals about one month from now.

Only the Los Angeles Kings, among the four West first round winners has made the Cup Finals since 1970, the last year in which the NHL had an “all expansion team” division whose playoff winner automatically made the Finals. The St. Louis Blues were the “expansion team division” winner in each of its 3 years of existence, losing to the more established division winner in 4 straight games all three times. The Kings who will face the Blues next, won its 1993 Finals opener at Montreal but lost the next four games.

The other Western Conference semi-final matches the Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators. Phoenix and Nashville are two cities whose previous association with ice usually involved vodka. The Predators are in their 13th season and won just their 2nd playoff series ever when they beat Detroit in 5 games. The Coyotes, who came into the NHL as the Winnipeg Jets in 1979-1980, have a longer, more incredible history of playoffs failure. They just ended a 12 playoff series losing streak when they ousted Chicago and have won just three playoff series in their NHL history.

Some history will be made in and from the NHL West. Either Phoenix or Nashville will make its first semi-finals appearance. Nashville is favored to win the series though Phoenix has the home ice advantage. Thus far in the NHL, playoffs road teams are (28-17) going (15-6) in the Western Conference games. St. Louis which had an outstanding regular season has home ice advantage (?) and is favored in its series vs Los Angeles.

 

Phoenix Coyotes Cheerleader

 

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One Comment
  1. Good post and I think It is nice to see hockey non-hockey markets make it but I also think these kinds of series are the becoming all too normal in the NHL this year and I don’t think that’s going to be good for NBC’s ratings. It’s going to be a boring second and third round in the Western Conference and hopefully this isn’t a trend in the NHL. It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops over the next couple of years and what the NHL wants to do about this, if anything. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love ot hear what you have to say http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/defence-first-ratings-last/

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