NHL 2012 Western Conference Playoff Picture
Wings vs. Predators: Central Division Contenders Clash
After leading the Western Conference Central division for the bulk of the season, the Detroit Red Wings slumped late and have been in a battle for second place, with the Nashville Predators for about a month now. Those two teams will likely land as the fourth and fifth seeds in the opening round of the playoffs.
Home ice advantage will be up for grabs during the weekend as the Predators close against the Stars and Flames while the Wings will battle the Devils and Blackhawks. The ‘Hawks have a backdoor shot at either fourth or fifth but would need to win their last two games (Wings and Wild) and have the Preds and/or Wings lose their last two contests. We don’t see that happening and look forward to the Wings VS Preds match-up.
Vancouver Canucks & St. Louis Blues Battle For First Overall
Home ice advantage throughout the Western Conference is also on the line this weekend. The defending Champion Vancouver Canucks currently hold a slim two point lead over the St. Louis Blues. The Conference winner gets a date with the Sharks, Coyotes, or Kings – as those three teams battle for their division lead.
What’s amazing in the West is that the Sharks (8th) or Coyotes (7th) could finish as high as third overall in the Conference as that spot is currently held by the Los Angeles Kings. With one point separating the three clubs, their final two games will have a definite playoff feel. The Kings and Sharks battle each other twice, while the ‘Yotes close against the Blues and the Wild this weekend. Pre playoff – playoff action, if you will.
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