3 Best Western Conference NHL Playoffs Games this week


The coming week in the world of sports will not just be a place for NBA playoff games. The NHL, trying to get a greater share of the North American sports market, will get its chance to leave a very favorable impression.


NHL Western Conference Playoffs, First Round, Game 1:

Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues (Thursday)


The St. Louis Blues had the best record in the National Hockey League with a few weeks left in the regular season, but then everything fell apart for them. Coach Ken Hitchcock looked on in dismay as his team finished the season more poorly than any of the other 15 playoff teams in the NHL. The Blues went 3-7 in their last 10 games, by far the worst closing 10 games of any NHL playoff team. Now, St. Louis will try to get a fresh start and use the playoffs to re-establish itself as a Stanley Cup contender. The Blues looked like the favorite in the middle of March, and now they have to rebuild their identity against the defending Cup champions from Chicago.


NHL Western Conference Playoffs, First Round, Game 1:

Minnesota Wild @ Colorado Avalanche (Thursday)


The Colorado Avalanche, which have been non-contenders in the NHL over the past few seasons, have rocketed into the heart of the playoff discussion by getting the second seed in the Western Conference. Coached by legendary goaltender Patrick Roy, the Avs have shown the passion and desperation needed to succeed in the NHL. Now, Colorado will seek to continue its winning ways, bringing them into the playoffs against the veteran-laden Wild. This is going to be a tough series for Colorado. A young team will have to grow up quickly.


NHL Western Conference Playoffs, First Round, Game 1:

Los Angeles Kings @ San Jose Sharks (Thursday)


The Kings and the Sharks went seven games in a stirring playoff series last spring, and their reunion will be a big deal for anyone who follows hockey on a regular basis. The Sharks and Kings all won on home ice in last year’s playoff series, so by that measurement, San Jose has the edge in this series. However, if there’s a goalie who can win on the road against a tough team, Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick certainly fits the bill. This should be a very close and dramatic series all the way.

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