WestPlayoffs

8 reasons why the Western Conference won’t win the Stanley Cup

The Western Conference has been labeled the more difficult of the two conferences in 2013-14. That point is certainly debatable, but several of the league’s top teams call the Western Conference home. Will this regular season success translate into a Stanley Cup for one of these Western teams? We’re not so sure.

Here are eight reasons (one for each playoff team) why a representative of the Western Conference won’t be hoisting the Stanley Cup. If you disagree, here are eight reasons why the East will come up empty.

DucksPlayoffs

Anaheim Ducks
By: Laura Astorian
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A Bruce Boudreau coached team finishes with the top record in the conference, and then is knocked out in the first or second round. The Ducks have been built for regular season success, but for whatever reason, Boudreau’s coaching style doesn’t translate well into postseason play. Maybe it will this year, since Anaheim’s defense is more competent than any that the coach has had to work with in the past, but I’m not sure if Teemu will go out with a ring.

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WildPlayoffs

Minnesota Wild
By: Laura Astorian
Ilya Bryzgalov has been stellar since coming over from the Edmonton Oilers. He’s 7-0-3, which is impressive considering that the Wild have been either red hot or ice cold. This streakiness, coupled with the fact that they’re going to have to deal with the Colorado Avalanche, might not get them past the first round. But hey, at least Bryz has gotten over his fear of bears… right?

BluesPlayoffs

St. Louis Blues
By: David Rogers
The Blues have the least momentum heading into the playoffs. The team dropped their last six games in convincing fashion and they’re trying to overcome injuries to over 50% of their forwards. While some of the bigger names are expected to be back in time for the playoffs, injuries may prove to be the demise of the 2013-14 Blues.

Oh, and there’s some very real doubts concerning Ryan Miller. The Blues hoped he’d be the last piece of the puzzle, but fans are nervous after seeing him post a .903 save percentage over 19 games.

AvsPlayoffs

Colorado Avalanche
By: David Rogers
The Avs have been an incredible story under Patrick Roy, but will the magic last? They drew an optimal opponent in the Minnesota Wild in the first round, but they still have some glaring weaknesses. One of these is puck possession (Corsi percentage of 47.3%, 25th in the NHL) which may be a huge issue if the Avalanche make a deep playoff run.

StarsPlayoffs

Dallas Stars
By: Laura Astorian
The Stars had to fight and battle and scrape and claw to get into the playoffs, and they did an excellent job of it. What is their reward? The Anaheim Ducks. The Stars’ offense can be explosive, but their top goaltender, Kari Lehtonen, hasn’t seen a playoff game since 2007 – and the two that he played for the Thrashers were not pretty. Lehtonen’s matured – hopefully his luck’s gotten better.

KingsPlayoffs

Los Angeles Kings
By: David Rogers
One word: Offense. The Kings had the best defense in the NHL in 2013-14, holding the opposition to roughly two goals a night. Offensively, things weren’t quite as glorious. The Kings lit the lamp an average of 2.42 times per game, a number which ranks near the bottom of the NHL. If the Kings endure another stretch where goals are lacking, the Kings may be making a quick playoff exit.

BlackhawksPlayoffs

Chicago Blackhawks
By: David Rogers
It all comes down to the health of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. That may seem like an obvious statement, but if Kane and Toews aren’t at their best, you won’t see a parade in Chicago. The duo are expected to be “ready to go” for the first game of Round 1, but who knows just how close to 100% they will be.

The Blackhawks also haven’t been their best on the road, as evidenced by their 19-14-8 record in 2013-14. It takes strong road efforts to win a Cup, which might disastrous for the Blackhawks.

SharksPlayoffs

San Jose Sharks
By: Laura Astorian
It’s the Sharks. They’re an excellent team, and efficient team, and have no glaring holes. They’ll make it to the second round before they remember that they’re supposed to be a bridesmaid. Their constant playoff exits are impossible to pinpoint a cause for – which is probably why they keep happening every year.

David Rogers

About David Rogers

Managing Editor of the NHL blog Puck Drunk Love, the St. Louis Blues blog Frozen Notes and Awful Advertisements, a blog on ...awful advertisements. Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing.

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