Dynasty Hockey League

Western Conference – First Round Predictions

Vegas vs Nashville

First of all, congratulations to Vegas for making the playoffs in their inaugural season as all the expansion deals quickly pay dividends. Even though they play the top-seeded Predators in the first round, this series is not a cake walk. Nashville’s strength is their ability to prevent goals against while is a team Vegas possesses great offense from the centre position to generate their offence. Nashville is stronger on the wingers while Vegas have the edge on defense. If Jacob Markstrom can steal a game, this series can go the distance but this should go to Nashville in 6 games.

Vancouver vs San Jose

Two evenly matched teams that both come into the playoffs on hot streaks so who can carry that momentum forward? The battle hear will be the offense of San Jose versus the defense and goaltending of Vancouver. Vancouver is the lowest scoring Western Conference team to make the post-season and rely upon the defense to generate a lot of their offense. Not sure if this is the recipe for success in the NHL post-season but it could prove successful in the SIM world. Our prediction is a hard fought 7 game series that will see Vancouver move on.

Colorado vs St. Louis

Kind of feeling sorry for Colorado as they strung together a 9 game winning streak prior to losing their final game of the season and fell from the #2 seed to the #6 seed and face perennial power house St. Louis. As this features the two strongest offenses in the West, this should be a high scoring and very entertaining series as both teams really only employ 3 lines and will fatigue play any part in the outcome? Another long series is predicted but we’ll hedge our bet on St. Louis in 6 games; however, if it goes to the seventh game, we’ll throw cash on Andrei Vasilevski carrying Colorado through to the 2nd round.

Chicago vs Minnesota

The #4 seed Wild host the #5 seed Blackhawks and like all series in this conference, this will be a close affair. Chicago is poised to be a playoff threat for the next 10 seasons but will they be able to generate enough offense to defeat Minnesota this season? Conversely, can Minnesota shelter their weaker defenseman so that Chicago doesn’t exploit them? As with all series, the longer a series goes, we like the stronger goaltender and we like John Gibson here to carry Chicago though this round in 6 games.

Also in honour of the Vegas Golden Knights making their first playoff appearance, we offer the following Western Conference odds:

Nashville: 3 to1
St. Louis: 7 to2
Minnesota: 7 to1
Chicago: 7 to 1
Colorado: 15 to 2
San Jose: 15 to 2
Vancouver: 8 to 1
Vegas: 12 to 1

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