Frankly, this was the series that I absolutely could not remember the participants in. I just knew there was a Western Conference series… but who… oh! I know! Two teams whose games start at 10:30 Eastern time that I never get to watch!
And, since both of them are a bus ride away from each other on the West Coast, this will probably be a playoff series that I’ll never get to watch as well.
LA was a bit unsteady at times, and with the loss of their star, Anze Kopitar, aren’t exactly a favorite to win the Cup. They’re a good, strong, young team with solid goaltending in Jonathan Quick, and an excellent defenseman in Drew Doughty. Doughty, you might remember, was chosen one pick before the Thrashers’ pick in 2008. He’s matured into a better rounded defenseman than the Thrashers’ choice, Zach Bogosian. I’m fairly sure that probably has something to do with the organization’s ability to groom young prospects or something.
San Jose has experience on their side. Unfortunately, experience hasn’t always been on their side. Excellent as always during the regular season, fans are concerned that the Sharks will go through their annual playoff choke. They are more than able to make it to the conference finals, last year doing so by defeating the favored Detroit Red Wings, but just can’t seem to make it that one step further. They were swept by the eventual Cup champion Blackhawks last season.
The Sharks’ playoff choke rarely begins in the first round. The Kings better watch out, or else they’ll wind up shark bait.
My Prediction (which will probably be wrong): San Jose in six.