#3 Vancouver (49-28-5, 103 pts)
#6 Los Angeles (46-27-9, 101 pts)
Regular season series (Canucks lead 3-1)
Vancouver Key Numbers
Power Play: 20.9%
Penalty Kill: 81.6%
Last ten: 5-4-1
Major injuries: Shane O’Brien (day to day), Ryan Johnson (day to day), Willie Mitchell
Los Angeles Key Numbers
Power Play: 21%
Penalty Kill: 80.1%
Last ten: 4-3-3
Major injuries: None
Click for predictions
This series is going to get very interesting, and has the potential to be as intense as last year’s Canucks-Blackhawks series. Once again, we have a team that had been out of the postseason for far too long finally making a triumphant return. Led by bruising power forward and captain Dustin Brown, the Kings have all the makings of an upset. Roberto Luongo has appeared shaky at times this season, and the Kings appear ready to get the Staples Center rocking again.
Los Angeles in 6
I don’t like either goalies in this series. Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo was steller in the Olympics, but he’s still a giant mystery when it comes to the postseason. His game disappeared last year. The Kings’ Jonathon Quick has not been playing well during the stretch run at the end of the season. So I made my decision based on the offenses. Vancouver’s O is just too much for the Kings’ D to handle. I’ll take the Sedin Brothers over Kopitar and Brown. The X-Factor in this series is going to be the play of Kings’ defensemen Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson. They could spark a rally for L.A. Easier said than done though.
Vancouver in 5
Henrik and Daniel Sedin in company lead a balanced offensive team. Roberto Luongo, who backstopped Canada to a gold medal in hometown Vancouver, will be the difference though. Jonathan Quick will be starting in his first career playoff series. The Kings have had an impressive season, but I like the depth of the Vancouver Canucks in this series.
Vancouver in 6