NHL Network Manager – Randy Holt
The Vancouver Canucks take home the President’s Trophy for the second consecutive season, despite some inconsistencies, and the fact that they’ve played a big stretch recently without Daniel Sedin. This is a team with plenty of depth up front, as well as a world class goaltending duo, at least in name, in Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. But coming out of the worst division in hockey, outside of the Southeast, I wonder if this team is really as good as their record shows.
That’s part of the reason I’ve picked this as my upset special for the first round. Los Angeles has the best goaltender in the Western Conference, if not the league, in Jonathan Quick. He’s been stellar, and he’s got a good group of guys playing in front of him, at least defensively. The Kings are no. 2 in the NHL in goals allowed, coming in just behind the St. Louis Blues. They have big names up front, in Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, and Jeff Carter, that will need to find ways to get the puck in the net. If they can do that, I like the Kings to knock off the Canucks, though it would take seven games to do it.
Prediction: Los Angeles in 7.