2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Western Conference
We have already covered the Eastern Conference matches in Round 1 which can be found here and now it is time to move on to the Western Conference matches.
Colorado Avalanche Vs Minnesota Wild
Colorado come into this series on the back of 2 defeats in their final couple of regular season matches although both were on the road and their last four matches were all on the road and they picked up wins at Vancouver and Edmonton, 5 of their final 10 matches went in to overtime and a record of 7-3 in their final 10 matches looks better than just 2 defeats.
Minnesota could have come in to this series on the back of 5 straight victories but a 7-3 defeat at home to Nashville in their final game brought to an end a 4 match winning streak but they do come here with a 6-4 record in their last 10 matches.
Colorado have not had the greatest of times in post-season in the past, this is the first time they have made the play-offs since 2010 but looking at the last 10 matches in post-season their record is just 2-8 whilst Minnesota’s record is not much better with a record of 3-7 and they have won just 1 of their last 8 matches.
The two sides met in 2003 when the Wild came out on top in a 7 game series and they met again in 2008 when the Avalanche won the series 4-2.
Colorado have won 4 of the last 5 games when coming up against Minnesota and also won both games this year, their first appearance in post-season in 4 years and the Avalanche will be looking to get past the first round but it should be a close series, I can see this series going in favour of the home side in most games until game 6 where I can see the Avalanche going to Minnesota to seal the series 4-2.
Bet: Colorado Avalanche to win the series 4-2 (5.50 Bet365)
St Louis Blues Vs Chicago Blackhawks
St Louis come into the series in shocking form, they lost all of their final 6 matches in regular season which included a 4-2 defeat to the Blackhawks and they have been conceding too many goals and failed to score in their last 2 games of the season too.
The Blackhawks also come here on the losing streak although of only 2 games which included an end of regular season goalfest with a 7-5 defeat to Nashville and their form on the road has not been good, just 2 wins in their last 10 away from home ice.
St Louis have won just 2 of their last 10 matches in post-season and in their last 30 have a record of just 9-21 whilst Chicago have a much better record with 11 wins in their last 14 post-season matches. The two sides have met in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 2002 play-offs and the teams a tied with 2 series victories apiece.
Bet365 cannot split the pair, both are available at 1.90 and St Louis form is a big concern and their post-season form is a concern too whilst the reigning Stanley Cup holders the Chicago Blackhawks usually produce the goods at this time of the season and I just think this could prove straight forward for them so I am siding with Chicago here.
Bet: Chicago Blackhawks to win the series (2.00 Coral)
Anaheim Ducks Vs Dallas Stars
Anaheim are one of the form teams in this years play-offs, they come into this series on the back of 4 straight wins having won the last two on penalties, they have also won 7 of their last 9 games and they have only lost 1 of their last 6 on home ice, in their last 10 post-season games they have a record of 4-6.
Dallas ended the season with a defeat in Phoenix went left them with 4 defeats in their last 7 games and having to go to Anaheim for the first 2 games of this series would be a concern as they have just 3 wins from their last 10 on the road and like Anaheim in their last 10 post-season games they have a record of 4-6.
The two sides met in both 2003 & 2008 in post-season with 1 series win a piece and looking at the last 10 games between the two side the record is 6-4 in favour of Dallas who have also won the last 2.
The Ducks are strong favourites for this series at as short as 1.44 whilst the Stars are available at a high of 2.75 and as the form team you would have to favour the Ducks but not at that price, the other option is to side with them in the handicap (-1.5) betting which is available at 2.10 although correct score of 4-2 looks tempting too at 7.50.
Bets: Anaheim Ducks (-1.5) to win the series (2.10 Ladbrokes)
and Anaheim Ducks to win the series 4-2 (7.50 SkyBet)
San Jose Sharks Vs Los Angeles Kings
The final series in the Western Conference sees the Sharks take on the Kings, San Jose finished off the season with what I would call ‘Patchy’ form, their last 8 matches of the regular season finished with LLWWLLWW but their home form was not too bad with 3 wins from their final 4 games. In previous post-season matches from their last 10 they have a record of 6-4.
Los Angeles really did struggle in the final few weeks of regular season having picked up just 1 victory from their final 5 games which is not great form to be taking in the play-offs especially considering their recent form in post-season, their last 10 matches has produced a record of just 3-7.
These two sides met in post-season in 2011 where the Sharks were 4-2 winners of the series and they met again in 2013 when this time the Kings came out on top with a 4-3 series win. The last 10 matches between the two sides over the past year have been split down the middle with 5 wins apeice although the Sharks have won on their last 8 visits to LA and also 10 of the last 11 visits.
The Sharks home form has been good and add to that their outstanding record when going to LA and they should come through this series with no problems also considering the form of the Kings its hard seeing them picking up too much here so I am going to stick my neck on the line and go for a series whitewash for the Sharks.
Bet: San Jose Sharks to win the series 4-0 (12.00 SkyBet)