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Upset Alert On For Western Conference Quarterfinal Series

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/29/2013 7:31:07 PM

The NHL Western Conference was about the Chicago Blackhawks and then everyone else this regular season. The Blackhawks finished with the league’s best online sportsbook record tallying 77 points, 11 more than the Anaheim Ducks for top spot in the West. The Ducks still feel they can challenge Chicago for the chance to represent in the Stanley Cup finals, but first they have to get past a tough test from the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round.

Western Conference Quarterfinal – Best of 7
(2) Anaheim Ducks vs. (7) Detroit Red Wings

Anaheim finished second to only the Blackhawks in the West, but gets the much tougher online betting match up against a veteran Detroit team that finished the regular season with four-straight wins and points in eight of their last 10. The Red Wings needed to play a postseason style of hockey just to get in, and they fit in nicely right between the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild in the first round to match up with the Ducks. Detroit was able to overcome some of its inconsistencies from earlier in the year in order to make it in, and will need to build on that strong play now that they are here. However, Anaheim has a deep group of physical forwards that will wear down the Red Wings’ stars as the series wears on, and that will make it tough on them. Detroit took two of three from the Ducks during the regular season, but expect a more physical, tight-checking environment as Anaheim comes out on top in what should be the closest first round series in the Western Conference.

NHL Betting Pick: Ducks in Seven

Western Conference Quarterfinal – Best of 7
(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) San Jose Sharks

The Canucks finished with the third-best record in the West, but won’t have it any easier against San Jose for round one. The Sharks swept the three-game season series against Vancouver this year, holding them to just five total goals. Joe Thornton and company haven’t forgotten about losing to the Canucks in the 2011 Western Conference finals, and that should make for an emotional and physical series this time around. San Jose was one of the top defensive teams in the NHL during the regular season, and that should make them much tougher to play against in the postseason.

The window is closing for veterans like Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dan Boyle to deliver for the Sharks, and they could take advantage of the fact that Cory Schneider is hurt and Roberto Luongo hasn’t seen a lot of action for Vancouver over this past month of online sports betting action. The Canucks didn’t get the same level of production from the Sedin twins throughout the year, and San Jose plays a physical brand of hockey that will limit what they can do up front in order to put even more pressure on the Canucks’ depth forwards.

NHL Betting Pick: Sharks in Six

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