Conference Finals Predictions

Feb. 21, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) stretches across the goal to stop Phoenix Coyotes left wing Ray Whitney (13) on a break away during the first period at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The match-ups for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals are set, and we are ready to get the ball rolling tonight when the LA Kings and Phoenix Coyotes meet for Game 1 in the West.

I went 2 for 4 in the last round for predictions, bringing me to a respectable 8 for 12 in an anything but predictable playoffs.

In the West, I am going to stick with the LA Kings. I have picked them since day 1 of the playoffs and they have come through for me. I believe the goaltending match-up is basically a wash, Jonathan Quick and Mike Smith have been equally outstanding and there is no reason to believe they won’t continue to be so. I think the Kings forwards are more skilled than Coyotes, and have more of the grit that will be needed to score on Smith. I think this will be a series where you are going to have to throw pucks out front and crash the net to score, and I think LA has the edge in this department. I will take the Kings in 6 games in this one.

I think the Eastern Final is a toss up, but I will take the New Jersey Devils over the New York Rangers. The Devils have gotten the rest that every team covets during a playoff run, they will be fresher, healed and ready to go. The Rangers I think are a deeper team, but have been through two tough 7 gamers already and only get one day of rest before meeting NJ for Game 1 on Monday night. I am going to take the Devils in 6 games to win the Eastern crown.

Whatever the outcomes of these series may be, I think we are in for some great, close checking, tight scoring games in both series and we could be treated to some multiple overtime as well.

Topics: LA Kings, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL, Phoenix Coyotes, Playoffs

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