Yes, I realize this an extremely last minute playoff preview. I don’t consider myself the king of procrastination for nothing, procrastination is my middle name. If you don’t like the fact that I am writing this at 9pm, as two pucks have already dropped in their respective games, then sue me.

With out farther ado here is my little preview for the first 3 games of the playoffs.

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Huge series right here, might be one of the best western conference series of the playoffs. 2013 Presidents Cup Trophy winners versus a revitalized Wild club. There are a lot of people having the Blackhawks sweeping the Wild, this is going to be a better series than everyone is suggesting.

The Blackhawks started the season red hot, unlike anyone has ever seen in the past decade. Although as of late, they haven’t been the Blackhawks they were in the beginning. However, that’s not saying much, as they still won 11 of their last 15 games, but they just seemed like a different club. That being said, Chicago is still an absolute powerhouse team and a real threat to win the cup. They have the players needed to make a deep run, the defense, the goaltender, head coach, they have it all.

Their competitor, the David in this matchup, is no team to take lightly. They have brought in great players in the name of Suter and Parise to give them that much needed skill to compete with the rest of the league. Their netminding is what brought them this far and inevitably what pushed them into playoff contention.

The Wild are the undeniable underdog here and I am a huge fan of underdogs. Am I saying they win this series no, but I am saying they are a force to be reckon with and will provide the Blackhawks with some real competition.

Pick: Blackhawks in 7

*Note, Niklas Backstrom was injured in pre-game warmups. If he is unable to come back in due time. Chicago wins in 5. Would be a huge loss for the Wild here.

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This is a great matchup, but not getting the attention it deserves. We have the defending Cup champs coming off a fairly quiet season and even from the beginning has gotten little media attention. The Kings are facing off against the St. Louis Blues, who regularly get little media attention if any on the National stage. All of this combines, for a very quiet series, but makes for an excellent matchup.

The Kings are no team to take lightly, they have the experience, in the fact they just won the 2011 Cup and retained the majority of their players, they have the underdog status that they also had last season during playoffs. They are an exceptional team all the way up from goaltending in Quick, straight up to the head coach. They have it all and are serious contenders in my book to make a deep run once again.

Then you have the Blues. Rarely talked about in the in the world of hockey, yet constantly finds themselves in the playoffs. A team with no big league names, no Stamkos’, Toews’ no Crosby’s or Ovechkin’s, yet somehow continue to make waves in the playoffs. The problem with the Blues is they can never seem to make an actual push once they get into the playoffs, always seem to come up short in the opening series. And I don’t think this year will be any different.

Pick: Kings in 5

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This is an epic matchup. One of my favorites. The Detroit Red Wings are a classic hockey team, a much older squad with years upon years of playoff experience, adding to their 22 year playoff appearance streak. They are the class act of the NHL, a constant role models when it comes to NHL teams. However, they are aging quickly and they just barely made it into the playoffs this year coming in at a 7th seed in a weak Western conference.  They aren’t to be taken lightly, but they are not the powerhouse they once used to be.

And their foe, the mighty young Ducks of Anaheim. They have the experience, the fire power, the young bucks, the goalie. They have everything needed to make a decent run this year. They are a team that is often overlooked when it comes to NHL teams, but they are a proven young squad and a great club and as a result I have them going deep.

Pick: Ducks in 6

*editors note* I will be posting the rest of the opening game matchups as they come, i.e. tomorrow and the next day. El Perro Grande will also be posting a NHL playoffs blog tomorrow as well. Its the the Cup baby, no rest for the wicked.

-Gonzo

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