So who will the Preds face? We’ve got the scenarios…
- Updated: April 25, 2011
So you want to know who the Nashville Predators will play in their first ever second round appearance? Well, we can tell you who it won’t be. The San Jose Sharks. There is no scenario where the Preds will have to play the Pacific Division Champions in the Western Conference Semifinals.
This comes from the Stanley Cup Playoff format. In the NHL, the highest advancing seed plays the lowest advancing seed and then the two middle advancing seeds play each other. If the Sharks win their series (which would obviously have to happen in order for the Preds to face them), they would be removing the #7 seed from the postseason and the #6-Phoenix Coyotes are already out. So, if #8-Chicago wins their series, they’ll be the lowest seed and they’d play the highest advancing seed (San Jose). If the Canucks win, they’ll play the lowest advancing seed (Nashville). So, in short, San Jose is the only team that the Predators cannot play in the second round.
As to who they will play is a total crap shoot, however. The Detroit Red Wings were the only Western Conference team to have already closed out their series by the time Nashville closed out theirs. The Vancouver Canucks had a 3-0 series lead on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhaws but, thanks to a (rumored) injury to goaltender Roberto Luongo, all of a sudden the Blackhawks have won three in a row to force a Game 7 on Tuesday night in British Columbia. The San Jose Sharks had a commanding 3-1 series lead on the Los Angeles Kings but ran into a red hot Jonathan Quick who made a Kings franchise record 51 saves on Saturday to force a Game 6 in that series.
So, with everything up in the air, the Predators will try to rest up and get ready for their next opponent. No matter who that might be.
Here are the scenarios that will determine who the Preds will play in the second round.
The Predators will play the Canucks in the Western Conference Semifinal if #1-Vancouver and #2-San Jose win their first round match-ups.
The Predators will play their archrival the Detroit Red Wings in the second round if the #8-Chicago Blackhawks and #2-San Jose Sharks win their respective series. The two Central Division foes could also face-off against one another if #1-Vancouver Canucks and the #7-Los Angeles Kings win their Game 7’s.
The Predators would face-off against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Semi’s if the #7-Los Angeles Kings dethrone the Pacific Division champion (and Stanley Cup favorite) #2-San Jose Sharks and the #8-Chicago Blackhawks finish their comeback against the President Trophy winning #1-Vancouver Canucks.
UPDATE: As good friend of the site Paul Nicholson pointed out in the comments, the Predators would actually have home-ice in the Kings scenario.