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If you missed the Eastern Conference Preview you can find it here. We’ll be diving into the Western Conference Here. The West is where you earn your hockey fandom, 9 pm and 10 pm starts, every night, work nights, weekends, back-to-back to back nights. If you live in the Central or Eastern time zones and you’re dialed into the Western Conference playoffs, good for you.
Vegas Golden Nights vs Winnipeg Jets
Series Starts: Tuesday 4/18, 9:30 pm EST
Vegas is hot right now, winning 14 of their last 20 heading into the playoffs. Winnipeg has just been pretty steady all year. They won some big games down the stretch to keep their wild card spot, but I wouldn’t say they’ve been lighting the world on fire. The Jets do play a strong defensive game which might slow Vegas down a little bit. I wouldn’t think too much about this one, Vegas swept the season series 3-0 (1 OT win).
Game 1 Pick: Over 5.5 (-120)
Series Pick: Vegas in 5
Colorado Avalanche vs Seattle Kraken
Series Starts: Tuesday 4/18 10:00 PM EST
Similar to the Boston vs Florida series, this series features a Division winner riding high 17-4-3 since the trade deadline taking on a wild card team that may have a little more fight than a lot of people are ready to admit. Since January 1 Seattle is 5th in the league 5v5 efficiency, Colorado is 2nd. All 3 games during the regular season were 1 goal games, Seattle won 2 of them. 1 Game went to a shootout, 1 ended in OT and one in regulation.
Game 1 Pick: DRAW (TBD, will update when lines are released) *** (+340) Updated 9:45 AM EST, 4/18
Series Pick: Colorado in 7
Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings
Series Starts: Monday 4/17 10 PM EST
This should be a great series. A lot of people already have the Oilers as a lock to win the West. I don’t know if I’d go that far. Edmonton has won 9 in a row, these teams finished within 5 points of each other in the regular season. The season series was 2-2 with Edmonton winning the most recent two to lock up home ice. The Kings rely on their defense to win games. Their offense is nothing to get too excited about. I just don’t think they have the fire power to win 4 out of 7.
Game 1 Pick: Under 6.5 (-110)
Series Pick: Oilers in 6
Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild
Series Starts: Monday 4/17 9:30 pm EST
Minnesota is getting Kaprizov back which they desperately need. Their ability to score 5×5 has been an issue for a while now. These two teams are pretty even. Minnesota has been better defensively; Dallas has been better offensively. I think Kaprizov will add to Minnesota’s offense, giving them a slight edge.
Game 1 Pick: Minnesota ML (+120)
Series Pick: Wild in 7