Dallas Stars fans may not pay attention to the Western Conference Final round. That's understandable, given the Stars were one game away from advancing to this round themselves. The sting of elimination is still fresh. But the playoffs continue onward, and the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues find themselves vying for their shot at a first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Who takes that opportunity by advancing from this round?
Taylor: I don't have strong feelings for this series, so I'm going to go with the team a buddy of mine roots for (you're welcome, Chris!) and the one that will eliminate those that eliminated the Dallas Stars. Sharks in 7.
Erin: I may ignore every second of this series (or at least the first few games until I get over the sting), but it's an interesting matchup. San Jose hasn't seen teams playing at their best yet in this post-season and did struggle at times with Nashville. I like their depth against St. Louis workmanlike approach, but the Blues win in goal, and we all know how important that is. With gritted teeth, Blues in 6.
Robert: It is important to be objective about predictions. I definitely hope we see a good series and that only fifty-two pianos fall on top of Scottrade Center during a Blues practice, trapping all the players (unharmed) inside for so long that they have to forfeit the series as well as eat their stick tape and practice pucks for sustenance, which would be really tough for the half of their roster that doesn't already do that anyway. Sharks in 4.
Wes: Do a pair of seven game series take a toll on the Blues? Can San Jose keep up their 30% Power Play? Both dethroned a former champion, both closed out an unexpected upstart emphatically, and both would kill to end the "x always chokes" narrative. I think San Jose's superior scoring depth, especially Brent Burns, tip this one over. Sharks in 7.
Ann: Neither team has made it past this point before, so it's going to be new territory for both. The Blues played two seven game series, and the Stars poked some holes in their goal tending. (Not enough *sad trombone*). The Sharks have more depth and two of the playoff's top scorers. It'll be a fight but I believe in the Sharks. (Also in Pavelski's personality to beat the Tarasenko bots in the EA NHL 17 cover vote.) Also I can't pick the Blues. Like. Constitutionally. Sharks in 7.
Melissa: Although I'm tempted to pick the Sharks in four because I don't want to see the Blues happy ever again, this won't be an easy series for either team. Thornton and Pavelski both had points in San Jose's Game 7 win over the Preds, and they come up big this round, too. Sharks in 7.
Huw: It is possible that the Sharks have finally shaken their choking curse. But I think the Blues have the upper hand in this series, despite the Sharks success so far. Blues in 6.