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Defending Stanley Cup Champs In Second Round Series With Presidents Trophy Winners

Posted by Carter Brown on 4/29/2013 7:48:09 PM

The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings could not have asked for a better match up in the opening round of the NHL Western Conference playoffs. Los Angeles has dominated the St. Louis Blues since sweeping them on the way to a title in last year’s playoffs, and that is reason to believe they could be destined for a second-round online sports betting series against a Chicago Blackhawks’ team that was dominant during the regular season. The Blackhawks have established themselves as the team to beat in the Western Conference, and that means the Kings once again have something to prove as they look to repeat as champs.

Western Conference Quarterfinal – Best of 7
(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (8) Minnesota Wild

No team was more dominant throughout the regular season than Chicago, which managed to earn at least a point in 41 of its 48 games including 36 sports betting wins. The Blackhawks are projected to have the easier first round series of any of the top seeds in the Western Conference, and that is as much because of their own dominance as it is to do with the Wild’s struggles down the stretch. Minnesota barely held on to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot thanks to a win over the Colorado Avalanche on the final day of the regular season after going 3-5-1 in its previous nine games. The Wild did earn a shootout win over Chicago back in January, but there is no breakaway contest in the postseason and the Blackhawks did win the final two meetings in the season series. The Blackhawks could run in to a little bit of trouble in the second round, but there is no reason to think they won’t get there.

NHL Betting Pick: Blackhawks in Four

Western Conference Quarterfinal – Best of 7
(4) St. Louis Blues vs. (5) Los Angeles Kings

It will be a similar situation for the Kings, which have won seven-straight games against St. Louis dating back to their four-game series sweep during last year’s run to the Stanley Cup finals. The Blues don’t have enough firepower up front to keep up with Los Angeles when they falter defensively, and that has been exactly the case all year as St. Louis allowed a total of 14 goals in three-straight losses to the Kings. Brian Elliott was much more consistent over the final month of the regular season, but even with the additions of Jay Boumeester and Jordan Leopold there is reason to believe the Blues’ defensive core will struggle to contain the Los Angeles forwards. There will be a sense of urgency for Los Angeles with the likelihood they will match up with Chicago in the second round, so look for the Kings to try and take care of business as quickly and cleanly as possible in an online betting series they have dominated overall.

NHL Betting Pick: Kings in Five

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