Western Conference

The heavy favorite may get knocked off its game, while old pros in Colorado and Dallas will be pressed
April 13, 2008

Playoff goaltending ranked 1 (best) to 16 (worst)

1 Red Wings vs. 8 Predators
Nashville's core of edgy young defensemen, including Dan Hamhuis (right), will make life difficult for Henrik Zetterberg (left) and Detroit's other offensive weapons. Thus the Wings must win this series in the trenches and not rely solely on their playmaking ability.

THE PICK
Red Wings in seven

8
15

2 Sharks vs. 7 Flames
Calgary is a physical, no-quit team, but this is a terrible matchup for the club. San Jose is deep offensively, and bruising Flames defensemen Dion Phaneuf (right) and Robyn Regehr can't slow everyone. Expect Sharks left wing Milan Michalek (left) to break out.

THE PICK
Sharks in five

2
4

3 Wild vs. 6 Avalanche
A matchup of great tactical coaches—Minnesota's Jacques Lemaire and Colorado's Joel Quenneville. The Wild need their young stars (Brent Burns, left, is one) to be playoff-ready; the Avalanche need their time-tested veterans (Peter Forsberg, right, is 34) to play with vigor.

THE PICK
Avalanche in seven

6
10

4 Ducks vs. 5 Stars
At 37, does Mike Modano (right) have one more great playoff in him? Not this year. He and fellow scorers Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro go against elite Anaheim checkers Sami Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen, plus snarling backliner Chris Pronger (left).

THE PICK
Ducks in six

3
9

PHOTODAVE SANDFORD/GETTY IMAGES (RED WINGS) PHOTOJOHN RUSSELL/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (PREDATORS) PHOTOKYLE TERADA/US PRESSWIRE (SHARKS) PHOTODAVE REGINEK/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (FLAMES) PHOTOGERRY THOMAS/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (WILD) PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO (AVALANCHE) PHOTOBRUCE KLUCKHOHN/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (DUCKS) PHOTOJIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (STARS) NINE ILLUSTRATIONS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)