Now that the Anaheim Ducks have officially clinched a playoff spot, we can talk about possible playoff match-ups in round one.
The NHL changed the format of the playoffs this season. Under the new system the top three teams of each division automatically qualify for the playoffs. The next two teams with the most points will make the playoffs as the two wild card teams.
The division leader with the most points will face the wild card team with the least points. The division leader with the second most points will face the wild card team with the most points. The remaining second and third seeds in each division will play each other.
So what does this mean for the Ducks?
If the playoffs were to start today, then the Ducks would face the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. Fan reaction has been mixed to this possibility. Some argue it would bring the best out of the Ducks squad by playing their physical cross-town rivals. While others think the Ducks can beat the Kings in a seven game series, but fear players getting hurt in the process. A Ducks-Kings playoff series has NEVER happened so it definitely would be a battle for Southern California hockey fans to remember.
The Ducks are 3-0-1 against the Kings this season.
If the Ducks were to overcome the San Jose Sharks and take the Pacific Division, then the first round opponent could be the Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes, or Dallas Stars. The Ducks are 2-1 against the Wild, 5-0-0 against the Coyotes, and 1-2-0 against the Stars.
Based on those records it appears the Ducks would be best matched against the Coyotes. What do you think?
Follow us on Twitter: @PucksofaFeather
Like us on Facebook: Pucks of a Feather Facebook