Some teams just matchup better with others. Even having a down regular season, I still think the Sharks would give the Red Wings fits in the first round. That's not a series I want any part of between the travel and the history of the past two meetings.
San Jose plays a very similar game/style to the Red Wings and for whatever reason, they have done it better head-to-head lately. The 1-2-1 record against the Sharks this season is just another indicator that the Sharks have the Red Wings number. With Havlat healthy again, their top six is as good as any in the league. They have the size and speed combination to forecheck hard and that has given the Red Wings all kinds of trouble before. Niemi has been their weak link compared to obviously a potential series with someone like Rinne instead.
I look at the Sharks as a team that if they just find a way into the playoffs, they could turn out to be very dangerous. I don't think they are destined to win the West, but I would rather Chicago deal with them in the first round and get one of those two out of the playoffs immediately.
I guess with the West being as strong as it is, you can come up with pros/cons of any potential opponent. I still strongly prefer the Red Wings to finish 4th and get home ice advantage in the first round. They are a different team at the Joe and with a tough draw likely looming against Nashville, that extra game on home ice could be the deciding factor.
Edited by GoWings1905, 27 March 2012 - 04:40 PM.