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Bizarre Final Four in the West

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

The Kings' first-round ouster of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Canucks had to remind Ducks fans of their team gloriously doing the same thing to the Sharks back in the 2009 playoffs. And LA making it to the second round is just one piece of a pretty unorthodox Western Conference Semifinals round.

Just imagine your reaction if three years ago -- that same year the Ducks took down SJ and nearly got past Detroit -- someone had told you that the Kings, Coyotes, Blues and Predators would be the final four teams in the West. That year, only St. Louis made the postseason, and the Yotes and Kings were 13th and 14th in the conference (each 12 points behind Anaheim in eighth).

It's all a testament to the parity brought on by the post-lockout salary cap era in the NHL, as each of these teams took down some pretty heavy hitters in the first round, all in five games. Along with LA taking out last year's Western Conference champs, St. Louis got by the Sharks, Phoenix knocked off Chicago in a series in which the first four games all went to OT, and Nashville handed Detroit a five-game defeat (the Wings' hadn't lost in the first round since 2006).

Meanwhile, this comes courtesy of STATS LLC (and passed on by Thomas LaRocca of

The last time a conference semifinal round had zero teams with a previous Stanley Cup title was the 1983-84 postseason (the semifinal teams in the Campbell Conference that season were the Blues, North Stars, Oilers, and Flames).

2011-12 Western Conference semifinalists

142-170 all-time in postseason games.
24 postseason series wins all-time.
Advanced to Stanley Cup finals three times (1967-68, 1968-69, and 1969-70)

73-114 all-time in postseason games.
12 postseason series wins all-time.
Advanced to Stanley Cup finals once (1992-93)

18-27 all-time in postseason games.
2 postseason series wins all-time.
Furthest postseason advancement = 2nd Round (2010-11 and 2011-12)

36-73 all-time in postseason games.
3 postseason series wins all-time.
Furthest postseason advancement = 2nd Round (1984-85, 1986-87, and 2011-12)

Combined all-time postseason records for Blues, Kings, Predators, and Coyotes/Jets: 269-384. Here's another look at it

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By the way, you'll notice that the rotating top stories section of the homepage (on the top left) has taken on a slightly different look. That's because we (and the other 29 NHL teams) have shifted to a non-Flash version of that module, meaning it will now show up when you visit the website with an iPhone or iPad. Just letting you know.

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Just came across this beauty of a Fox promo for the NHL Playoffs on the Grantland website. There are no words.

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