Being presumptious here and saying that we get into the playoffs, who would everyone prefer that we play in the first round?
By looking at the standings, if the season ended today I believe we would be playing the Flames.
Due to the goaltending factor, and how a hot goalie can steal a playoff series from you, I would least like to play the Flames, Stars, and Predators because I think that Kiprusoff, Turco or Vokun could easily steal a playoff series for their respective teams. The Oilers also seem to have our number this year, but the playoffs are always a different story.
The Kings are the only team on that list that I've give us at least a .500 shot at, sincerely. But so much depends on the injury situation that it's tough to say now.
Detroit is the team on that list that we play best against, but Detroit has that magical force field of "shock and awe" (despite having no real reason on paper for it, and few of the players from their last heyday) that scares other teams. Colorado the Canucks are just dead afraid of as long as they wear those uniforms.
Nashville we could beat, and theoretically either Alberta team (the law of averages might favor us here), although I certainly wouldn't count on any of them.
I've got to agree, definitely the Kings. They are playing terribly recently, just riding the coattails of a furious start a la Nashville 03-04. Granted, we are kind of doing the same thing, but that's another post for another day.
Los Angeles is the obvious choice, although i doubt they will make the playoffs. Realistically we'll be playing : Detroit, Dallas, Calgary, or Nashville. Out of those teams i think Dallas and Nashville would be our best bet, as I think we could wear down the Preds smaller lineup, and Turco's playoff career has been pretty awful for the Stars.
I say the Flames... that's right Calgary! The Canucks have the neccessary motivation (revenge) to beat these guys and we've have figured out how to do it 3 times in a row. They're the only opponent on that list that we have played really well against every game this year. Right now I think we are the team they fear the most.
I say Detroit too, The Canucks play well against them. They seem to get up to play a better team, but, can't seem to get thier heads out of thier asses against a lesser team. No sense testing that theory in the play-offs and losing in 4 to a lesser team.
I figure we can take LA and Nashville in a seven game series (not convinced of their toughness, even less so then ours). Dallas and Edmonton would be close, but I don't want anything to do with Detroit, Colorado and Calgary.
I hate to say it but I don't think we are going any where in the playoffs unless we make a good trade. I doubt Nonis will find the right deal or get a good offer. I predict that we will get knocked out in the first round regardless of the opponent.