The Vancouver Canucks will be taking on the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Canucks wrapped up their fifth consecutive division title, seventh in nine seasons, last Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. This guaranteed them a third place finish in the Western Conference and home ice advantage in the first round.
Still yet to be determined was their first round opponent. The Canucks found out on Saturday night as teams (with the exception of the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators) wrapped up their regular season schedules.
The Sharks and Los Angeles Kings game was the one to watch as the loser of that game would head to Vancouver to face the Canucks in the first round. The winner would go to St. Louis to face the Blues.
— News1130 Sports (@News1130Sports) April 28, 2013
The Kings defeated the Sharks 3-2 to set a playoff date with the Blues.
The Canucks might have wanted a matchup with the Kings to avenge their first round defeat last season, but in terms of scheduling, they have to be happy about facing the Sharks.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers are both in the playoffs and need dates at the Staples Center—though the Lakers look destined for a first round exit. This could have scheduling difficulties.
Rogers Arena has only two events in the month of May: Stars on Ice on the 10th and Fleetwood Mac on the 19th. The HP Pavilion has events on May 4, 8, 9, 11, 22, and 25.
Based on the arena availability of the two teams, the Canucks and Sharks are likely to begin their series on Wednesday and have a two day break between Games 6 and 7 due to San Jose SaberCats Arena Football League game on May 11.
Potential First Round Schedule
- Game 1: May 1 in Vancouver
- Game 2: May 3 in Vancouver
- Game 3: May 5 in San Jose
- Game 4: May 7 in San Jose
- Game 5: May 9 in Vancouver
- Game 6: May 12 in San Jose
- Game 7: May 14 in Vancouver
The NHL Network will reportedly announce the first round schedule Sunday night at 8 p.m. PDT.