Now comes the waiting.

The Sharks became the first NHL playoff team to finish off an opponent with their sweep of the Vancouver Canucks, and that earned them time away from the rink Wednesday.

"Just get our rest and get healthy," captain Joe Thornton said of the next few days.

But the Sharks also will be monitoring three other Western Conference playoff series to see which of four teams they will end up meeting in the next round: the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings or Detroit Red Wings.

Here's a look at the likelihood that San Jose will draw each of those potential foes in the conference semifinals, which are not expected to begin before Tuesday:

Chicago Blackhawks

What must happen: Blackhawks and Ducks advance.

Likelihood: If everything follows form, this is the matchup. Call it a 45 percent chance the Sharks will open their next series at the United Center.

Season series: 0-3. The Sharks played the NHL-dominating Blackhawks well in two of those losses. San Jose jumped to a 3-0 lead before losing 5-3 on Feb. 5, with the game turning on a later-rescinded match penalty to Andrew Desjardins.

Making it personal: Michal Handzus was traded to the Blackhawks for a fourth-round draft pick. For a while, he spent time in his new environment as a second-line center between Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.

Prognosis: Face it. Nobody wants to play the Blackhawks. But San Jose can take some encouragement in the fact that all of its games against Chicago came before the Sharks' trade-deadline transformation.

St. Louis blues

What must happen: Blackhawks, Red Wings and Blues advance.

Likelihood: With the St. Louis series, as well as the one between the Ducks and Red Wings going at least six games, this is not out of the question. Make it a 25 percent chance that the Sharks travel to the banks of the Mississippi.

Season series: 1-1-1. That one victory is a little tainted, as the Blues had major travel problems getting home from Vancouver the day before San Jose's 2-1 win on Feb. 13.

Making it personal: Despite what they say, it's unlikely the Blues have totally forgotten the Nov. 4, 2010, hit that caused forward David Perron to miss 97 games with a concussion and resulted in a two-game suspension for Thornton.

Prognosis: The Blues owned the Sharks in 2011-12, winning eight of nine regular-season and playoff games. Things weren't quite as bad this season, but definitely a tougher matchup than Vancouver and not on the wish list.

Los Angeles Kings

What has to happen: Blackhawks, Red Wings and Kings advance.

Likelihood: Again, basically the same situation as with St. Louis, so let's call this a 25 percent chance, too.

Season series: 2-2. In the final game of the season, both teams seemed more concerned about avoiding injury than picking up two points. Since the Kings won that one, give San Jose a slight edge in the overall competition.

Making it personal: Anytime the Sharks play a game against a former general manager (Dean Lombardi) and a former coach (Darryl Sutter), it's personal.

Prognosis: As close to a tossup as any of the four. Both teams have size and speed these days. Both Antti Niemi and Kings netminder Jonathan Quick have won Stanley Cups, though Quick has been shakier this postseason.

Detroit Red Wings

What must happen: Wild and Red Wings advance.

Likelihood: Anything can happen in the NHL, but odds are extremely slim Minnesota comes back from a 3-1 series deficit against Chicago. Make this a 5 percent chance.

Season series: 2-0-1. The final meeting between the teams April 11 was a bounce-back character test, as the Sharks were awful in losing the previous game in Columbus. San Jose rebounded nicely with a 3-2 shootout win.

Making it personal: Since Todd McLellan's arrival in 2008 from his assistant role in the Motor City, San Jose has more than held its own against the Red Wings, regular season and playoffs.

Prognosis: On paper, this looks like the most favorable matchup possible. Without Nicklas Lidstrom and others, Detroit has been a less scary team this season