Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

The NHL playoffs have arrived

The NHL playoffs have arrived

The top team in the East is the Tampa Bay Lightning, and they are at +600 to win the second Stanley Cup in franchise history. The next fews weeks are going to be fantastic. "Until you play seven games in 14 nights where you learn to hate the opposition".

Look, the Penguins boast a ton of star power and are without question a superior team on paper.

It's a real shame that the future Hart Trophy victor won't be able to carry his team to the next round of the playoffs. Then an injury sidelined him for 25 games only to have him return to the lineup for the final two games against teams well out of the playoffs to close out the season. His 17 goals was tied for the best mark in the league, an impressive feat for a 21-year-old. The Avs have no advantage on paper in this series. Instead, those players who are on teams that didn't make it will be just like all of us, watching the playoffs from their couches.

Moments later, Hagelin expertly redirected Patric Hornqvist's shot past Elliott 10:07 into the game. After the first 10 minutes, those scoring opportunities dissolved quickly as the Penguins were buzzing in the Flyers' zone and Hakstol's team couldn't adjust accordingly. Breaking news- it won't happen. They just don't have the depth to compete with Nashville.

The Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in all of sports.

The Winnipeg Jets finished second in GF/GP and fifth in GA/GP.

Four players have reached 50 points for the Penguins, they are Evgeni Malkin (98) Phil Kessel (92), Sidney Crosby (89) and Kris Letang (51).

It's never been done before, but if there's one team that's could do it, it's this one. Why the lack of respect? Defensively, the Flyers is yielding 2.9 goals and 75.8 percent penalty kill per game. They do have the best GA/GP at home (2.17) and they can also score some goals (3.29, 11th). "We're going to get out of this together, win the next game and get out of this 1-1". That's probably how this series will play out. "So, when you get to lift it, it's really worth it".

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"They're a good team". He will be the difference and will lead the Jets to a hard-fought series victory. Let's hope they don't let Canada down. They both have strong defensive corps as well as a lethal offense and strong goalies.

Seven teams in the Western Conference are gunning for the Predators. Jonathan Quick had 27 saves for the Kings. Anze Kopitar carried this team (and Dustin Brown) to a wildcard spot with his unbelievable season. "The same guys for two weeks, I think that's how you build them". Marc-Andre Fleury is going to need to stand on his head if he wants to help his team get to the next round. "I think that'll definitely be a focus here". The Bruins are led in net by their goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has lots of playoff experience. You can't discredit it. The Penguins have won series in all kinds of ways over the last two years.

Although the Flyers coaching staff will want to spread out playing time, there is a good chance the top pair, especially Provorov, will need to play huge chunks of the game.

2 — Number of Canadian teams in the postseason, which is less than California (three). "I was awful. I made a lot of bad plays". He'd prefer they not get out of hand. In all, this is a pretty even matchup, but Anaheim has a slight edge, so that's who I'm going with.

Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck is having a stellar season and will most likely be a Vezina Trophy candidate. Neither goalie has been all that consistent this season.

Playoff pre-orders are non-refundable once the player plays in at least one game in the jersey. Thornton has returned to practice, but no time line has been set for his return. The Sharks had their core of Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Brent Burns established for many seasons. For now, I'd put my money on the Ducks, but I won't hold my breath on it.

Braden Holtby is the experienced goalie on the Washington roster, but Philipp Grubauer is in better form entering the postseason.

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