NHLN Playoff Notebook: Datsyuk's Last Game (Maybe), An Ugly Double Overtime Goal, and Malkin's Chemistry

Cam Lewis
April 22 2016 07:30AM

The Tampa Bay Lightning knocked out the Detroit Red Wings for the second consecutive year, and on a side note, it could be the last time we see Pavel Datsyuk play in an NHL game, which obviously isn't the nicest way for a player to finish his career. The Chicago Blackhawks kept themselves alive with a really ugly goal in a double overtime that sparked questions about why exactly the league would start a game at 8:30 P.M. Central Time. Evgeni Malkin, despite ruining all the chemistry, pounded the crap out of the New York Rangers to make up for the fact that he singlehandedly messed up the Penguins' second game of the series with his lack of regard for team chemistry. Oh yeah, and the Nashville Predators might be on their way to losing a playoff series after being up 2-0 for the first time in franchise history. 

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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Preview: Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks

Cam Lewis
April 15 2016 03:18PM

There's still one series left to get underway! The Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators will get things started tonight after watching playoff hockey from the comfort of their own living rooms the last couple days. Anaheim has been one of the hottest teams in the league since shaking off after that dreadful start to the season, while the Predators are looking to get themselves out of the first round for just the third time in franchise history after another solid season. 

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2016 Stanley Cup First Round Preview: San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

J.D. Burke
April 14 2016 02:00PM

The idea of exercising demons is a narrative as traditionally ascribed to the playoffs as any. When you're as successful as the Los Angeles Kings, though, you find you're more often the demon than exorcist. The San Jose Sharks, a consistently dominant regular season club, have yet to take up that mantle.

It's not all that difficult to envision a scenario where the roles are altogether switched. Just two short seasons ago the Sharks held a 3-0 series lead over the Kings in Conference Quarterfinals action. Jonathan Quick bounced back from a moribund three-game stumble and the rest, as they say, was history. San Jose lost that series, and for all intents and purposes, the window to contend too seemed lost. Los Angeles earned a shiny new trophy.

All this is to say that the margin between a Stanley Cup and infamy can be pin-hole small. One game, in fact. There's four such occasions in this series already scheduled and likely another two or three on the horizon. Let's break it down and see which club has the better of the other in this rematch from seasons past.

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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs first round preview: Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild

Ari Yanover
April 14 2016 01:00PM

It's the battle of the North Stars!

In one corner, we have the Dallas Stars. Often accused of being weak on the backend, this season, they decided not to care and went on to become the best of the West in the regular season, their 50 wins behind only the Washington Capitals. They scored more goals than everybody else with 267, and they also picked up Kris Russell at the deadline, ensuring Calgary would be cheering for them (for the first two rounds, at least).

In the other corner, we have the Minnesota Wild. Making the playoffs with just a paltry 87 points, they beat out the Colorado Avalanche for that final wild card spot in the West, securing it by five whole points. They're well behind the rest of the playoff teams, though - even the Detroit Red Wings have 93 - so their lacklustre regular season may see them in tough in this first round matchup.

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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs St. Louis Blues

Garret Hohl
April 13 2016 02:00PM

The battle of the Central Division is here with the St. Louis Blues facing the Chicago Blackhawks. We ask: who will take the series?

Will it be the upward trending Blues carrying a 8-2-0 record in their last ten games played? St. Louis looks strong and poised to succeed where they have failed before, but the Blues have a history of falling short on expectations in the playoffs. Will it be the consistently post-season dominant Blackhawks who can never be counted as out? Chicago is not the dominant team of 2013, but neither were the 2015 Stanley Cup Winning Hawks either.

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