April 15 2015 08:00AM
It is the eye of the storm for fans devoted to the Winnipeg Jets. The celebrations for the Jets very first playoff excursion since the move have all but settled. For some, this is their first time. For others this is just the first time in a long time.
The playoffs are far more familiar territory for the Anaheim Ducks, with only missing twice since the last lockout-cancelled season. Situations may look familiar to some Duck fans, but there are some significant changes this year and the Ducks are hoping these push them past their second round roadblock.
Let's take a deeper look into this series after the jump.
April 14 2015 04:06PM
This post is part of the Nation Network's Playoff Preview series, running this week at NHLNumbers. For more of our series previews and projections, head over to NHLNumbers.com.
Ah, it sure is good to be back. It's been a year since the Vancouver Canucks were last in the playoffs, but for Calgary, it has been much longer than that - this season puts an end to a streak of five consecutive on the outside looking in come mid-April. And with Vancouver having the most successful period of their (admittedly pretty sad and depressing) franchise history over that same time span, the once red-hot Canucks-Flames rivalry has kind of fizzled to just a spark of what it once was.
The two teams now get a chance to rekindle this rivalry in their first playoff meeting since 2003-2004. How can we expect this series to shake down, and who's going to come out on top? Find out on the other side of the jump.
April 14 2015 11:46AM
The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens aren't heading into the playoffs in polar opposite directions, but one team has been on fire and the other has been below average. Since the trade deadline passed, the Habs have won 45 percent of their games. The Sens? 72.2 percent.
There are a ton of great storylines in this series, and while it would be tough to argue these two teams will produce the highest quality hockey in the first round, it might produce the most exciting hockey (as seen in the video above).
This series has one of the best goalies in the league going against the hottest goalie in the league, two of the best defensemen in the NHL, possibly hamburgers, and some up and coming good young forwards on each team. Oh, and it’s an all-Canadian match-up.
This should be pretty fun, but let’s take a deeper look to see who will win.
April 13 2015 04:35PM
The Central Division is stacked. All seven of the teams in the division finished the season with at least 90 points and three teams, St. Louis, Chicago, and Nashville, finished in the top seven in the league’s standings. As a result, the matchup between the second and third placed teams in the division looks a lot more like a Western Conference Final than a first round series.
Despite being two of the better team in the NHL, both the Predators and Hawks limped into the playoffs on a pretty ugly losing streak. The Predators haven’t earned a win in six games, dating back to March 28, while the Hawks lost their final four games of the season in regulation. Basically, this series will come down to which team can figure it out and get back to playing how they did for the majority of the regular season.
Who wins between the Central Division foes? Let’s take a look.
April 13 2015 01:00PM
Weighed down by a mess of injuries along their blue line, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were eliminated by the New York Rangers a year ago, sagged down the stretch and are limping into the Stanley Cup playoffs in a wild card spot. The Rangers meanwhile won the Presidents' Trophy despite injuries to key contributors like Derek Stepan and Henrik Lundqvist, and have been as resilient and polished as anyone in the league all year.
Who will win when they face-off this week in an all-Metropolitan division first-round Stanley Cup playoff series over the next two weeks?