May 15 2016 11:28AM
The biggest story of the West has been the parity in this year's playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks, well known elite playoff teams, have all been bounced in the first round, while known chokers in the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues are the two remaining teams in the playoffs. So the question remains: which team will choke now?
No, that shouldn't be the storyline for this series. The Blues and Sharks are two very excellent, deep teams that have finally conquered their demons to get this far. The winner is going to be tested, as whoever comes out will not leave unscathed. It's a war of attrition, so may the deepest team win.
May 14 2016 12:00PM
There's at least one former Leaf on each of the four remaining teams in the NHL playoffs. But the Leafs have a little more stake in what happens the rest of the way than just that.
You all know the Leafs own Pittsburgh's 1st-round pick in this year's draft courtesy of the Phil Kessel trade. By now you've probably heard that if San Jose can reach the Stanley Cup Finals, the Leafs get the Sharks' 3rd-round pick in 2018 instead of a 4th-round pick as part of the James Reimer deal. The Leafs also own the 6th-round pick of the Blues in this year's draft thanks to last year's Olli Jokinen trade, which you might've forgotten about.
But just how much value do the Leafs get out of a different playoff result for each of these teams? How much-added value do the Leafs get in Pittsburgh losing in the Eastern Conference Final versus them winning the Cup? What happens to the value of St. Louis' pick if they were to lose out now or in June?
2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
May 13 2016 02:19PM
It’s been said that the second round series between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins was realistically the true Eastern Conference Final, thanks to this whole goofy division seeding thing in which the first and second placed teams in the conference have to meet in the second round. But to be fair, the Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t really a batting practice, pre-Stanley-Cup-Final team either, as we’ve been by the way they handled the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders with relative ease.
Even though, really, you’d expect getting by Washington to be enough to advance to the Final, the Lightning certainly belong in that same class as the three elite teams in the East, so I doubt this is going to be a cake walk.
May 13 2016 08:31AM
After the hockey gods cruelly punished us with a terrible game seven yesterday, it seemed almost certain today that they would return the favour, and reward us with a much better game in a duel between the Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks. However, the gods decided to spit in our face, as the Nashville Predators decided to not show up to their game seven in a 5-0 loss.
Nation World HQ
May 13 2016 05:00AM
Leafs need to be careful using LTIR for Cap space, Canucks player awaits fathers trial for alleged murder conspiracy, Flames coaching carousel and missing out on an additional first round pick, no Hamonic to Edmonton or anywhere else, Phil Kessel's Cup run is karma for doubters, Pierre McGuire, Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's Top fighters and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.