The Good Stuff From The First Round – Eastern Conference

Evan Presement
April 25 2017 12:06PM

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If you needed a reminder that the playoffs are mostly a complete and total crapshoot, you needn’t look any further than what just transpired over the last few weeks. Boston, out. Chicago, out. Minnesota, out. The teams with the third, fourth, and fifth best records in the league are already done.

Still, though, the postseason has always been full of surprises, and this year was no different. From emotional comebacks, to the fall of a once great empire, to the emergence of new ones, round one of the 2017 NHL playoffs had it all. Here’s a look back at the East, series by series, at the two weeks that were.

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NHL Second Round Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks

Curtis LeBlanc
April 25 2017 11:33AM

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© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks steamrolled the Calgary Flames in Round One with a clean 4-0 sweep that included a high-flying 5-4 comeback OT win after being down 4-1 in Game 3.

The Edmonton Oilers, meanwhile, took down the San Jose Sharks, who were Stanley Cup Finalists just one year ago. They did it in slightly less spectacular fashion, taking six games to sink the Sharks, but for a team that hardly anyone had making the playoffs—never mind winning a series—the Oilers have already exceeded expectations.

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The Pavel Datsyuk contract dump trade was actually a big mistake for the Red Wings

Adam Laskaris
April 24 2017 05:00PM

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the biggest trade the Detroit Red Wings have made over the past few seasons came about 10 months ago, which is funny because nobody involved with the trade has played a game for the franchise since. 

With a quick hush coming over the Buffalo arena that finds a way to change its name just about every six months, Gary Bettman announced that the 16th overall selection and the cap hit associated with Pavel Datsyuk's contract would be moved from Detroit to the Arizona Coyotes for the 20th and 53rd overall selections. With those picks, the Arizona Coyotes selected Jakob Chychrun, while the Red Wings were able to land Dennis Cholowski and Filip Hronek with their spots in the draft.

The move was mostly praised at the time for being a moment of genius for Ken Holland. It's far from the worst deal he's ever pulled off, but here's 5 reasons why the trade shouldn't be viewed as a positive move for Detroit:

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The Nation Notebook: Edmonton advances, Hawks swept, and Ilya Kovalchuk

Christian Pagnani
April 24 2017 07:00AM

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The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article. 

The first round of the playoffs are over. The Edmonton Oilers advance to the second round for the first time since 2006. The Blackhawks get swept by the Nashville Predators. The Leafs lose to the Capitals, but their future is bright. Ilya Kovalchuk is looking to return to the NHL.

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Looking back on our preseason standings predictions

Shawn Reis
April 19 2017 10:14AM

Everyone loves to make predictions, but people never seem to like looking back on them. Probably because some of their predictions end up being way off base. Which is why today I'm going to take a look back at our staff's consensus power rankings that we made last October. As you might expect, we got a lot right, but were also seriously wrong.

30. Vancouver Canucks

Heading into the season the Canucks were seen as a team low on both front-end talent and depth. Couple that with an organization that appears to think they're playoff-calibre and you have a recipe for disaster. The Canucks ended up coming 29th in the league so this one was pretty spot on. Good job team!


29. Toronto Maple Leafs

Oops. This one looks hilariously bad, with the Leafs up 2-1 in a series against the odds-on Stanley Cup favorite Washington Capitals. It also highlights just how unprecedented the Leafs' rookie production was this year.

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