Stanley Cup Playoffs Start This Week

Added April 15, 2014 by Levi Watkins

The best postseason in all of sports–pro hockey’s Stanley Cup playoffs–begins on Wednesday night. The NHL regular season has eliminated the also rans and now the best teams in the league will battle for the oldest and most prestigious trophy in North American sports.

The Boston Bruins finished the regular season with the best record in the NHL and they’re also installed as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Everything started to come together for Boston after the Olympic break and, more importantly, they’ve been able to avoid injury making them arguably the healthiest team heading into the postseason. They get great goaltending from Tuuka Rask and play a defensively oriented style which is a perfect fit for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Boston doesn’t get an easy draw in the first round of the playoffs, however, facing a Detroit Red Wings team that beat them in three of four regular season meetings. In other Eastern Conference opening round series the New York Rangers take on the Philadelphia Flyers, the Columbus Blue Jackets face the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens battle the Tampa Bay Lightning

Out West, the top seeded Anaheim Ducks will open their Stanley Cup bid against the Dallas Stars. On paper this series is a mismatch but the Stars gave the Ducks trouble during the regular season winning two of three meetings. Another intriguing first round matchup pits the San Jose Sharks against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks are the higher seeded team but the Kings hold a 3-1-1 advantage in the regular season series. The St. Louis Blues will face the Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche play the Minnesota Wild in other Western Conference first round series.

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