After a grueling six-month schedule and a
total of 1,230 games, the NHL playoff matchups are now set as the postseason
faces off on Wednesday, April 12th. Sixteen teams will be squaring
off for the Stanley Cup with the winner having to win 16 playoff games to hoist
the silverware. Below is a quick look at the first round playoff matchups.
Blackhawks (50-23-9, 109 points) vs Nashville Predators (41-29-12, 94 points)
The Blackhawks won the Central Division
again this season and topped the Western Conference. They’ll be facing
Nashville, who finished fourth in the Central and reached the playoffs as the
eighth seed in the West with the second wildcard position. Chicago won the
season series 4-1 and outscored Nashville 18-10. This series gets underway
Thursday, April 13th with Nashville being the worst road team of the
16 playoff participants.
Wild (49-25-8, 106 points) vs St. Louis Blues (46-29-7, 99 points)
Minnesota finished second in the Central
Division and the Western Conference while St. Louis was third in the Central
and fifth in the West. The Blues won the season series 3-2 with one victory
coming in a shootout. Minnesota outscored them 14-11 in the series though. This
matchup kicks off on Wednesday, April 12th.
Ducks (46-23-13, 105 points) vs Calgary Flames (45-33-4, 94 points)
Anaheim won the Pacific Division for the
fifth straight season and enters the playoffs as the third seed in the West.
Calgary placed fourth in the Pacific and is the seventh-seed in the West. The
Ducks won the season series 4-1 and outscored the Flames 17-14. The series gets
underway on Thursday, April 13th.
Oilers (47-26-9, 103 points) vs San Jose Sharks (46-29-7, 99 points)
Edmonton finished as runners up in the
Pacific Division and as the fourth seed in the West. This is their first
playoff appearance since going all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2005/06.
San Jose finished third in the Pacific and sixth in the West. The Oilers won
the season series 3-1-1 and outscored the Sharks 16-13 with San Jose winning a
game in overtime. The series faces off on Wednesday, April 12th.
Canadiens (47-26-9, 103 points) vs New York Rangers (48-28-6, 102 points)
Montreal won the Atlantic Division this
season and finished as the fourth seed in the East. The Rangers placed fourth
in the Metropolitan Division, just a point behind the Habs and are the fifth
seed in the East as the first wildcard team. Montreal won the season series 3-0
and outscored the Rangers 12-7. One of the wins came in a shootout. This series
starts on Wednesday, April 12th.
Senators (44-28-10, 98 points) vs Boston Bruins (44-31-7, 95 points)
Ottawa finished in second place in the
Atlantic Division and as the sixth seed in the East while Boston was right
behind them in third in the Atlantic and seventh in the East. Ottawa swept the
season series 4-0 and outscored the Bruins 12-6 with one win coming in a
shootout. The series will begin on Wednesday, April 12th.
Capitals (55-19-8, 118 points) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (40-27-15, 95 points)
Washington finished as the President’s
Trophy winners for having the best overall record during the season. Needless
to say, they won the Metropolitan Division and the East. Toronto finished
fourth in the Atlantic and eighth in the East as the second wildcard team. They
won just one of their final four games of the season, meaning they must face
the Capitals instead of Ottawa. Washington won the season series 2-1 and
outscored the Leafs 12-10 with one win coming in overtime. This series starts
Thursday, April 13th.
Penguins (50-21-11, 111 points) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (50-24-8, 108 points)
Pittsburgh finished as runners up in the
Metropolitan Division and as the second seed in the East. Columbus was right
behind them in third in the Metropolitan and third in the East. The teams split
the season series 2-2 with each team winning a game in regulation and overtime.
However, Columbus outscored the defending Stanley Cup champs 13-10. The Blue
Jackets lost six of their final seven regular season games. The series faces
off on Wednesday, April 12th.
Labels: Ian Palmer