Crosby, McDavid, Matthews players to watch in NHL playoffs


“Whoever comes out of the East is going to be well-deserving, and we hope that it’s us”. Dubnyk has struggled in his 16 career playoff games, posting numbers a record of 6-10 with a 2.84 GAA and.896 SV%.

Is the Pen Mightier than the Jacket? Other games in the first round will air largely on U.S. and CNBC, with a few weekend games on NBC and a couple of games on NHL Network.

This year, five teams will represent Canada in the playoffs, which will drum up millions in economic activity for the country as out of town fans come in and bars and restaurants fill up. If you don’t have a particular team to back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, picking some individual players in your hockey pool for the next couple months is probably the next best thing. The Blues enter in better form than their first round opponent and at an attractive plus price in the +120 to +130 range, worthy of a series price wager. “I think this team is more concentrated right now on getting success in the second season than in the first”. “I got to believe whoever we play, they’re going to fear us as much as we fear them”. The Capitals lost a tough second-round playoff series against the Penguins last season 4-2 and may have ended up hoisting the Cup had they advanced instead.

Connor McDavid will be the driving force for the Oilers, but it’s Milan Lucic who will have the biggest impact player for the Oilers.

In most cases, it’s perhaps a sign that more Canadian teams are finally starting to build better, committing to long-term plans instead of opting for the quick fix, which is never enough to make consistently serious playoff contenders. Against the other seven playoff teams in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks have a 15-10-1 record.

(AP Photo/Bill Boyce). St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko (91), of Russian Federation, skates by Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog (92), of Sweden, during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis.

The other two times the Hawks caught the Preds in the first round (2010 and 2015), they went on to win the Stanley Cup. They will handle the Predators relatively easily in the first round, but then will meet their fate against the Wild in the conference semifinals. Needless to say, Anaheim is in the driver’s seat if past history is any indication – and their overall head-to-head series has been nearly as one-sided, with the Ducks winning 11 of the last 12 encounters.

April 6, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) watches the puck go into the goal against San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones (31) during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. The goalie who has finished second for the Vezina Trophy twice and third in another season has helped Nashville to the second round in three of his five postseasons.

In the regular season vs. Nashville, Kane led the Hawks with nine points (3G, 6A).

The Boston Bruins make a return to the playoffs this year and will be facing the Ottawa Senators.

Picking up the multi-talented former Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban before this season definitely helped shore up the Preds’ defense, but the Blackhawks’ defensive depth certainly takes the cake. Rinne has a 1.98 goals against average with his save percentage up to.932 in a 13-game span, including one shutout. The Blues will go on the road to take on the Minnesota Wild in the series opener Wednesday night.

In Game #6 of that series the Preds again scored 3 times, and this time Darling got pulled in favor of #50, and Crawford went on to save the rest in that game. However, they do have one of five head coaches in the playoffs to win a Stanley Cup in John Tortorella.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets will be the most intense and physical matchup in the Eastern conference.

Coach Peter Laviolette’s team is +1400 to win its first conference title. The Ducks are favored in their series against the Calgary Flames. The Capitals won 2-0.

This year, there’s at least a chance, even if it’s a long shot, to break what’s become the most embarrassing streak ever in the history of Canadian hockey.


Nearly as much as running into a hot goaltender, the fear of facing a bad matchup is real in the playoffs even for the most talented teams.

With workload down for Ovechkin, Caps primed for playoffs