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NHL Playoffs, First Round column archives.

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May 2, 2013

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

by Matthew Coller

The Montreal Canadiens improved from worst in the Eastern Conference all the way to a second seed, while the Ottawa Senators made the playoffs despite losing Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, and Craig Anderson all for large portions of the shortened season. It's a battle of feel good stories as well as division rivals.

May 1, 2013

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders

by Ryan Schwepfinger

Even putting Sidney Crosby aside, the Penguins have a boatload of talent. But the surprising Islanders are led by their own Hart Trophy hopeful in former first overall pick John Tavares.

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks

by Jonathan Willis

The Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks are two teams that have had a great deal of success over the past several seasons, but that have been ultimately viewed as postseason disappointments. One will fail yet again, but one will move on.

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

by Ryan Wagman

The Maple Leafs are back in the playoffs! But with some ugly looking possession numbers, do they have any chance against the 2011 champion Boston Bruins?

April 30, 2013

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Anaheim Ducks vs. Detroit Red Wings

by Jonathan Willis

Anaheim started the season on fire and played well enough to finish with the fifth-best goal differential in the NHL. Meanwhile, the Lidstrom-less Red Wings went until Game 48 before they qualified for the playoffs. It may be a mismatch at a glance, but as we dig into the numbers, it could be an upset in the making.

NHL Playoffs, First Round: St. Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings

by Robert Vollman

There's an argument to be made that, outside of the Chicago Blackhawks, the two best teams in the Western Conference are battling in this #4 vs. #5 matchup. Only one will emerge to continue a possible march to the Cup.

April 29, 2013

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild

by Robert Vollman

Last July, the Minnesota Wild surprisingly landed the two biggest free agents of the offseason in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Does the underdog have a puncher's chance against the President's Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks?

April 28, 2013

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers

by Corey Sznajder

After a dismal start, the Washington Capitals have been on fire in March and April, led by the once-again great Alex Ovechkin. But there are reasons to believe that a long series could go to the sixth-seeded New York Rangers.

April 13, 2012

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Florida Panthers vs. New Jersey Devils

by Ryan Wagman

Peter DeBoer's New Jersey Devils take on his former team, the Florida Panthers, in the playoffs for the first time in recent memory.

April 12, 2012

NHL Playoffs, First Round: St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

by Jonathan Willis

Usually one of the top seeds in the West, San Jose snuck into the playoffs in the last week of the season. They're matched against the up-and-coming Blues, who haven't won a playoff game yet since the lockout.

NHL Playoffs, First Round: New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators

by Ryan Popilchak

The surprising Senators took three of four games against the President's Trophy-hopeful Rangers. So can they pull off the upset against King Henrik and the Blueshirts?

April 11, 2012

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings

by Kent Wilson

Jonathan Quick kept them in the playoff hunt, but the Los Angeles Kings have upped their game since the trade deadline. Might they really be good enough to knock off the President's Trophy winning Canucks?

April 10, 2012

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals

by Matthew Coller

The defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins are miles ahead of the underachieving Washington Capitals by GVT. But is there an argument for the series being closer than it looks on the surface?

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

by Tom Awad

Not only is Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia the marquee matchup of the first round based on talent, the animosity between the two bitter rivals makes for must-see theatre.

April 9, 2012

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Chicago Blackhawks

by Robert Vollman

Mike Smith's incredible season culminated in a fantastic final two weeks that saw him top the NHL in GVT. Can his Cinderella ride continue, taking the Coyotes/Jets franchise past the opening round for the first time since 1986-87? The star-studded Blackhawks, one year removed from hoisting the Stanley Cup, stand in their way.

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings

by Robert Vollman

It's inexperience vs. experience, even strength and puck possession success vs. special teams success.

April 14, 2011

Premium Article NHL Playoffs, First Round: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens

by Tom Awad

Montreal native Tom Awad gives us his read on what's become by far the most heated rivalry in the NHL.

Premium Article NHL Playoffs, First Round: San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

by Philip Myrland

Is there any way that the Los Angeles Kings can overcome the red-hot San Jose Sharks without their best player?

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres

by Jonathan Willis

The Buffalo Sabres rallied in the second half of the season to make it to the postseason dance. Can they outduel what was the strongest team in the Eastern Conference for most of the regular season?

April 13, 2011

NHL Playoffs, First Round: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers

by Timo Seppa

With New York dominating the season series against Washington, are the Capitals in line to get knocked out of the playoffs by a lower seed yet again?

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