NHL Playoffs Underway. Pix, News, Notes and Puck Faces

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NEW YORK, NY – It’s been an interesting first week and change for Hockey’s second season… the NHL Playoffs.

kings-meagan, This just screams NHL Playoffs, Meet_The_Matts

This just screams NHL Playoffs!

Let’s have a looksie…

The Vegas Golden Knights made quick work of the Los Angeles Kings in the Knights’ inaugural season in the league. Vegas finished the regular season with 109 points, easily winning the Pacific Conference. Anaheim Ducks eaten by San Jose SharksIt’s an amazing feat for an expansion team. They started the season hot and stayed tops in the Pacific almost wire-to-wire. The Golden Knights will play the San Jose Sharks who made quick work of the Anaheim Ducks in their series. Vegas will be looking to go from strength to strength after having backed up their legacy as the best expansion team in the history of sports with their first round sweep of the Kings. The Sharks will be a tougher test than the Kings for the Golden Knights. But I think Vegas will advance based on their form all year.

Tonight, the Winnipeg J-E-T-S will look to close out their series against Angry Ward’s Minnesota Wild. The Jets had an amazing season in their own right, finishing second in the NHL with 114 points. Only the Nashville Predators had more points than the Jets. And the Preds will look to seal the deal tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, who made an amazing turnaround this season. They finished last season dead last in the NHL by over 20 points. This year they just about doubled their points total from last year to make the playoffs and keep the St. Louis Blues out. Their season will end tonight though.

Angry Ward & brother cnc63

In the East… the Penguins should finish off the Flyers tonight to end the battle of Pennsylvania. The Pens are well on their way to winning another Stanley Cup. They have a really tough road ahead with the likes of the Capitals, Bruins, and Lightning to contend with, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Sid gets his grubby little fingers on Lord Stanley’s hardware again.

The Bruins and Lightning both hold commanding 3-1 leads in their respective series. Rick Nash and the Bruins have looked sharp in the early goings. Luckily for Nash, Slava Voynov won’t be in the picture to block any double-overtime shots on an empty net going forward. The ex-Rangers Lightning will play the Bruins, assuming they both finish off their first round series. The gentleman’s sweep (4-1) could be rampant. We should see three tonight and another two tomorrow. Add in the Golden Knights and Sharks’ true sweeps and the first round has been very predictable.

The only unpredictable series has been the Capitals-Blue Jackets series. The first three games went to overtime with the road team winning each time. The tide seemed to turn with Washington’s 4-1 win last night. The Capitals played the Blue Jackets off the ice. We’ll see if Torts & the Jacks have an answer tomorrow afternoon. I’m thinking the Caps will win the next two and set up a familiar showdown with the Penguins in the second round.

I think it will be a Bruins-Predators final. But I’m usually wrong and anything can still happen.

Speaking of being wrong, come back tomorrow for Junoir Blaber.

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Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.

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