Abril 24, 2018

NHL Playoffs 2018: Full 1st-round postseason schedule

11 Abril 2018, 12:39 | Gerardo Tarin

What to expect in this year's NHL playoffs

Leafs stronger, on solid footing on eve of first round of 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs

Here is another look at the upcoming series.

If you like high-end talent, this is the series for you. On top of that, they added Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi who both played on the Rangers 2014 team that made a run to the Cup Finals. Anaheim usually plays well at the end of the season and heading into the postseason. The former Edmonton Oilers winger's 93 points this season were 41 more than New Jersey's second-leading scorer. He's a Selke trophy favorite and he's likely to get the matchup against the Sidney Crosby line. All of those teams finished with over 100 points. Not to mention Connor McDavid. No first round puck drop will be past 7:30 p.m. He's an outstanding playoff performer.

Another team that will not be making a 2018 playoff appearance is the Dallas Stars.

By starting the season in September instead of October. He has 93 points in 63 career games against the Flyers. And for their freshest dimension, the Flyers had the highest-scoring defense in the league, led by the young top pairing of Ivan Provorov, with 17 goals, and Shayne Gostisbehere, with 13.

The differences are Marleau and Plekanec, replacing Matt Martin and Brian Boyle. That has been steady all season. "Doesn't have to just be the defensemen it's got to be all five guys on the ice". This is his eighth straight season to make the playoffs.

Goaltending is crucial in every playoff series but in this one, it's going to be massive. Both teams are average defensively. "But we'll see what happens this year with a couple more really good teams being beat out in the second round". "You have to have a mindset that you're going to play teams in your division first and foremost and that's just the way it is". Murray has been outstanding for the Penguins in the playoffs, posting a career.928 save percentage.

Nothing is dumber than having ice hockey's best games played in the middle of June. Andrei Vasilevskiy has one season where he started six games, and played very well. There they can stand on the sidewalk with a good view of the projector-screen TV the team likes to set up outside the arena, a perk for regular Joe and Mary Penguins fan who didn't spend that week's paychecks for a pair of tickets. The Pens have won the last two titles as a number three seed and this year they will have to do so as a number four seed. Toronto had the second-best power-play, while Boston were fourth overall in man-advantage situations.

After the regular season, Ian Cole has earned a grade of a B+ level acquisiton; the only thing keeping him from reaching the A level would be his penalties.

Good idea, since the Flyers' penalty kill ranked an ugly 29th this season. It's a big problem when going up against the Pens NHL best power play.

The Penguins' offensive production this season has maintained the same punishing pace started a year ago, with 270 goals in 81 games thus far, only eight behind their previous mark.

After undergoing core-muscle surgery and missing almost two months, Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott played two regular-season games last week and tried to shake off the rust.

The Vegas Golden Knights, the Pacific Division winners, will host their first ever playoff series when they take on the first wild card, the Los Angeles Kings.

Babcock stressed the importance of depth, and there's no question the Leafs are deeper, at forward and on the blue line, than they were last spring. "We have to take what they give us and make sure we're not feeding their transition game with any turnovers or mistakes by us". It's going to be a very disciplined series.

"Last year we couldn't have any injuries to get in, we (could) afford a few more this year". Then came a 10-3 shocker of a Penguins win at Wells Fargo Center.

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