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Five things to know about the NHL playoffs

Vaseline 4 weeks ago

HIGH HOPE IN CANADA

The Canucks, winners of the Pacific Division with 109 points, open the NHL post-season tonight against the visiting Nashville Predators. It is the first time in almost a decade that the playoffs will take place in Vancouver.

The Jets, who finished second in the Central Division with 110 points, open their postseason tonight against the visiting Colorado Avalanche. And the Oilers, who finished second in the Pacific with 104 points after a terrible start to the season, host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday in the playoff opener for both clubs.

Last night the Maple Leafs were scorched 5-1 by the Bruins in Boston in their playoff opener. But as losing teams like to say, the playoffs are a marathon, not a sprint, and falling a game behind is no reason to panic. That said, teams that take a 1-0 lead in the opening round have an all-time record of 515-242, including a 355-119 record when starting at home.

TURN OVER QUICKLY

The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are back at TD Garden on Monday night for Game 2 of their series. But not before the NBA playoffs kick off in the same building on Sunday at 1:00 PM ET.

That’s a turnaround of just over 12 hours after the end of Saturday’s game, which started just after 8 p.m. The best-of-seven series shifts to Toronto for Games 3 and 4.

BATTLE OF BROTHERS

This afternoon’s opening game between the visiting Washington Capitals and the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers will pit Ryan Lindgren against his brother, Caps’ goaltender Charlie Lindgren, making them the fourth set of siblings in NHL history who compete against each other. headline in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

PAVELSKI’S PURSUIT

The five most experienced players in the NHL playoffs have an outlier this year.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski is the only one of the five who has not won a Stanley Cup in 182 career playoff games. The 39-year-old came close to losing the finals with Dallas in 2020 and in 2016 with the San Jose Sharks.

Edmonton Oilers forward Corey Perry (196) won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh (185) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (160) won twice with the Lightning in 2020 and 2021.

Boston Bruins forward Patrick Maroon (150) is a three-time winner with the St. Louis Blues in 2019 and the Lightning in 2020 and 2021.

WILD CARD BET

No wild-card team has won a Stanley Cup in the eight years since they were introduced to the NHL playoff format, although the Florida Panthers (2023) and the Nashville Predators (2017) made the finals.

Wildcard teams have been postseason factors, with at least one coming from the first round of six of eight years

All four reached the second round in 2019. Carolina Hurricanes, the Eastern Conference’s top wild card, made it to the third round before being swept by Boston in four straight rounds.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press