There will be no playoff hockey in Washington as the Capitals are golfing early for the first time since 2014. But what about those of you that still tune into hockey or those of you that are about to? Who are the teams that will be in the big dance and what would the first round matchups be if the season ended today?
First let’s look at the potential first round matchups of the Western Conference:
WC2 Winnipeg Jets vs. PD1 Vegas Golden Knights: The Jets have soared high this season thanks to Mark Schifele’s 40 ovals and Kyle Connor’s 31. The Vegas Golden Knights are hoping to have Lady Luck on their side this spring with the acquisition of Jonathan Quick.
WC1 Seattle Kraken vs. CD1 Colorado Avalanche: The Kraken are in the playoffs in just their second season which is awesome for that city. The Avalanche look to defend their Cup against the newest team about to get a taste of the action for the first time.
CD3 Minnesota Wild vs. CD2 Dallas Stars: The Wild are one of those really powerful teams in the west that not enough people talk about. Same with the Stars.
PD3 Los Angeles Kings vs. PD2 Edmonton Oilers: Now this would be a fun one if you love offense. Connor McDavid is out of this world as he has 64 goals this season.
And now the Eastern Conference:
WC2 New York Islanders vs. AD1 PT winners Boston Bruins: This is one of those series that could go either way believe it or not. The Islanders are scrappy team. They have the potential to take down the Presidents Trophy winners.
WC1 Florida Panthers vs. MD1 Carolina Hurricanes: The Panthers are now one of those pesky teams after dominating the competition last year. Could we see another upset? They’ll have to go into the eye of the storm and take on the Hurricanes who have been incredible all season long.
MD3 New York Rangers vs. MD2 New Jersey Devils: Now if there’s any series where I’m kicking back and cracking open a cold beverage to watch, this is the one to do it for. There’s nothing like the Hudson River rivalry and both teams are favorites to come out on top of the Eastern Conference. But one is going home packing early.
AD3 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. AD2 Toronto Maple Leafs: Can Ilya Samsonov, on hockey’s biggest stage, stand tall against a high flying Bolts team and give the Maple Leafs their first playoff series win in generations?