After a long and strenuous journey, the Capitals finally broke through, got over the hump, and won the Stanley Cup last season. Years and years of regular season success and division titles had ended in crushing defeats to rivals like the Penguins and Rangers. However, last year they rewrote all the narratives and exercised the demons with a second-round victory over the Penguins, and from there wouldn’t be denied their chance to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup. Now, hot off their fourth straight division crown, they look to defend their title.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes ended the longest playoff drought in the NHL this season, surging their way up the standings with a spectacular second half of the season. With markedly improved goaltending, a solid blue line, and some good young talent up front, the Canes are looking to once again embark on a deep playoff run and win their first Cup since 2006.
For consecutive seasons and the third time since 2013, the Toronto Maple Leafs clash with the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After Boston eliminated Toronto in seven games last spring, the Leafs will have another chance to exercise their demons from the 2013 Game 7 nightmare. That was the game Toronto had a 4-1 lead in the third period, only to lose 5-4 in overtime.
Wow. Just wow. As I sit down to write this piece, it’s about an hour after the Blue Jackets pulled off one of the most thrilling and exhilarating comebacks I’ve ever witnessed. I still can’t quite process everything that went down tonight, from the abysmal first period, the turning of the tides in the second, and the Jackets’ fearless effort to complete the comeback in the third. So, let’s unpack the evening’s events, and try and wrap our heads around everything that happened.
In many ways, this game paralleled game one of last year’s playoffs, where the Jackets dug themselves a deficit that they had to dig themselves out of. Sure enough, the Jackets dug in, scored some goals, and tied the game back up and forced overtime. And in overtime, who could forget Panarin’s beauty of a goal to steal game one for Columbus?
The NHL Playoffs are upon us. Every year one of the sixteen teams in the playoffs capture the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup. This year we have some amazing matchups in the first round that should make for a load of interesting series. While the Eastern Conference appears to be shifting to the more dominant conference, the West is showing the most intriguing matchups for me this year. Without further elaboration, here are my first round Western Conference playoff predictions.
If you’re a Boston Red Sox fan, you probably had high expectations for the 2019 season. After winning a franchise-high number of games and eliminating every playoff opponent with relative ease, the club brought back nearly every member of the 2018 squad.
There were a few questions surrounding the bullpen and closer spot, but still, Red Sox Nation marched into Opening Day in high spirits. New England was ready for another great season and, hopefully, a second consecutive World Series championship.