After years of mediocrity and futility, the Jets finally broke through last year, winning their first two playoff series in franchise history en route to an appearance in the conference finals (they had never even a playoff game in two previous appearances). This year, with much of the same core still intact, they continued their regular season success and once again earned home ice in the first round. This year, however, they will be looking to go farther than the conference finals; their eyes are fixed on the Stanley Cup.
Meanwhile, the Blues have been a consistent playoff team in the 2010s, last season aside. However, despite this regular season success in this stretch. the Blues have consistently struggled in the postseason, only making the conference finals once in this span. In fact, the Blues have only made the conference finals three times since 1970 (1986, 2001, 2016), and have failed to make the Stanley Cup Finals during this entire stretch. This Blues team, after an abysmal start to the season (they occupied the 31st spot in the league standings at the beginning of January), have made an incredible surge late in the year to put themselves back into the playoffs, and now look to finally erase all the misery of years past and win the Cup.
In their first playoff clash, will the Jets send Saint Louis back singing the blues? Or, can the Blues force a ground stop before the Jets can even take off?
Continue reading NHL First Round Playoff Preview: Jets vs. Blues
After upending the Blackhawks juggernaut in a sweep two years ago, the Predators established themselves as one of the premier contenders in the West. They would go on to make the Stanley Cup Finals and give Pittsburgh all they could handle before bowing out in six. Last year they won the President’s Trophy and followed that up with another Central Division title this year. Now, this core looks to finally go all the way and bring the Stanley Cup to Tennessee.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars won the Central Division in 2016, but have failed to make the playoffs since then. However, this year the Stars finally put it all together and made a return to the postseason behind an improved defense and outstanding goaltending from starter Ben Bishop. They’re not just hoping to make it in, but to make some serious noise and win the Cup for the first time in twenty years.
Will the Predators win this first meeting of these Southern foes and maintain their status as Cup contenders? Or, can the Stars upend the Predators and make some noise of their own?
Continue reading NHL First Round Playoff Preview: Predators vs. Stars
With only a week to go in the NHL season (and still plenty to sort out), I think now is probably a good time to look back at my preseason predictions. As you’ll see, I was dead on about some things, while others…well, I’d rather not talk about those.
Continue reading Looking Back at My Preseason NHL Predictions