Stanley Cup Playoffs Set to Begin

Tonight is the night. After a grueling 82-game season, 16 teams will begin their battle for hockey’s ultimate prize: the Stanley Cup.

Lots of pressure is on the backs of each team yet no pressure may be heavier than that on the backs of the Washington Capitals. Washington clinched the President’s Trophy for the second straight year as the league’s best team. However, they’ve had lots of trouble in the past when trying to make it deep into the playoffs. Last year, they ousted the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round then went on to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference quarterfinals. All that after having so much potential to win it all. Could this year be different and could they finally exercise their demons? Only time will tell.

There are lots of things to watch for in this year’s playoffs. Toronto Maple Leafs’ rookie Auston Matthews will make his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, the Edmonton Oilers are back in the postseason for the first time in 10 years, and the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to defend their Stanley Cup Championship. All that and so much more comes with tonight’s start of the NHL postseason.

Sixteen teams will enter but only one will raise the Cup. The journey begins tonight.

For the full bracket of playoff match-ups, news, and television coverage keep it locked on and the networks of NBC.