On Wednesday night the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs will commence in the NHL and you better be ready. This year’s playoffs will bring all the intensity and excitement that one could ask for as a hockey fan. All the matchups are set and every team is ready to go all out for their run at the ultimate prize: the Stanley Cup. Here are the breakdowns of each series that will take place in the Eastern Conference:
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings: The Bruins and Red Wings are two storied, Original Six franchises that always bring their “A” game come playoff time. This will be the first time in 57 years these two teams meet in the postseason. Boston, having won the President’s Trophy for the most wins in the NHL is a powerhouse this year and will be the team to beat in the East. Detroit is coming into its 23rd consecutive post season appearance after having lots of injury troubles this season. They’ll have their hands full facing the Bruins in the first round but the Wings are not to be taken lightly. Watch out for a great Original Six matchup that could go seven games.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Fans in Columbus really haven’t experienced playoff hockey too much but the Blue Jackets clinched their first playoff spot in five years this season. Columbus went 0-5 against Pittsburgh in the regular season which may come as a concern for their fans. Playoffs are a different story but Pittsburgh will be a tough test for the Blue Jackets come Wednesday night.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens: Both teams have had their ups and downs this season but one big difference maker in this series will be goaltending. Montreal’s Carey Price is known to be a wall between the pipes sometimes yet Tampa’s Ben Bishop can also play great as well. Montreal went 3-1 against Tampa this year yet all the games were very close. These two teams will be pretty evenly matched so watch out for another series to go seven games.
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers: As if the Flyers and Rangers didn’t hate each other already, a playoff series will make things even “better”. One thing the Flyers will need to win the series is to break their losing streak at Madison Square Garden which dates back to 2011. The Rangers will need goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to shut the door on Philly while the Flyers will need Steve Mason to shut the door on New York. Broad Street and Broadway tied their season series 2-2 this year. This will be a very exciting series.
For a full schedule of every game click here.