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Previewing the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Matchups And Predictions

The month of May is upon us. The final month of spring, and the beginning of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The month of May is upon us. The final month of spring, and the beginning of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. This year will feature several different features for the boys on the ice. A return to the traditional East-West format, so this year we won’t have the chance to see the Tampa Bay Lighting versus the Montreal Canadiens like the last year.  This year’s first-round matchups include:

In the East:

Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

For the West:

Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars

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Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angles Kings

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues

We will only look at some of the most exciting first-round matchups, or the ones this writer will be most in tune with (I am just being honest.)

We start with the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. These two teams are/were the closest teams to the area I lived in. The Stars of course being just five hours north from San Antonio were the safe bet for Texan hockey fans. However, while residing in the plains of North Central Montana, it was the Flames who were only five hours north and caught the attention of this writer. This series will be fast. Not as in a sweep, but goals will be scored and pace will be on display. Of course, the Flames feature one of the top talents in the National Hockey League in Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau. Who is coming off a season where he tallied 115 points. The Stars on the flip side, draw the short end of the stick matching up with one of the premier teams of the NHL in Calgary. The Stars will be in for one as the Flames are a popular pick to reach at least the Western Finals. If the NHL playoffs have taught me anything over the years it’s that anything can and will happen. The series begins Thursday at 9 central times with the Stars traveling to Calgary.

In the East, the series to keep an eye on would have to be Toronto and Tampa Bay. The Lighting is coming off two Stanley cup post-season runs. The Leafs are coming off yet another disappointing run after being taken out by the Montreal Canadiens the previous year. For most the growing story behind the Leafs is they are a team running out of time. They have the talent for runs but have failed in in years past. Will this be the year they put it together and finally advance? The Leafs have a tall order. The opposition features the Lighting., remember how I said they’re coming off two successful runs a moment ago? The Lighting are loaded a player that is fresh in mind is Nikitia Kucherov. In previous years Kucherov was a thorn in the side of opponents look for that once more in round one versus the Leafs. The series begins tonight on ESPN2 with puck drop at 6:30 p.m.

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Predictions for the two series are:

Calgary in 6

Tampa Bay in 7

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