Stanley Cup Playoffs: Series Previews & Predictions
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Series Previews & Predictions

Postseason hockey is here.  Time to start filling out those brackets and player pools.

To help, we're providing you with a few resources.  In addition to this column and the various site tools, take a look at Jan Levine's player rankings and predictions.  Let us know who you're picking to take hockey's largest piece of silverware.

And, of course, enjoy the games and good luck!

FIRST ROUND

WEST

Calgary (P1) vs. Colorado (WC2) (Season series: Calgary 3-0)

Up Front: The Calgary line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm combined for 259 points – while adding 77 from Matthew Tkachuk. … Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog topped the Calgary crew by two total points, but don't offer any other significant scoring forwards.  Advantage: Calgary

Blueline Battle: Mark Giordano ranked second among NHL defenders in points, while T.J. Brodie and Noah Hanifin sufficiently supplemented the cause. … The Avs can only list Tyson Barrie as a significant blueline producer, though Samuel Girard can contribute if given the opportunity.  Advantage: Calgary

Goalie Matchup: Mike Smith (2.73 GAA, .898 save percentage) could be the No. 1 in net to start the series due to his playoff experience, but David Rittich (2.61/.911/27-9-5 record) would step in if the veteran falters early. … Philipp Grubauer (2.64/.917, 1.45/.955 since mid-February) usurped Semyon Varlamov (2.87/.909, but only three appearances since March 1) for the top job and has looked confident.  Advantage: Even

Don't Sleep On: Calgary's Derek Ryan provided

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Evan Berofsky
Evan Berofsky enjoys writing. Seriously. When he’s not trying to shove hockey miscellany down your throat, he gets his kicks playing tournament Scrabble(TM). If you have anything to say about Evan’s work (or need any hot word tips), feel free to contact him at eberofsky@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter (@evanberofsky).
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