Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hockeysureshot Thoughts from the first night of the NHL Playoffs

-Every game last night was decided by one goal which proves how much parity there is in the league right now.

-Phoenix continues to amaze us, and took it to Detroit after playing a lousy first period. That arena was rocking!

-The defense for the Penguins should be a major concern, in addition to the play of Fleury in goal lately.

-What is the deal with the San Jose Sharks? I know its only game 1, but there is no excuse to get out played like they did last night. Besides the start of the first period, and parts of the third, they played uninspired most of the game.

-And finally, Hockeysureshot would like to give props to Brian Boucher for his stellar effort last night limiting the Devils to only one goal. We wrote a blog recently, that was critical of the Flyers and their goaltending. On this night we give credit to where it is due.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Western Conference Playoff Previews and Picks

(1) San Jose vs. (8) Colorado

Season Series: 2-2

All the playoff pressure will be on the San Jose Sharks as they once again go into the playoffs as the first seed. The upstart Colorado Avalanche enter the series limping with injuries to top forwards Matt Duchene and Peter Mueller.

The low down on the San Jose Sharks: Most importantly the Sharks need to get over the mental hurdle of losing in the playoffs. Game one is very significant for the Sharks as they need to get off to a fast start in this series and not give the underdog Avalanche any reason to think of an upset. The Sharks have the fourth best offense in the NHL, were ranked in the top five in penalty killing and power play, and are very solid on home ice. San Jose is loaded upfront with the line of Patrick Marleau(44 goals), Dany Heatley(39 goals), and Joe Thornton(20 goals). They will rely heavily on this line but will also need the likes of Devin Setoguchi, Ryan Clowe, and Joe Pavelski to contribute offensively. In years past, San Jose has not had production from their 3rd and 4th lines. Manny Malhotra, Scott Nichol, and Jed Ortmeyer will attempt to change that. On defense they are led by playoff vet and Stanley Cup winner Dan Boyle. who will get tons of ice time along with the rugged Douglas Murray. For the most part the Sharks have a veteran defense that is not overly fast or physical. Goalie, Evgeni Nabokov will be looking to make amends for getting outplayed by Jonas Hiller last season in round one. If he is on his game, the Sharks can go far in the playoffs, but he has been inconsistent during stretches this season. Head coach Todd McLellan leads the Sharks in his second year. He had playoff success as an assistant with Detriot, and once again will try to translate that in San Jose. he is popular among the players and is known as a well respected coach around the league.

The low down on the Colorado Avalanche: This was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Denver, but rookie coach Joe Sacco had the Av's playing well from the start of the season and surprised the NHL by making the playoffs. What they bring to the table is young and dynamic scorers, Paul Stasny, Chris Stewart, and first round pick last year, Matt Duchene. The Avalanche do possess playoff veterans in Milan Hejduk, Darcy Tucker, and Stephane Yelle and finished with the sixth best offense in the NHL this season. They are average on special teams and will need to stay out of the box as much as possible against the Sharks explosive power play. Colorado's leading scorer on a balanced defense is the inconsistent, John Michael Liles(31 points). Veterans, Adam Foote, Scott Hannan and Ruslan Salei will be counted on to contain the Thornton line. Craig Anderson was one of the biggest surprises this season carrying the Avalanche in goal, but wore down late in the season. That being said, he is capable of frustrating the Sharks and stealing a game. We're not sure what type of home ice advantage the Av's will have as they have struggled to draw fans to the Pepsi center this season. On the injury front, it appears that Matt Duchene will play in Game 1.

The Pick: Sharks in six
Colorado is the faster team and the younger team, but does not have the talent that San Jose has. The Shark players realize that their window for winning the Stanley Cup is closing and should be primed to get out of the first round. The Avalanche will play scrappy and give the Sharks a hard fought series, but in the end the Sharks talent, and the fact that they are tired of hearing about playoff failures will win this series.

(2) Chicago vs. (7) Nashville

Season Series: 4-2 Chicago

Central Division rivals renew acquaintances in which promises to be a hard fought series as Nashville will be a difficult opponent for Stanley Cup champion hopeful Chicago.

The low down on the Chicago Blackhawks:
Talent, Talent, and more talent. The Blackhawks are loaded with six forwards that scored more than twenty goals. They have skill, grit, and speed which are all necessary components to winning the cup. Chicago can roll out four solid lines all of which will test Nashville. Patrick Kane leads the charge registering 88 points to lead the team in scoring. His center, Jonathan Toews put up 68 points and Marian Hossa scored 24 goals in only 57 games. The Hawks gained valuable playoff experience last season making the Western Conference Finals. That should only help them this season and make them more dangerous. The defense is led by Duncan Keith who does everything and is favored to win the Norris trophy. Brent Seabrook, Kim Johnsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Brent Sopel make up a very solid defense. They may feel the loss of Brian Campbell who is out for the season, at certain points of the playoffs, but are still deeper than most teams on the blue line. The key for the Hawks will be the play of goalie, Antti Niemi who posted a 2.25 GAA, and .912 save percentage. Those are very solid numbers, but he has never appeared in a playoff game. Backup goalie Cristobel Huet played in three playoff games last year, but has not posted great numbers in the postseason. Head coach Joel Quenneville is a veteran coach who has been to the playoffs before with the St.Louis Blues and the Blackhawks, but his teams have never advanced past the conference finals. No team will have a better home ice advantage than the Hawks as the United Center will be rocking for sure as it has all season.

The low down on the Nashville Predators: Not a flashy team by any means as the Predators leading scorer, Steve Sullivan only put up 51 points. They do have a thirty goal scorer in Patric Hornqvist and have perhaps the most underrated defense in the NHL. Expect the Predators to put Shea Weber and Ryan Suter on the ice to match up with the Patrick Kane line. Nashville will also has a solid stopper line in Marcel Goc, Steve Sullivan, and Joel Ward to attempt to contain the explosive Blackhawks. Martin Erat, Jason Arnott, and JP Dumont are very capable scorers and they will need to notch goals for Nashville to have a chance. On defense, the Predators have the players to frustrate the Hawks. In addition to Weber, and Suter, they also have Dan Hamhuis and one of the teams best shot blockers in Kevin Klein. Pekka Rinne is a very solid goalie, and the question is if he can translate his regular season success to the playoffs. Very rarely do the Predators get out worked by any opponent and that has to do with longtime coach Barry Trotz. He has never advanced past the first round, but does a tremendous job getting the low budget Predators into the playoffs. Nashville does not have a strong power play and was not great penalty killing this season either. They are a fast team, and can be an annoyance to play against because they do not give opposing teams much room to work with on the ice.

The Pick: Blackhawks in six

We're expecting this to be an entertaining and grueling series that should go six games. The Predators have never won a game on the road in their history and will have difficulty winning in the United Center. Offensively, the Hawks clearly have more talent and are a much better team on face offs which is critical. On defense, Nashville may be slightly deeper, but Chicago does not give up many shots on goal, in part because they spend so much time in the offensive zone. Both goalies will have to prove themselves, but this should be a good match up for Antti Niemi because Nashville should have trouble generating offense.

(3) Vancouver vs. (6) Los Angeles

Season Series: 3-1 Vancouver

Very interesting series between the Vancouver Canucks led by Art Ross trophy winner, Henrik Sedin, and the up and coming Los Angeles Kings, making their first post season appearance since 2002. Both teams finished with similar records, and both were ranked near the same in power play and penalty killing.

The low down on the Vancouver Canucks: When looking over their roster, the first thing that jumps out is that they have six players that scored more than 25 goals. Henrik Sedin led the charge by putting up the most points by anyone in the league with 112 points. His brother Daniel scored 29 goals in only 63 games. Contrary to years past, the Canucks have balanced scoring and rely heavily on secondary scorers, Alex Burrows(35 goals), US Olympian, Ryan Kesler (25 goals) and Mason Raymond who chipped in 25 goals as well. The offseason pickup of Mikael Samuelsson from Detroit not only provided 30 goals this season but he also supplies valuable playoff experience. The Canucks have agitators in Tanner Glass, Rick Rypien, and one of the biggest pests in the league, Darcy Hordichuk. Look for them to try to get under the skin of the young players on the Kings. The defense for Vancouver has been banged up lately. They will sorely miss Willie Mithcell, who is battling concussion issues, and Sami Salo and Christian Ehrhoff are battling injuries as well. The latest reports were that they should be ready to go for Game 1. Still this could be a concern against the Kings who have had success this season with working the puck down low and wearing down other teams defenses. It's surprising that goaltending may be a slight concern in Vancouver, but Roberto Luongo has not been sharp of late. He is an all world goalie who is capable of dominating, but he was inconsistent at times, including yielding 8 goals to the Kings in LA on April 1st. Vancouver is a dominate team at home and they defeated the Kings in both meetings at GM Place. Head coach Alain Vigneault has guided the Canucks to the second round three times, but has never advanced past that point. This is a team that is fast and very physical. The only concern really is the depth on defense, especially if they have injuries.

The low down on the Los Angeles Kings: The goal for the Kings at the start of the season was to make the playoffs, and they did so in a big way by eclipsing 100 points, and setting a team record for most road wins. Offensively, they are led mostly by players 25 and younger. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings charge scoring 34 goals this season and forming a lethal line with veterans Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams. The best line for the Kings to end the season was the second line of captain Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov, and Jarret Stoll. The Kings are a big team that is not overly fast. They like to cycle the puck deep and have success when players such as Smyth, and Michal Handzus are camped in front of the net. The Kings had 11 players score double digits in goals, so similar to Vancouver, they have balanced scoring top to bottom. The defense is led by 20 year old Drew Doughty who has drawn comparisons to Ray Bourque and Scott Niedermayer. He's very slick with the puck and logs plenty of ice time and is the Kings best point man on the power play. He is usually paired with Stanley Cup winner Rob Scuderi, who is a shut down defenseman that will be asked to contain the Sedin's if that's possible. Matt Greene is another defenseman that plays mean and is physical. Jack Johnson, Sean O'Donnell, and Randy Jones, round out a very formidable defense for the Kings. Johnson showed flashes of brilliance late this season. The Kings finally solidified the goaltending position with Jonathan Quick who won 39 games. However, he did not win a game in his last eight starts and appeared worn down the last couple weeks of the season. He is by far the biggest key for the Kings, as he will be playing in his first post season series. Head coach Terry Murray, has had playoff success in the past reaching the Stanley Cup Finals with the Philadelphia Flyers. Los Angeles was not one of the better teams at home this season, but one would think after an eight year absence that building will be hostile.

The Pick: Kings in seven

Very difficult series to predict. At one point this season we thought Vancouver could win the cup, but the injuries on defense is worrisome. This series may go down to overtime in game seven, it's that close. We'll take the Kings because they are healthy and we're expecting Jonathan Quick to play the way he did for most of the season. The pressure of all of Canada will be on the Canucks as they very well could win this series but we'll take the Kings for the mild upset.

(4) Phoenix vs. (5) Detroit

Season Series: 2-2 Both Phoenix wins occurred in Overtime.

There has been no bigger story in the NHL this season, than the shock of the Phoenix Coyotes, battling through bankrupcy and potentially moving this summer, to making the playoffs for the first time in eight years. The prize for being the 4th seed, are the Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings, who were one of the hottest teams in the league after the Olympic break. This should be the series with the most story lines as well as one of the most exciting match ups we have in the post season.

The low down on the Phoenix Coyotes: What more can be said for a team that was picked to finish dead last in the league by almost every expert in hockey, other than they deserve all the credit they are receiving. Starting with the front office making schrewd moves at the deadline, this team has been terrific in competing in one of the leagues most difficult divisions. Captain, Shane Doan, anchors the Coyote forwards that also consists of top center, Matthew Lombardi(19 goals), and leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata(24 goals). This is a team that has no superstar, no ego, just a group of young players and veterans that play very well as a team. The surprise of the season for the Coyotes is the play of Lee Stempniak who scored a whopping 14 goals in 18 games after being acquired from Toronto. Wojtek Wolski, another player acquired at the trade deadline added 18 points in 18 games since becoming a Coyote. The defense is mostly a veterean defense which is helpful in the playoffs. Yes, Mathieu Schneider is still in the league and he logs plenty of ice team as well as fellow veterans Adrian Aucoin, Ed Jovanovski, and Derek Morris. The MVP of the Coyotes was goalie, Ilya Brzgalov, who ranked in the top ten in all major goaltending categories. He posted eight shutouts this season and makes certain saves look very easy. Dave Tippet will no doubt be named coach of the year, and enjoyed playoff success during his reign in Dallas. Phoenix finished 29-10-2 at home, playing in front of some scarce crowds which grew near the end of the season. If the Coyotes play with that nothing to lose attitude they had most of the season they are a scary opponent for the Red Wings.

The low down on the Detroit Red Wings: Year in and year out this team is a model of consistency. They may not be as explosive as in years past, but still have a solid group of forwards, most of which have came back from early season injuries. The names are familiar, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterburg led the Wings with 70 points apiece. Johan Franzen only played 27 games this season and is fully healthy, Tomas Holmstrom has scored plenty of big goals in his career, and Kris Draper and Dan Cleary are experienced playoff performers. On special teams Detroit had the tenth ranked PP, which is remarkable considering the injuries this season. The penalty killing improved dramatically from last season and finished in the top ten. Detroit has the looks of a team that is healthy and peaking at the right time. On defense, Niklas Lidstrom leads the charge as usual, logging an average of 25 minutes of ice time. Brian Rafalski adds offense form the blueline and Niklas Kronwall has played well since his return from injury. Expect the Coyotes to be opportunistic and try to wear down the Red Wings defense that is very solid, but up in years. The man in charge of leading the Red Wings turnaround is rookie goalie Jimmy Howard. His numbers are off the charts as he enters his first post season as a starter. He was especially terrific near the end of the season and is mostly responsible for the success of the Red Wings this season. Don't forget that the Red Wings were in danger of missing the playoffs up until the last month or so of the season. In my opinion, Mike Babcock is the best coach in the league and Joe Louis Arena is always a difficult place to play in, especially during the post season.

The Pick: Red Wings in six

Unfortunately, Phoenix drew the team that nobody wanted in the first round. It wouldn't shock us if Phoenix won the series, but with the fact that the Red Wings are playing so well, and that they have had so much playoff success in the past makes it hard to pick against them. The 16-3-2 record that Detroit has posted since the Olympics tells the story about how in the zone this team is right now. Goals should be hard to come by, but the Wings have more scoring threats than the Coyotes do.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Eastern Conference Playoff Preview and Picks

Montreal (8) vs Washington (1)

CANADIENS (39-33-10)


Season Series: Split. Each team earned 5 points in the four meetings.

How they got here: The Montreal Canadiens find themselves facing the Presidents Trophy winning Washington Capitals after going 3-4-3 in their last 10. Just one more victory in their last 10 and the Canadiens could have found themselves in a much more favorable position heading into the playoffs. The Canadiens have had an up and down season, who finally got it going with an impressive run right after the Olympic Break. However, the Canadiens struggled down the stretch and the result is a meeting with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals dominated the NHL all season outscoring opponents by 85 goals in their 121 point performance. The Capitals also went 30-5-6 at home, a staggering mark that makes their home ice advantage throughout the playoffs even more important.

Key Players: The Capitals have several talented players, lets be honest, their roster is ridiculous. Alex Ovechkin had another impressive season, tallying 50 goals for the 4th time and had a career high in assists with 59. After Ovechkin, the list of talented players goes on and on. Alex Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Mike Green and on and on. Heck Eric Fehr had 21 goals in 69 games averaging only slightly more than 12 minutes of ice time a game.

Montreal was led by Tomas Plekanic who had 70 points this season. The Canadiens will need offensive outputs by Scott Gomez, Mike Cammelleri, and Brian Gionta. The Canadiens got a boost on the back line when Andrei Markov came back from injury halfway through the season.
Jaroslav Halak won the starting job at the end of the season and must play well for Montreal to win.

Washington will win if: They play their game. Push the play and create offense. The Capitals should have no problem creating offense on the Canadiens defense.

Montreal will in if: Jaroslav Halak plays insane, and/or the Capitals get lost on the way to the Bell Centre. In all seriousness, the Canadiens will have to play physical and force Washington off their game. If they can do that for the entire series, Washington's goaltending weakness might become relevant.

Prediction: Washington in 5. This is a tall order for Montreal. They will win one game because Washington tends to get lazy.

Philadelphia (7) vs New Jersey (2)

FLYERS (41-35-6)

DEVILS (48-27-7)

Season Series: The Flyers won the season series 5-1. The last game a 5-1 victory for Philly in Philly on March 28.

How they got here: The Devils had another typical fantastic season. New Jersey won the Atlantic Division and in the process won the Jennings award for fewest goals against in the league giving up just 191 the entire season. The Flyers have had an up and down season. A season where coach John Stevens was fired after a rough start and saw new coach Peter Laviolette get the Flyers playing great hockey. The Flyers struggled down the stretch but found a way to beat the Rangers on the final day of the season to grab the 7th seed.

Key Players: The Devils will rely again on the seasoned veteran in goal, Martin Brodeur. Brodeur will play in the playoffs for the 12th straight season and look to win another Stanley Cup. Team defense is a key for the Devils but New Jersey has some serious firepower for maybe the first time in their history. Ilya Kovalchuk was acquired in a trade and Zach Parise seems to be getting better each season. Each player is capable of scoring from anywhere on the ice and when a game is on the line, the Devils have the better goal scorers. For Philadelphia they will have to rely on Brian Boucher. Boucher is the Flyers 3rd string goalie who was forced into duty when Ray Emery and Micheal Leighton went down with injuries. Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere and Mike Richards lead Philly's offensive attack and will have to produce to keep the Flyers in this series.

New Jersey will win if: Brodeur is Brodeur and Kovalchuk can show some leadership. Zach Parise will be Zach Parise but the Devils will need other scorers to step up.

Philadelphia will win if: they play physical and wear down the Devils forwards. If Brian Boucher can play solidly and Briere, Richards and Carter can do their part, the Flyers can definitely win this series.

Prediction: The Flyers will be the upset of the first round and beat the Devils in 7 games. The Flyers physical play will not be matched by New Jersey and Boucher will play well.

Boston (6) at Buffalo (3)

Sabres (45-27-10)

Bruins (39-30-13)

Season Series: Boston won 4 games to 2.

How they got here: Lindy Ruff once again had his Sabres play up to their potential and led them to another solid season, winning the Northeast Division. The Sabres have done it by committee all season long and might be the only team in the East without any weaknesses.
The Bruins got to the playoffs on guts, grit and goaltending. The Bruins were 2nd to last in the NHL in goals scored with 206. Only Calgary with 204 scored less. The Bruins earned the 6th seed by going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games including victories in their last 3.

Key Players: For both teams, much of their playoff success or failure will come from the performance of their respective goalies. Ryan Miller has had another terrific year, including a silver medal in the Olympics. Offensively the Sabres do it as a team. A group of 12 players had 10 or more goals led by Thomas Vanek who had 28. Derek Roy continues to get better with age and led the Sabres in scoring with 69 points. Tim Connolly had a good year as well with 65 points and the Sabres are hopeful he could be back in the lineup when the series starts Thursday. The Bruins rely on Zdeno Charo and Tuukka Rask. Rask led the league in goals against average at 1.97 and save percentage at .931. Very impressive numbers for a goalie marked to the backup.

Buffalo will win if: The Sabres get solid goaltending from Ryan Miller and continue to get balanced scoring from their forwards. Tyler Myers could add some offense from the blueline to help out as well.

Boston will win if: Tuukka Rask steals some games and players like Marco Sturm and Miroslav Satan can add some scoring to help out Bergeron and Krejci.

Prediction: The Sabres will win in 5 games. The Bruins have had tough luck with injuries this season and just can't score.

Ottawa (5) vs Pittsburgh (4)

SENATORS (44-32-6)

PENGUINS (47-28-7)

Season Series:
The teams split the 4 games

How they got here: The Ottawa Senators have had a season of streaks highlighted by a 12 game winning streak in January which is the biggest reason the Senators find themselves in the 5 seed. Along with that winning streak, Ottawa has seen a four game losing streak and two 5 game losing streaks. The Senators were 7-2-1 in their last 10 before the season ended. The Penguins find themselves ready to defend their Stanley Cup from a year ago, just falling short of the Atlantic Division title. Pittsburgh went 0-6 against New Jersey this season and it cost them a better seed for the playoffs. Pittsburgh has been consistent most of the season and enters the playoffs playing well.

Key Players: Sidney Crosby tied for the league lead in goals with 51 this season adding more goal scoring ability to his playmaking skills. Evgeni Malkin led Pittsburgh in points in last year's Stanley Cup run might be the 3rd best offensive player in the game. Marc Andre Fluery looks to stay sharp in between the pipes for Pittsburgh who looks to make their 3rd consecutive trip to the Finals. Brian Elliot came on this season as a legitimate #1 goalie and has helped Ottawa make a stress free playoff trip. Daniel Alfredsson led Ottawa in scoring this season while Jason Spezza and Mike Fischer had solid seasons. Alex Kovalev will be out for the entire playoffs which hurts Ottawa's depth at scoring. Anton Volchenkov and newly acquired Andy Sutton will have to play physical on the blueline, something the Pittsburgh stars seem to dislike.

Pittsburgh will win if: Crosby and Malkin play like the superstars they are. We have no reason to believe they won't and if Fluery plays well.

Ottawa will win if:
Volchenkov, Carkner, Sutton, Ruutu and company play physical and get Crosby and Malkin off their game or intimidated physically. Brian Elliot plays out of his mind.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6. Ottawa won't make this easy, but Crosby and Malkin are the best 1,2 punch in money situations.


This will be HockeySureShot's attempt at a March Madness like bracket challenge for the NHL Playoffs. Since teams are re-seeded after each round, you will need to take that into consideration when sending us your playoff bracket and picks. For example, if the #1 seed Washington Capitals win in the first round of the playoffs and seeds 4,6,7,8 lose, The Capitals would play the lowest seed remaining in the 2nd round. In this case it would be the #5 seed Senators. In the third round, the two remaining teams in each Conference will play each other so the seeding on your third round picks won't matter like it will from going from round 1 to round 2.

To enter, email us your picks. Include each series winner and how many games they will win in. The amount of games they win in will determine a tie breaker if needed. Here is a sample of how to send in your picks:

To make it easier, copy and paste the following in your email so you don't have to write out as much. Write the pick and how many games below or to the right of each series:

Eastern Conference-Round 1

Washington#1 vs Montreal#8

New Jersey #2 vs Philadelphia #7

Buffalo #3 vs Boston #6

Pittsburgh #4 vs Ottawa #5

Western Conference-Round 1

San Jose #1 vs Colorado #8

Chicago #2 vs Nashville #7

Vancouver #3 vs Los Angeles #6

Phoenix #4 vs Detroit #5
Here is a sample entry, you can use the layout above for the first round or simply do what we did below:

Eastern Conference-Round 1
Washington in 5 over Montreal,Flyers over Devils in 7, Buffalo over Boston in 6, Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 7.

Round 2,
Washington over Philadelphia in 5, Pittsburgh over Buffalo in 7

Round 3,
Washington over Pittsburgh in 7

Western Conference-Round 1
San Jose over Colorado in 5, Nashville over Chicago in 7, LA over Vancouver in 4, Phoenix over Detroit in 7

Nashville over San Jose in 5, LA over Phoenix in 4

LA over Nashville in 4

Stanley Cup Finals
LA over Washington in 4

Clearly with the Kings going 16-0 in this sample, this doesn't represent our real picks. We will post them by Tuesday evening.

1st round picks are worth 5 points, 2nd round worth 10, 3rd round worth 15 and Stanley Cup Finals worth 25. The winner will receive a HockeySureShot T-shirt, because that is all we can afford. Hopefully you participate and it will be fun.

Email us at with your picks or questions.


#1 vs. #8
Thursday, April 15 at Washington, 7:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Saturday, April 17 at Washington, 7:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Monday, April 19 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m. TSN
Wednesday, April 21 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m. TSN
*Friday, April 23 at Washington, 7:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
*Monday, April 26 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
*Wednesday, April 28 at Washington, TBD TSN

#2 vs. #7
Wednesday, April 14 at New Jersey, 7:30 p.m. TSN
Friday, April 16 at New Jersey, 7:30 p.m. TSN
Sunday, April 18 at Philadelphia, 6:00 p.m. TSN
Tuesday, April 20 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. TSN2
*Thursday, April 22 at New Jersey, 7:00 p.m. TSN
*Sunday, April 25 at Philadelphia, TBD TSN
*Tuesday, April 27 at New Jersey, 7:30 p.m. TSN

#3 vs. #6
Thursday, April 15 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. CBC
Saturday, April 17 at Buffalo, 1:00 p.m. NBC, CBC
Monday, April 19 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC
Wednesday, April 21 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC
*Friday, April 23 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. CBC
*Monday, April 26 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. CBC
*Wednesday, April 28 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. CBC

#4 vs. #5
Wednesday, April 14 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Friday, April 16 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Sunday, April 18 at Ottawa, 6:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Tuesday, April 20 at Ottawa, 7:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
*Thursday, April 22 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
*Saturday, April 24 at Ottawa, 7:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
*Tuesday, April 27 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. CBC

#1 vs. #8
Wednesday, April 14 at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS (JIP)
Friday, April 16 at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS (JIP)
Sunday, April 18 at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS (JIP)
Tuesday, April 20 at Colorado, 10:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS (JIP)
*Thursday, April 22 at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. CBC, VERSUS (JIP)
*Saturday, April 24 at Colorado, TBD CBC
*Monday, April 26 at San Jose, TBD CBC

#2 vs. #7
Friday, April 16 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. TSN2, VERSUS (JIP)
Sunday, April 18 at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS (JIP)
Tuesday, April 20 at Nashville, 9:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS (JIP)
Thursday, April 22 at Nashville, 8:30 p.m. TSN2, VERSUS (JIP)
*Saturday, April 24 at Chicago, 3:00 p.m. NBC, TSN
*Monday, April 26 at Nashville, TBD TSN
*Wednesday, April 28 at Chicago, TBD TSN

#3 vs. #6
Thursday, April 15 at Vancouver, 10:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Saturday, April 17 at Vancouver, 10:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Monday, April 19 at Los Angeles, 10:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Wednesday, April 21 at Los Angeles, 10:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
*Friday, April 23 at Vancouver, 10:00 p.m. CBC
*Sunday, April 25 at Los Angeles, TBD CBC, VERSUS
*Tuesday, April 27 at Vancouver, TBD CBC

#4 vs. #5
Wednesday, April 14 at Phoenix, 10:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Friday, April 16 at Phoenix, 10:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Sunday, April 18 at Detroit, 3:00 p.m. NBC, TSN
Tuesday, April 20 at Detroit, 6:30 p.m. TSN
*Friday, April 23 at Phoenix, 10:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
*Sunday, April 25 at Detroit, 2:00 p.m. NBC, TSN
*Tuesday, April 27 at Phoenix, TBD TSN

- * denotes if necessary

- All Times are Eastern Standard Time

All discussions below in comments. Predictions and previews to come.