Grab your sweater and get ready to hit the ice! The 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs are about to kick off, with the best teams in the NHL battling for glory. Find out when the first round kicks off and all the need-to-know info!
When do the 2017 NHL Playoffs start?
After the final buzzer rang during the final NHL game on April 9, the field for the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs was set. Sixteen teams, featuring the best and brightest placers on ice, are set to battle for the honor of having their names immortalized on the championship trophy.
The first games of the opening round begin on April 12. It’s a best-of-7 series, so the first round could last as long as April 26. It probably won’t. Keep in mind that last year’s Stanley Cup finals wrapped up on June 12, so hockey fans can expect plenty of action before the final puck drops.
What’s the NHL 2017 Stanley Cup bracket?
There aren’t a lot of surprises in the 2017 edition of the NHL playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins are back to defend their title and past champions like the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are back. Canada is well represented, as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Montreal Candiens made the cut.
Sorry, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks. Maybe next season. As for the rest of the field, the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets are in. So are the St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals. Check out the bracket below.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 10, 2017
What Match-ups should fans watch?
Hockey fans will be thrilled with this opening round. The Penguins lead the NHL in goals scored, per Bleacher Report, thanks to the offensive power of Sidney Crosby, 29, Evgeni Malkin, 30, and Phil Kessel, 29. Yet, they’re lacking on defense, and it’s possible that they get eliminated early if the Blue Jackets upset the reigning champs.
The Capitals are also favorites to win the Stanley Cup. They’ll meet the Maple Leafs in the opening round. More importantly, Washington will have to face Toronto’s superstar, the 19-year-old Auston Matthews, who has scored 69 points this season. Toronto is definitely the underdog in this first round match, but expect the Maple Leafs to bring the drama.
Are you excited for the Stanley Cup playoffs, HollywoodLifers? Who do you want to win the NHL championship?