May 10, 2019
The 2019 NHL Playoffs began April 10th and have been one of the craziest in recent memory. The Tampa Bay Lightning entered the post season tournament as the Presidents Trophy winner with 128 points and arguably the favorite to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. Tampa Bay was upset in round 1 by the Columbus Blue Jackets who finished as the Eastern Conferences second Wild-Card team. Columbus swept Tampa Bay in 4 games. The Calgary Flames finished with the second most points in the regular season (107) to place as the Western Conference number 1 seed. Calgary was also upset in round 1 by the Colorado Avalanche (Western Conference Wild Card 2) losing the series 4 games to 1. The second round saw St. Louis defeating the Dallas Stars in 7, giving that franchise their first appearance in the Conference Finals since 2001. The Blues await the outcome of game 7 between the San Jose Sharks and the Colorado Avalanche. Back over in the East, the Carolina Hurricanes, coined by Don Cherry as “a bunch of Jerks” for their post- home game antics, have made it all the way to Conference Finals since the last time they won the Stanley Cup in 2006. The Hurricanes upset the 2018 Champions, The Washington Capitals in round 1, before going on to sweep the New York Islanders in round 2. They are set to face off against the seemingly always prevalent Boston Bruins. Boston has had a strong showing in the 2019 Playoffs, proving to have made some very effective Trade Deadline acquisitions in both Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. The odds from here forward for the outright winner has Boston leading the pack at +175. The Conference Finals get underway Thursday May 9th.