NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Day One: Matchup Previews and Predictions

Tonight is the night. The Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off with some big matchups between half of the teams competing in the postseason.

It is first impression season now. The postseason kicking-off is a fresh start for every team. While home ice does give some teams an advantage, all it takes is one loss at home to change things.

Tonight we have a heck of a schedule so let’s go through and say a few bullet points on each game:

Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes – 7 PM ET

The first game of the series between Carolina and Boston is going to be great. Carolina and Boston have met twice before during the past four years with Boston winning both series. This will now be the third time in four years giving Carolina an opportunity to rewrite those past defeats.

Carolina won all three matchups this season between the Hurricanes and the Bruins but it is the postseason when things matter the most. This could be a big postseason for the Hurricanes to finally hit that next level on the national stage. Hopefully, we see some great showings from their star players.

My Prediction: Boston wins game one.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs – 7:30 PM ET

Does anything really need to be said here? We have the defending champs x2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs desperate for a series win. While this very well could be the year for the Maple Leafs, it will have to come in the hands of their electric offense because their defense and goaltending have been spotty at times.

This series definitely is not getting decided tonight but watch out for a statement win one way or the other because if Tampa manages to pull this one out most of Toronto will go crazy. This is the Maple Leafs’ series to lose, and that might be a daunting fact considering they are playing the defending champs.

My prediction: Toronto wins game one.

St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild – 9:30 PM ET

I am pumped to see this game one the Blues dominated the Wild during the regular season but the playoffs are a different beast and this is the best opportunity the Wild have had in the past handful of seasons.

On the other hand, this is a Blues team entering the postseason without a lot of outside noise around them. 2019 was not that long ago and St. Louis definitely could be a sneaky pick to make it out of round one and possibly past Colorado.

My Prediction: Minnesota wins game one.

Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers – 10 PM ET

I know a lot of people are forgetting about this series but I personally cannot wait. The Oilers and the Kings are going to be duking it out all series long and the exciting thing is this could be the first time we see McDavid shine during the playoffs.

The Kings might be the best opponent McDavid and company could ask for in round one and who knows maybe it can catapult them forward to a lot of success this postseason. On the other side, I am excited to see this young Kings team make their first playoff debut. This team definitely is not a Cup favorite to win, but a few years down the line they could be.

My Prediction: Edmonton wins game one.

It’s playoff time and here is to an exciting trip ahead.

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