Scott Powers previews the Blackhawks' playoffs on Sports Feed

That strategy obviously worked since both teams ended up in the Stanley Cup finals.

If the Chicago Blackhawks win their fourth Cup in seven years or Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers shock the league to win their first since 1990, speed will continue to be in vogue.

Now we'll start to see who got the best of last summer's blockbuster trade of star defencemen between Montreal and Nashville when it counts. The Predators blew leads of 3-0 in Game 1 and 3-1 in Game 6 of the 2015 series.

Is the Pen Mightier than the Jacket? But these Blackhawks have been refreshed by an infusion of youth hoping for their first taste of Stanley Cup glory, most notably Artemi Panarin.

Before this season, there was really little reason to expect a reversal in what has become the pathetic National Hockey League performances from Canadian-based teams.

The Hawks were the best team in the Western Conference, but their first round matchup is tougher than they expected.

"I try and treat every single game as if it's my first and my last game - with that excitement, as if it's your first game, and that kind of leave-it-all-out-there attitude, as if it could be your last game", said Murray.

St. Louis is the more experienced and more physical team, two traits that routinely win playoff series.

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Chicago in five games to advance and face Minnesota. While Ottawa actually finished three points ahead of the Bruins in the Atlantic Division - thereby securing the home-ice edge - the Senators have stumbled into the postseason with losses in 10 of their last 15 games and finished the regular season with a negative goal differential.

The Predators don't play any differently when they're ahead or behind. You want players who will make it through the bracket and accumulate points along the way.

The 27-year-old was better prepared the following spring when he helped the Ducks reach the Western Conference final. Given that all seven of the Canadian NHL teams missed the playoffs a year ago, the Canadian economy grew by just 0.1% in April 2016, with a 3.9% drop in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, according to Statistics Canada, which is the government's official static collection agency.

Nashville opened the season with a 3-2 victory over Chicago way back on October 14 but lost the other four matchups. They have made it to nine consecutive postseasons, winning three Stanley Cups along the way. The series between the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks is basically a toss-up. Yzerman played against Crosby during the 2005-06 season, his last season with the Detroit Red Wings and Sid The Kid's first in Pittsburgh. Montreal, the Rangers and Columbus have goaltenders, Ottawa has a superb defenceman, Toronto has the rookies of the year, Boston is slow. Tickets to Toronto's scheduled home games against the Capitals now have an average resale price of $381, which is the most expensive price of any opening round contest, according to data from SeatGeek. The Blackhawks will use this series to solidify their final defensive paring and take some minutes off the top four d-men. Rinne has a 1.98 goals against average with his save percentage up to.932 in a 13-game span, including one shutout. Wednesday, April 12. 7:30 p.m. ET Game 2: Blue Jackets at Penguins.

The series was tied 2-2 and the Predators had a 4-3 lead late in the game, thanks to a goal by Martin Erat. Going into December, Washington was struggling to score and though its record wasn't bad, the team had fallen behind the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers in the division standings. Since Montreal earned the Cup in 1993, Canadian sides have been blanked. The Ducks are favored in their series against the Calgary Flames. The Blues won 3-2.

This year, there's at least a chance, even if it's a long shot, to break what's become the most embarrassing streak ever in the history of Canadian hockey.

The Wild were the best team in the West for most of the season. However, considering their flaws it's hard to envision the Blues going much further than the second round in the West.

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