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2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket

The National Hockey League’s field of 16 is set. What are the paths to Lord Stanley’s Cup?

The bracket for the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs is set, and the 16 teams are ready to race for glory.

Hockey’s sweet sixteen starts its journey towards Lord Stanley’s Cup later this week. It could be the defending champion, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hoist it again. We could get a new victor, like the Washington Capitals, the best regular-season team in the league. Finally, the Chicago Blackhawks could capture their fourth cup since 2010.

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Bracket

2017 NHL Playoffs

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Printable Bracket

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Printable Bracket

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Printable Bracket

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference playoffs are led by the Washington Capitals, President’s Trophy winners for back-to-back seasons. In the first round, they draw the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team to which they have only lost once this season.

On the other side of the Metro Division playoffs are the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. This could set up a Washington-Pittsburgh second round series, which would be about as brutal a series for both squads as you’ll find in the playoffs.

The Atlantic bracket has an Original Six meeting between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens. Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, they haven’t beaten Montreal yet, despite coming close on several occasions. The winner of this series faces either Ottawa or Boston. We were about a day away from getting an all-Ontario showdown, but the Bruins and Maple Leafs flipped positions.

This also precludes the possibility of a Montreal vs. Toronto series in the second round. We can still get Montreal vs. Ottawa, featuring all the hate you would expect of two cities close together. If you like Original Six matchups in the playoffs, the Rangers vs. Bruins might be the second round for you. Why have that, however, when you can have Montreal vs. Boston? Those franchises have a wee bit of distaste for one another.

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Western Conference

The Pacific Division playoffs are going to be as tightly contested as the regular season. Anaheim, Edmonton, San Jose, and Calgary are not separated by much. There are three possible outcomes of the first round: an all-Alberta second round, an all-California second round, or a mix and match.

Calgary vs. Edmonton would be a very contentious series, if it happens. Before that can be, however, Calgary has to get through Anaheim, and Edmonton must send San Jose home.

In the Central, it’s shaping up like it’s time for Chicago to go on another Cup run. It would start with them facing down the Nashville Predators. Should they beat the Preds, Chicago would draw the winner of either Minnesota or St. Louis. The Blues are playing well as of late, but it was Chicago and Minnesota tussling for the division crown all year. This would be a very tough series for both teams.

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