NHL Playoff Bracket Update: Knotted Up
All has yet to be decided.
Unlike the NBA edition, the NHL playoff bracket is not a foregone conclusion.
We still don’t know which two teams will make the Stanley Cup Finals. Even though one team, Nashville, has an edge in their series, it’s far from over. Further, Ottawa and Pittsburgh enter today’s action in a critical Game 5 to break a 2-2 tie. All very good and exciting, because at least one postseason this spring had to be.
NHL Playoff Bracket Update: May 21
NHL Playoff Bracket Update: Series Outlooks
The Nashville Predators are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals. No, that’s not a typo and I’m not under psychiatric evaluation. The Preds continue their miracle run throughout the postseason with a 3-2 series lead and a chance to win their first Western Conference title on home ice. None of this discounts the possibility that the Anaheim Ducks will force Game 7 back in Orange County. Yet, Nashville is 6-1 in the playoffs at home this year. Cinderella still has her skates on.
Speaking of a potential Cinderella team, Ottawa doesn’t necessarily fit as they were in second place. Nashville was the second wild card in the West and widely written off as a first-round exit. Ottawa came into this with at least a chance, but they have more than a shot at a Cup Final as well. It comes down to this game in Pittsburgh this afternoon. Game 5 winners historically have a high probability of winning the series, but we go back to Ottawa for Game 6 either way. The Pens have won there in this series.
Nevertheless, there were at least a few Eastern Conference teams picked to get here before Ottawa. Two upstart teams on a roll could get to the biggest stage in hockey.
An Ottawa-Anaheim Cup Final would be a repeat of 2007. Anaheim and Pittsburgh have never met in the finals. Finally, Nashville has never met anyone in the Cup Final, so any team would be a new adventure.