2015 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Round 1

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As Round 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs is just a mere day away, we take a deeper look into this year’s postseason. The struggle of making the playoffs has been well noted over the last few weeks, as Games 81 and 82 decided the fate for many teams. We saw the Cinderella story of the year, the Ottawa Senators reach the postseason on the final game of the season, as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins squeaking in after defeating the last place Buffalo Sabres.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the 2015 season is seeing both the Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins out of the postseason. Boston, being the President’s trophy winners just a year ago and LA being the defending Stanley Cup champions. Both teams were seen as two of the best in the league and sure “locks” to reach the postseason. With neither team in the postseason, it goes to show the great parity and balance that the NHL has from year to year.

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Of the sixteen teams in the 2014 Playoffs, only nine have consecutive playoff berths, seeing a total of seven new teams. Out goes the Bruins, Flyers, Blue Jackets, Avalanche, Sharks, and Kings. In comes the Senators, Capitals, Islanders, Jets, Canucks, and Flames.

Good news Canada, after having just Montreal in the 2014 postseason, you now have five total Canadian teams. Sorry Oilers and Leafs fans.

Now let’s take a deeper look into the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs