NHL Playoffs Open Thread: Day 2

Turns out they're both cats and neither is capable of landing on his back. They were stuck like this for hours. - Stephen Dunn

SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket

Tonight we've got Four games:

Metropolitan Division 2/3 Semifinals - Game 1: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers - 7:00pm

Television: CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG

SB Nation Blogs

Philadelphia - Broad Street Hockey
New York - Blueshirt Banter

The Matchup

Both teams kind of coasted into the postseason after putting up good enough numbers to secure their spots (Philly did so after a brutal start to the season too). The Rangers got in on the strength of defense, as they're one of just two teams in the East to allow fewer than 200 goals this season. Of course, they did this at the expense of scoring. Their 218 was the lowest among playoff teams in the conference. Philly scores at a good clip, but also allowed the most goals among any playoff team. This could be hurt further by their number one goalie Steve Mason (hahahaha) being injured. Ray Emery will take the net for the team that just gave Andy MacDonald $5M per year. The Rangers will probably try to bore their opponents to death.

Central 2/3 Semifinals - Game 1: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues - 8:00pm

Television: NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, CSN-CH, FS-MW

SB Nation Blogs

Chicago - Second City Hockey
St. Louis - St. Louis Game Time

The Matchup

Thanks to late-season horseshittery, what should be the two best teams in the West get to face off in the first round against one another. St. Louis lost six straight games to give up not only the Presidents Trophy, but also the division (you're welcome, Colorado). Chicago puttered around for most of the post-Olympic break to fall into third. They also lost some guys to injury or whatever, but that's just lame excuses. The Blues were better defensively all year, but forgot how to score goals in the 2nd half. The Hawks scored more than anybody, but also allowed a high amount relative to other teams. This series is going to be bittersweet, as one team will be happily eliminated, but the second basically has a bye into the conference finals if they win this seven-gamer.

Central Division 1/4 Semifinals - Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche - 9:30pm

Television: CNBC, TSN, RDS, FS-N, ALT

SB Nation Blogs

Minnesota - Hockey Wilderness
Colorado - Mile High Hockey

The Matchup

Neither team is very good in this series, Colorado just pulled enough luck to look way better than they actually are whereas Minnesota didn't. The Avs survived all season on losing the possession battle and getting unsustainably good goaltending from Semyon Varlamov. The Wild? They...uhhhh... I mean the Wild...uhhh..... hockeyed? Who cares? Go Minny.

Pacific Division 2/2 Semifinals - Game 1: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks - 10:30pm

Television: CBC, RDS2, NBCSN, FS-W, CSN-CA

SB Nation Blogs

Los Angeles - Jewels from the Crown, Battle of California
San Jose - Fear the Fin, Battle of California

The Matchup

This playoff rematch looks like it's going to be the toughest to call once again. San Jose scores more than Los Angeles, but the Kings allow fewer goals. For some weird reason, the Sharks' coach is playing coy with his goaltenders even though everybody knows it's going to be Niemi vs. Quick. I think this one is going to come down to being a tilted battle of the goalies where Quick is going to have to do more work and prove he's that much better than Niemi. Also, Dustin Brown might kill somebody. He's definitely going to try.

- - -

So who are you rooting for tonight?

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