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Open Thread Day 10: The Playoff Begin...Again

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2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Edmonton Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Welcome back. The NHL Playoffs (officially) begin tonight. The nonplayoff playoffs were exciting as all get out and there is little reason to believe these series will be any less exciting.

Here’s what’s on tap for today’s games. We’ll use this as an open thread for today’s games.

Columbus Blue Jackets (7) at Tampa Bay Lightning (2)

Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

Best of 7: Series tied 0-0

Time: 3:00 pm ET

TV: NBCSN, SN, TVAS, SUN, FS-O

Team Sites: The Cannon, Raw Charge

A rematch from last season’s shocking first round sweep by Columbus, one must believe the Lightning are one part amped for some revenge and one part scared it will happen again. Outside of maybe Barry Trotz no coach has done a better job in recent seasons of having his team prepared and getting the most out of them on the ice than John Tortorella. Can Tampa shake the playoff demons and a bit of a lackluster qualifier round or will the Blue Jackets become Tampa’s Boston Bruins?

Calgary Flames (6) at Dallas Stars (3)

Rogers Place, Edmonton

Best of 7: Series tied 0-0

Time: 5:30 pm ET

TV: , NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, FS-SW+

Team Sites: Matchsticks & Gasoline, Defending Big D

This should low key be a good series. Both teams have talent all over the ice and are not afraid of the physical game. That said, Dallas all but slept through the qualifiers while Calgary is really adept at getting under their opponent’s skin and in their heads.

Carolina Hurricanes (5) at Boston Bruins (4)

Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

Best of 7: Series tied 0-0

Time: 8:00 pm ET

TV: , NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NESN, FS-CR

Team Sites: Canes Country, Stanley Cup of Chowder

Boston, the best team before the stoppage, has been anything but since the restart. They have looked old, slow, and out of sync. That is the absolute opposite of how they need to play against Carolina as the Hurricanes put up one of the two best performances since the restart in sweeping the New York Rangers right into the first overall pick in the draft. They are fast, aggressive, skilled and poised for a run. The Bruins are no slouches themselves but they better come out looking like the Bruins before the stoppage because the version we have seen the last three games will not be able to hang with the Hurricanes.

Chicago Blackhawks (8) at Vegas Golden Knights (1)

Rogers Place, Edmonton

Best of 7: Series tied 0-0

Time: 10:30pm ET

TV: NBCSN, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, NBCSCH

Team Sites: Second City Hockey, Kinghts on Ice

Chicago surprised a lot of people by beating the Edmonton Oilers by flat out outscoring them despite Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins going off. As a reward for ousting the best player on the planet they get the top seed Vegas Golden Knights. While they might not have the name recognition as the Oilers top players, Vegas has their own talented forwards up from who will give Chicago fits in their own end. The biggest difference is they also have a much better blue line than Edmonton as well as a Cup winning goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury in net. That said, Vegas did have some issues keeping the puck out of their own net in their qualifiers and if those issues continue Chicago could see themselves into the next round.