Tonight marks the beginning of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, including the first game between the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars. The Predators are considered by many to be a top Cup contender, but Dallas has a good chance at making an upset, in large part due to their stellar goaltending:
Stars goaltender Ben Bishop is coming off a career year, posting a 27-15-2 record, 1.98 goals-against average, .934 save percentage, which set a Stars franchise record, and seven shutouts. He’s in the mix for the Vezina Trophy, which goes to the top goaltender in the league.
Another big plus for the Stars is the return of Mats Zuccarello, who has dazzled in his two games wearing Victory Green:
The Stars need to find a way to generate some offense, and the acquisition of Zuccarello should be a big boost. He played in only two games -- and left both early -- but his impact was evident. He gives the Stars the ability to roll out two legitimate scoring lines.
You can read more in Mark Stepneski’s series preview here.
More Stars News
I think we can all agree that it’s good to have Dallas back in the playoffs:
Sean Shapiro and Adam Vingan of The Athletic break down the Stars-Predators series:
What all happens before NHL players are ready to take the ice? Mike Heika goes into detail:
Around the League
The NHL Draft Lottery was last night, and the New Jersey Devils — who had the third best odds — won the first overall pick. The New York Rangers moved up four spots to No. 2 while the Chicago Blackhawks made the biggest leap from No. 12 to No. 3.
Of course, we all already knew the Devils were going to win it. After all, they have Taylor Hall:
They talk about Gretzky’s 92 goals or Sittler’s 10 pts in one game as records that may never be broken. But winning 5 draft lotteries in your first 9 years in the league? In 2 different draft lottery eras, no less. That is a record that will stand forever.— Taylor Hall (@hallsy09) April 10, 2019
By securing another first overall pick, it shouldn’t be too long until the Devils are Cup contenders again:
The Devils are living proof that rebuilds are rarely linear, and with the team set to choose first overall in June, it won't be long until the franchise becomes a true contender once again, writes @THNKenCampbell. https://t.co/GB2a3FokI4— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) April 10, 2019
Now that we know the order of the top 15 picks, it’s finally time for mock drafts:
Moving on, Slava Voynov is officially barred from rejoining the NHL for the 2019-20 season:
Slava Voynov has been suspended for the entire 2019-20 NHL season (including playoffs) for unacceptable off-ice conduct. Voynov’s eligibility to play in the NHL will be restored (assuming good behavior) no later than July 1, 2020. https://t.co/zd7jDQI4TU— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 9, 2019
Finally, I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free: