They're almost here.
There's nothing quite like the NHL's postseason. The Stanley Cup playoffs are a grueling marathon for the teams and players that participate and an experience like no other for hockey fans. After a long 82-game season featuring a plethora of meaningless or mundane games, the playoffs are where every contest matters, where every play is vitally important.
It's all good, but some series are better than others. For reasons of talent or history or star power, some potential matchups stand out from the pack.
Read on to view the ones we especially hope to see in the first round.
Statistics courtesy of NHL.com and current through the start of action on March 22, unless otherwise noted.