Year in and year out, the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs offers the best entertainment of the entire NHL season.
We have hockey every day, practically 24/7, with lots of close-fought games that often extend well beyond 60 minutes. The best-of-seven series format offers plenty of time for rivalries to build and strategies to change. Just when we think a series is settled—BOOM!—another huge shift in momentum keeps us on the edge of our seats.
Here's a look at the biggest trends and takeaways from this year's playoff action through Monday night's games.
All stats courtesy of NHL.com.