NHL Playoffs 2014: Updated Schedule and Predictions for Stanley Cup Bracket

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NHL Playoffs 2014: Updated Schedule and Predictions for Stanley Cup Bracket
Mark J. Terrill

There are many people who view the Stanley Cup playoffs as the most exciting postseason in sports and the 2014 edition of the first round has hardcore and casual fans alike excited about the competition.

Whether you support teams from the Eastern or Western Conferences, the intense action thus far has lived up to the lofty expectations placed upon this year’s postseason.

Here is the updated schedule and predictions for the entire first-round bracket.

 

The Bracket

For an updated NHL playoff bracket, check out NHLPlayoffsBracket.com.

 

Full 2014 First-Round Schedule
Eastern Conference
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Friday, April 18 7:30 p.m. Detroit at Boston NBCSN
Sunday, April 20 3 p.m. Detroit at Boston NBC
Tuesday, April 22 7:30 p.m. Boston at Detroit NBCSN
Thursday, April 24 8 p.m. Boston at Detroit NBCSN
*Saturday, April 26 3 p.m. Detroit at Boston NBC
*Monday, April 28 TBD Boston at Detroit N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Detroit at Boston N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Wednesday, April 16 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay CNBC
Friday, April 18 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay CNBC
Sunday, April 20 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Montreal NBCSN
Tuesday, April 22 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Montreal NHL Network
*Thursday, April 24 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay N/A
*Sunday, April 27 TBD Tampa Bay at Montreal NBCSN
Tuesday, April 29 TBD Montreal at Tampa Bay N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Wednesday, April 16 7:30 p.m. Columbus at Pittsburgh NBCSN
Saturday, April 19 7 p.m. Columbus at Pittsburgh NBCSN
Monday, April 21 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at Columbus NBCSN
Wednesday, April 23 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at Columbus NBCSN
*Saturday, April 26 TBD Columbus at Pittsburgh N/A
*Monday, April 28 TBD Pittsburgh at Columbus N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Columbus at Pittsburgh N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 7 p.m. Philadelphia at NY Rangers CNBC
Sunday, April 20 Noon Philadelphia at NY Rangers NBC
Tuesday, April 22 8 p.m. NY Rangers at Philadelphia CNBC
Friday, April 25 7 p.m. NY Rangers at Philadelphia CNBC
*Sunday, April 27 Noon Philadelphia at NY Rangers NBC
*Tuesday, April 29 TBD NY Rangers at Philadelphia N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Philadelphia at NY Rangers N/A
Western Conference
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 9:30 p.m. Minnesota at Colorado CNBC
Saturday, April 19 9:30 p.m. Minnesota at Colorado NBCSN
Monday, April 21 7 p.m. Colorado at Minnesota NHL Network
Thursday, April 24 9:30 p.m. Colorado at Minnesota CNBC
*Saturday, April 26 TBD Minnesota at Colorado N/A
*Monday, April 28 TBD Colorado at Minnesota N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Minnesota at Colorado N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 8 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis NBCSN
Saturday, April 19 3 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis NBC
Monday, April 21 8:30 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago CNBC
Wednesday, April 23 9:30 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago NBCSN
*Friday, April 25 8 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis NBCSN
*Sunday, April 27 3 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago NBC
*Tuesday, April 29 TBD Chicago at St. Louis N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Wednesday, April 16 10 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN
Friday, April 18 10 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN
Monday, April 21 9:30 p.m. Anaheim at Dallas NBCSN
Wednesday, April 23 8 p.m. Anaheim at Dallas CNBC
*Friday, April 25 10:30 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN
*Sunday, April 27 TBD Anaheim at Dallas N/A
*Tuesday, April 29 TBD Dallas at Anaheim N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 10:30 p.m. Los Angeles at San Jose NBCSN
Sunday, April 20 10 p.m. Los Angeles at San Jose NBCSN
Tuesday, April 22 10 p.m. San Jose at Los Angeles NBCSN
Thursday, April 24 10:30 p.m. San Jose at Los Angeles NBCSN
*Saturday, April 26 TBD Los Angeles at San Jose NBCSN
*Monday, April 28 TBD San Jose at Los Angeles N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Los Angeles at San Jose N/A

Source: NHL.com

 

After examining the complete first-round schedule, here are the latest predicted winners.

First-Round Matchups and Predictions
Eastern Conference
First-Round Matchup Predicted Winner
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings Boston
Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Montreal
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pittsburgh
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia
Western Conference
First-Round Matchup Predicted Winner
Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars Anaheim
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings San Jose
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild Colorado
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks St. Louis

Source: NHL.com

 

Monday’s Best Matchup: San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

The San Jose Sharks started the first-round series with the Los Angeles Kings on fire offensively and took a decisive 3-0 lead. Two games later and the series enters Game 6 with San Jose desperately trying to hold off a Los Angeles team that has won two in a row.

The Sharks scored 17 goals through the first three games of the series and looked to be unstoppable offensively. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick has regained his composure, though, and San Jose has only scored three goals in the last two games.

Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register talked about how the San Jose fans have seen the team blow series leads before and are starting to grow weary of the team’s inability to put Los Angeles away:

San Jose head coach Todd McLellan told Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, via ABC News, about the play of his team in Game 5 and what they must do to win in Game 6:

We did a lot of good things for 3 1/2 games. Tonight was red rotten. That's simply put. When we started the series, we talked about leaving games behind, closing the book on it. There's no doubt we'll look at it. We have to improve. But it's put in the bank and we'll move on.

While the pace of the first three games was dictated by San Jose, Los Angeles has been able to turn the tide and has flipped momentum in its favor. Just as the Sharks offense was scoring at will to start the series, the Kings have scored nine goals over the last two games.

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Led by the emergence of newly acquired forward Marian Gaborik, as well as standout play from centers Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, Los Angeles has been able to stave off elimination as they continue building the ultimate comeback.

As long as Drew Doughty and the Kings defense continue to play stingy, there is no doubt that this series could go to a Game 7 in San Jose. At that point, anything can happen.

Series Prediction: San Jose wins 4-3

 

*Stats via NHL.com.

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