NHL Playoff Schedule 2014: Updated Bracket and TV Info for Conference Finals

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2014

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 18: Linesman Scott Driscoll #68 attempts to break up Willie Mitchell #33 of the Los Angeles Kings and Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks in Game One of the Western Conference Final during the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 18, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
Bill Smith/Getty Images

The 2014 NHL playoffs have lived up to the lofty expectations placed on them before the postseason began, and hockey fans are excited to watch the entire conference championship schedule unfold.

With the Chicago Blackhawks going to battle against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference and the New York Rangers squaring off against the Montreal Canadiens in the East, every hockey fan should enjoy the action on the ice.

Here is the updated bracket, the full schedule with television information and a preview of the series fans can’t miss.



Source: NHLPlayoffsBracket.com

Full bracket via NHLPlayoffsBracket.com.


2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals
Eastern Conference
GameMatchupDate Time (ET) TV
1Rangers beat Canadiens, 7-2May 17 8 p.m. NBCSN
2New York Rangers at Montreal CanadiensMay 19 8 p.m. NBCSN
3Montreal Canadiens at New York RangersMay 22 8 p.m. NBCSN
4Montreal Canadiens at New York RangersMay 25 8 p.m. NBCSN
5*New York Rangers at Montreal CanadiensMay 27 8 p.m. NBCSN
6*Montreal Canadiens at New York RangersMay 29 8 p.m. NBCSN
7*New York Rangers at Montreal CanadiensMay 31 8 p.m. NBCSN
Western Conference
GameMatchupDate Time (ET) TV
1Blackhawks beat Kings, 3-1May 18 3 p.m. NBC
2Los Angeles Kings at Chicago BlackhawksMay 21 8 p.m. NBCSN
3Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles KingsMay 24 8 p.m. NBC
4Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles KingsMay 26 9 p.m. NBCSN
5*Los Angeles Kings at Chicago BlackhawksMay 28 8 p.m. NBCSN
6*Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles KingsMay 30 9 p.m. NBCSN
7*Los Angeles Kings at Chicago BlackhawksJune 1 8 p.m. NBCSN
Source: NHL.com. *if necessary


Series to Watch: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings

While there is no discounting the excitement in the battle between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens, the better matchup is the Western Conference Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

With both teams recently winning a Stanley Cup, the intense matchup to once again earn the right to play in the finals will result in the fierce rivalry flaring up. As fans saw in Game 1 on Sunday afternoon, this is going to be a chippy seven-game series.

SportsCenter talked about just how impressive Chicago is at home this postseason:

Chicago may have taken the 1-0 series lead with the 3-1 victory in Game 1, but Los Angeles has the depth and skill at every position to match up with the Blackhawks. Now that the Kings know what to expect, the team should bounce back in Game 2 and draw the series even.

After the victory to open the Western Conference Final, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews told Scott Burnside of ESPN.com about the elite performance of goaltender Corey Crawford:

I think he keeps getting better and better. As a team, we want to keep raising our level of play as the stage gets bigger and bigger. If there's anyone that's doing it, it's Crow. Whether it's big penalty kills or us protecting situations late in games, he just seems to get better and better as the pressure mounts.

We were talking a few days ago about the crowd chanting his name in Minnesota [during the last round]. Doesn't matter how much pressure is on him, he just seems to keep playing. It's an example that I think the rest of us can follow.

As well as Crawford has performed for the Blackhawks, he is matched by a goaltender just as talented in Jonathan Quick. Quick has struggled to find consistency behind a defense that has underperformed at times, but he is still one of the most gifted players in the league.

The battle between Crawford and Quick will be the primary determining factor in this series.

Another major factor in the outcome will be the performances of the role players. Just as Brandon Saad stepped up for Chicago in the opening game of the series, the team with the third- and fourth-line players who perform at the highest level will advance to the next round.

Los Angeles has just as much depth as the Blackhawks, but the team must find a way to solve the Crawford riddle. If the team can’t get pucks past the Chicago netminder, this will be a short series for the Kings.

Lucky enough for hockey fans, though, this series has all the earmarks of going the distance.

Predicted Series Winner: Chicago wins, 4-3.


Stats via NHL.com.