Stanley Cup Finals 2018: Bracket, Conference, Final round schedule, dates, TV times, Final Standings.Watch Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily: Playoff chances, tragic numbers and more. Schedule for road to 2018 Stanley Cup Final. The NHL regular season ended Sunday, and the seeding for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs is now finalized, with the first round beginning on Wednesday.
Stanley Cup Finals 2018 Match Preview
2018 Stanley Cup Finals – The Stanley Cup Final starts on Monday, May 28. It’s not yet known where the series will start or which Eastern Conference team will face the Vegas Golden Knights. Games 5 through 7 are pending necessity, of course. We’ll add television and streaming information to this post as it becomes available. The games will all be broadcast in the United States on either NBC or the NBC Sports Network.
If the Lightning win Wednesday’s Eastern Conference Game 7 against the Capitals, Games 1 and 2 of the Cup Final will take place in Florida. If the Capitals win, they’ll start in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights vs Washington Capitals: Stanley Cup Finals 2018 Live
Most of San Jose’s success is earned through strong play in net from Martin Jones and a well-rounded attack that receives a boost every time blueliner Brent Burns, who recorded nine shots on goal in Game 1, sets up camp at the point.
If the Sharks sustain the same pressure from Game 1, they will have plenty of opportunities to take a 2-0 series lead.
Anaheim must improve its discipline in order to get into a rhythm at full strength, which would allow more time for the top lines to be out on the ice together to create havoc in front of the San Jose net.
The Ducks need more production out of Ryan Getzlaf, who produced just one shot on goal in Game 1. If the 32-year-old gets going, the Ducks should feed off his energy and put in an improved showing.
Bruins Banking On Veteran Leaders
The Boston Bruins’ young core received plenty of praise for the success the team had in the regular season, but the postseason is a different animal, which is why veterans are so important.
In the 5-1 Game 1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brad Marchand, David Backes and David Krejci scored a goal each to earn Thursday’s largest margin of victory across the NHL.
Backes and Rick Nash have the most playoff experience on the Boston roster, a quality the team is already benefiting from.
Winslow Townson/Associated Press
Head coach Bruce Cassidy noted after Game 1 that the skill sets of his veterans, especially Backes’, are perfect for the postseason, per Eric Russo of the team’s official website:
“I think the game simplifies. More straight lines, there’s more get pucks behind, forecheck, physicality, get to the net, dirty goals. Right up his alley, all of those things. There’s less freewheeling, less open space.
“You’ve got to fight for your space, and again, he excels at the former, so that type of game,” Cassidy said. “I think it’s as simple as that. Big-bodied guys with good hands and will tend to have good resumes in the playoffs, and he certainly has that.”
In addition to the stable of skaters carrying playoff minutes on their resumes, goalie Tuukka Rask has 31 wins in 54 playoff appearances.
Rask saved 26 of Toronto’s 27 shots on goal in Game 1, with Zach Hyman’s first-period tally being the only attempt to beat the 31-year-old.
With a playoff goals-against average of 2.10 and save percentage of .929, Rask is one of the hardest goalies to beat at this time of year. The Bruins hope that rings true in Game 2, as they try to create separation from the Leafs.