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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: 3 potential first-round upsets


Aside from the absurd rate in which both teams found the back of the net, three Penguins players received suspensions for extracurricular activities, then head coach Dan Bylsma was fined $10,000, and Claude Giroux was deemed ready to take over Sidney Crosby's spot as top player in the world. Ha. Here are a few of them.

The Predators have reason to believe they will face an easy series against Colorado, as they won all four regular-season meetings, including a pair of wins in March. The Preds are loaded throughout their lineup and have more depth than the Avs, most of all in goal with Pekka Rinne.

When the National Hockey League season started a long six months ago, each team had hopes of hoisting Lord Stanley's Mug overhead and drinking champagne out of the top bowl come June. They're a deep team. If Toronto doesn't get solid play from their defense and goalie Frederik Andersen, then it may be a short playoff for them. It will happen Thursday, when the Sharks open their Pacific Division first-round series at Anaheim.

Obviously, this is just the first game of the playoffs but, man, there's not much to feel good about if you're a Philadelphia fan.

"Whether it's 7-0 or 1-0 in double overtime, it's one game", Crosby said. "We would expect that they would respond appropriately". So does the fact, that their opponent, the Los Angeles Kings, have a roster brimming with postseason experience and know the pressure of winning in the playoffs. Don't forget: Pittsburgh managed to win the Cup past year without its No. 1 defenseman for the entire playoff run. Their best players were better than ours. Because the Flyers being stubborn about goalies in the playoffs has never come back to bite them before, right, Steve Mason?

Storyline: Who's got the advantage in goal?

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The Boston Bruins will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a rivalry matchup that includes two original six teams. The Flyers are a +175 underdog, while the total is set at 6 goals. Goalie John Gibson has also been a frequent visitor to the trainer's table. He now has 32 goals on the year and 60 career goals in the postseason.

The Flyers and the two-time defending Stanley Cup-champion Penguins were separated by just two points in the regular season. They weren't projected by many to win the game, but nobody expected that.

Storyline: Which of the Devils D can shut down Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos? "I don't like any guy on their team". They have a couple of players I haven't seen (Joe Ingles) or seen very much (Donovan Mitchell), and I sometimes enjoy Ricky Rubio. One of these teams will move on, and it will be because their netminder finally stepped up and showed the confidence and mental toughness it takes. TSL has answers to your questions about the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Storyline: Will history from five years ago repeat itself? They struggle to make on-the-fly changes within a game and from game-to-game. The scoreboard noise meter even hit 110 decibels. Which potential upsets could fans see in the first-round? A series of this magnitude has a "slobber knocker" ring to it. He scored 73, 67 and 58 points over the next three seasons. Both fanbases don't like each other. Penguins vs Flyers tv channel schedule is on NBCSN. They do have the best GA/GP at home (2.17) and they can also score some goals (3.29, 11th).

The Philadelphia Flyers played well down the stretch to get in the playoffs and their offense was solid of late as they had averaged 3.90 gpg during their last 11 games of the regular season. My dream is to become a sports journalist.

Sure, it may seem like there's a better chance of Crosby getting lost on his drive to PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh than the Flyers returning to Philly with a victory but the scenario is not as far-fetched as you may believe.

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