The NHL will get a lot of attention in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, but there’s a lot to be excited about as well.
The top-seeded Vancouver Canucks will face the top-ranked Washington Capitals in Game 7 on Wednesday, followed by the defending Stanley Cup champions New York Rangers in Game 8 on Saturday.
The first round is a series of matchups that could decide who will take home the Stanley Cup in 2019.
With two games to go, here are five storylines to keep an eye on.1.
The Stars are back, but this time they’re better than ever.
There’s a reason that the Dallas Stars are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, and the reasons they’ve been playing better than anyone has in decades.
The Stars are a team that hasn’t had to rely on one player or coach for success since they entered the league in 1999.
They have a dynamic, top-end of talent, a top-notch coaching staff and, most importantly, an All-Star forward that’s a lock for a Hall of Fame career.
That is why the Stars are poised to go all-in on the playoffs, as the playoffs are the only way to get an NHL team that has been around since 1979 to the next level.
The roster of the Dallas Mavericks, the team that made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals in 2007, is the same as it was last season.
They are the same team that reached the conference finals twice in the past three seasons.
The Mavericks won’t be as young or as talented this year as last year.
They will have more injuries and depth issues that will hurt their chances of making the playoffs.
But they are still a team with a good chance to win the Stanley Cups in 2019 and 2020.2.
There are some players that have been overlooked for a while.
Last season, the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings both missed the playoffs due to injuries.
There was also some speculation that there would be no Stanley Cup Championship Series this season.
Now, with the return of Dirk Koetter to the job, the Minnesota Vikings are on track to get to the Finals.
But the Cowboys were also hurt badly last season and the Vikings were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs despite a record of 17-13-1.
With the addition of Koetter, the Cowboys have a great chance to make it back to the Stanley Championship Series.3.
The Sharks are a force in the Pacific Division.
The Vancouver Canucks haven’t made it to the conference semifinals since 1999.
There has been some buzz that the team is going to be the defending Cup Champions this season, but the Canucks are actually on pace to be just the second team in NHL history to miss the postseason in three straight seasons.
The Vancouver Canucks have had the NHL’s best season since the 1980-81 season.
In that same span, they went to the playoffs four straight seasons, which was also the first time the Canucks missed the postseason.
They won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2017-18, won the Stanley Memorial Cup in 2017 and made it back in 2019 after losing the Stanley Stanley Cup Final in 2016.
The Canucks were the first team in league history to win a Stanley Cup without a playoff appearance, as well as the first in league History to win two consecutive Presidents’ Trophies in a season.
They won’t get a chance to do that again this year, however.
The New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks are the other two teams that will make it to postseason play this season with the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks having a chance at making the postseason as well, although it is expected that the Los Kings will go on a run in the post-season.
The Canucks are going to need to win their games against the Kings and Blackhawks, and if they do, it will be a big surprise.
The Kings and Flames are two of the best teams in the NHL and have a ton of potential, but neither team is an elite team that can contend for a Cup.
The Sharks have a chance this season to make the playoffs again and take home their second Stanley Cup since 1998.
But it will come against one of the league’s best teams.