The 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight with Game 1 of the East Division series between the second place Washington Capitals and the third place Boston Bruins. NBC has the broadcast, which starts at 7:15 p.m.
Also on tap this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on NHL Network, is the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. It’s the final regular season game for the Oilers and the 53rd game of the season for the Canucks.
On the Florida Panthers front, we are a day away from tomorrow night’s Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sergei Bobrovsky is the confirmed starter and Patric Hornqvist is finally expected back, so the Cats will be at full strength for the Bolts.
By virtue of the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night in the season finale for both teams, the Panthers finished with the fourth-best record in the NHL with 79 points, behind the Colorado Avalanche (82), Vegas Golden Knights (82) and Carolina Hurricanes (80). That’s quite an accomplishment for a team that nobody quite knew what to expect from coming into the season.
Prospect Anton Lundell will play for Finland at the upcoming IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia. The tournament is scheduled to take place from May 21 to June 6.
If you haven’t entered LBC’s Postseason Predictions Contest, please do so. You have until puck drop of the Capitals-Bruins game.
We had a clear-cut winner of the regular season contest, but I am waiting to announce it until last place in the North Division has been decided and I can total up everyone’s scores.