The bracket for the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs is (practically) full.
The Japanese Convention first-round matchups locked into place Thursday night time as most groups accomplished their common season schedule. The playoff image within the West is not going to be totally full till Friday, when the defending champion Colorado Avalanche tackle the Nashville Predators within the last recreation of the 2022-23 NHL common season. If the Avs win, they are going to overtake the Dallas Stars for the Central Division title.
This is a take a look at each first spherical playoff sequence that’s set in stone (with group seeds in parenthesis).
(This put up will probably be up to date)
Boston Bruins (Atlantic 1) vs. Florida Panthers (Wild Card 2)
The Bruins (65-12-5) enter the playoffs having accomplished the most effective common season of all time by wins (65) and factors (135). That, after all, places quite a lot of stress on them to carry out. They are going to look to keep away from the destiny of the 2018-19 Lightning, who lit up the NHL with a then record-tying 62 wins solely to be swept within the first spherical. Boston will play final yr’s Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Florida Panthers (42-32-8), who rallied for a playoff spot after an uneven season underneath first-year coach Paul Maurice.
Observe each recreation: Newest NHL Scores and Schedules
Toronto Maple Leafs (Atlantic 2) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Atlantic 3)
This rematch of final yr’s seven-game first-round sequence has been inevitable for months. The Maple Leafs (50-21-11) are making their seventh straight playoff look, however they haven’t received a sequence since 2004. They swung an enormous commerce earlier than the deadline, buying 2019 Conn Smythe winner Ryan O’Reilly, with the hopes of adjusting that. Tampa Bay (46-30-6), in the meantime, has been stumbling its method into the postseason, however it might be silly to rely the three-time defending Japanese Convention champions out.
Carolina Hurricanes (Metro 1) vs. New York Islanders (Wild Card 1)
Carolina had an uneven shut after it misplaced dynamic ahead Andrei Svechnikov for the season because of harm. Nonetheless, the Hurricanes (52-21-9) are the Metro champions for the third straight yr. Standing of their path as they start what they hope is a deep playoff run is the Islanders (42-31-9). New York may very well be a troublesome out. Ilya Sorokin is among the greatest goalies within the NHL, and the Islanders’ core has loads of postseason expertise after back-to-back last 4 appearances in 2020 and 2021.
New Jersey Devils (Metro 2) vs. New York Rangers (Metro 3)
The longtime rivals get reacquainted of their first playoff sequence because the 2012 Japanese Convention last. This was a breakout yr for the Devils (52-22-8), who’ve solely made the playoffs as soon as since they fell to the Kings within the 2012 Stanley Cup Remaining. They broke the franchise’s all-time factors file whereas Jack Hughes, the No. 1 general decide in 2019, put collectively the most effective offensive season in group historical past. The Rangers (47-22-13), trying to construct on final yr’s convention last look, picked up a pair of stars on the commerce deadline in Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko.