When Do The Hockey Finals Start? [Solved!]

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The NHL season is now in its last quarter-hour with the Stanley Cup final just around the corner. While the last three months of the regular season were absolutely fantastic, culminating in an incredible run that saw the New York Rangers battle to the brink of elimination before ultimately lifting the cup, the last few weeks have been a bit of a blur. Between trying to enjoy one of the most exciting sports leagues in the world with your family and friends, and being up at night wondering if you’ve missed the starting time for the next game, this week has felt like an eternity.

Here, we’ll highlight some vital information you need to know about the final days of the NHL season. On Monday, the league introduced some minor rule changes for the postseason. As the playoffs draw closer, you may notice some subtle differences in the sport, such as no more hooking, holding and grabbing of the puck. These are all deemed “unsportsmanlike conduct” moves, and they’re not tolerated in the NHL. Every team will have four skaters and a goalie on their roster for the post-season; the exception is the Arizona Coyotes, who only have three forwards and one defenseman. In case you’re wondering, a maximum of 12 teams will be able to make it to the playoffs this year, which is down from the previous season. The Boston Bruins will be the first team you’ll see as you navigate to the Hockey News website, as they’ve been awarded the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft. They’re currently sitting at the top of the draft board, and are widely expected to select Swedish forward Mathew Barzal, who’s starred for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL this year. Barzal’s rights will cost the team a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, as he’s eligible for a 2025 contract.

The First Rivalry Game

One of the most anticipated games of the post-season is the Eastern Conference final between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. The teams have been going at it for years, and this year’s matchup is likely to solidify their place in hockey lore. The season series is currently tied at two wins apiece, and the teams will meet for what’s known as the “classic” Game 7 on Sunday night.

This game will mark the culmination of a remarkable comeback for the Maple Leafs, who came back from a 3-0 deficit in the series to force a Game 7. The team’s captain, John Tavares, put it best when he said, ‘It’s been a tough season, but we found a way to put it all behind us and make a run at it. I think we can all walk away feeling that we had a good season.’

Boston’s Zdeno Chara will also be looking to put an extra exclamation point on his career, as he’ll be playing in his 700th game in the playoffs. Since 2010, he’s been one of the premier defensemen in the game, winning a cup with the Czech Republic in 2014 and being an all-star a record four times. He’s also racked up some memorable playoff moments, most notably when he leveled Keith Tkachuk in the 2018 Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Scariest Looking Goal

On Tuesday, the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators will try to determine who’s the best in the NHL at scaring their opponent, as they match up in a winner-take-all game. The winner will claim the Senators’ Andre Burakowski for the entire season. The last time these two teams met, Burakowski carried the puck into the offensive zone, then proceeded to take an epic spill that saw him fall to the ice. Once he got back up, he skated over to the Nashville bench and asked for help, which led to some playful shoving and poking as the team helped him back onto his feet. Once the adrenaline wore off, Burakowski admitted that he suffered from depression after the event, and requested to be traded before the season was over. He was dealt to the San Jose Sharks in May, and the Senators are playing the final game of their season on Tuesday, so there’s a good chance we’ll see Burakowski in San Jose colors on Wednesday.

The Final Face-off

The Columbus Blue Jackets will close out their season on Tuesday night, as they face off against the Calgary Flames in the season finale. This will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting games of the year, as star centers Artemi Panarin and Justin Abdelkader will look to lead their team past the Flames in a best-of-seven series. The Blue Jackets have been one of the most entertaining teams to follow this year, with their flashy plays and high-end scoring, which has made them a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately, despite their on-ice success, the team’s owner and general manager, John Chayka, had to settle for silverware when he said “I want that trophy now!” in regards to winning the Stanley Cup.

It’s widely expected that the Blue Jackets will try to land a blockbuster deal before the trade deadline on March 2nd, as they’re currently in the market for some help in the front office. One name that’s been mentioned quite often is Pierre-Luc Dubois, who had a phenomenal freshman season with the University of Michigan and could be a major get for the team. An upcoming game between the Florida Panthers and Blue Jackets could prove to be quite the spectacle, as the two teams combined for 62 goals in their head-to-head matchup earlier in the year. The Blue Jackets were previously in the market for a center, but they’ve since decided to go with Panarin and Abdelkader, the leaders of this potent attack. If you’ve got a hunch that the Blue Jackets will be busy making some moves before the season is out, you’d be right.

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