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From injuries, to breakout performances, to key rookies, upsets and coaches on the hot seat, here are five things to watch as the Stanley Cup playoffs get going Wednesday night.
With a new president at the helm in Toronto, change is certainly coming to a roster that failed to qualify for the playoffs. Does this mean James Reimer will be traded? Cody Franson? Who?; plus, the Senators have to decide what to do with Jason Spezza and the Canucks with Ryan Kesler.
The Colorado Avalanche will surprise the hockey world and get to the Stanley Cup final, but will lose to the Boston Bruins, says senior writer Ken Campbell. There aren't too many surprises, however, on his NHL Awards ballot for the 2013-14 season.
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is the Swiss Army Knife of NHL superstars. There isn’t a brand of hockey in which he doesn’t excel and that makes him the ideal pick to lead a team to NHL glory.
Stamkos is the most complete, elite goal-scorer in the NHL today and he’s kept up a torrid pace after Martin St-Louis was traded away. And in the end, no matter how good your ‘D’ is, you still need to score to win. That's why he's the best guy to lead a playoff team.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty hurts foes in every way possible and is a deadly big-game player, which is the reason why I'd take him first if I was building a team to win in the playoffs.
Seems Sidney Crosby is such as obvious choice for Most Valuable Player that the league didn't see any point in waiting until June 24 in Vegas to announce it.
Four-game sweeps are destroyers of post-season drama, but they're a blessing to teams hoping to rest up for the next round. At least one sweep is probable, but three others are possible in Round 1.
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