Playoff Preview: A Guide for the Lost Souls

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Playoff time has come again and once again the Jets are not participating. Here is your essential guide on injuries, key players, what to look for, the GIFs you need, and the gut-analytics predictions you desire.

All playoff games with networks are listed here.

Daily game night threads will include links to CBC streaming, daily channels and times.

Eastern Conference:

Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings

Boston Bruins

Injuries: Daniel Paille (head), Adam McQuaid (quad), Dennis Seidenberg (knee), Chris Kelly (back), Patrice Bergeron (LBI)

Key players: Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Milan Lucic

SBNation Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Detroit Red Wings:

Injuries: Henrik Zetterberg (back), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), Dan Cleary (knee), Jonathan Ericsson (finger)

Key Players: Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Gustav Nyquist

SBNation Blog: Winging it in Motown

What to look for: Coaching matchup. Mike Babcock is under appreciated as an NHL coach as he has managed to keep an aging Red Wings team in playoff contention every year; Claude Julien is a highly talented coach who has managed to Cup Final appearances and one Cup win since 2011.

Essential GIF

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via cdn2.sbnation.com

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens

Tampa Bay Lightning

Injuries: Ben Bishop (UBI), Ondrej Palat (UBI), Valtteri Filppula (LBI), Ryan Malone (arrest)

Key Players: Ben Bishop, Victor Hedman, Sami Salo, Steven Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula

SBNation Blog: Raw Charge

Montreal Canadiens

Injuries: Travis Moen (concussion), Alex Galchenyuk (knee), Brandon Prust (UBI)

Key Players: Carey Price, Andrei Markov, PK Subban, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec

SBNation Blog: Eyes on the Prize

What to look for: Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec to run two separate shutdown lines. John Cooper to try to get the Filppula line out against Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek. Stamkos out against Douglas Murray or Francis Boullion.

Essential GIF

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via i.minus.com

New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers

New York Rangers

Injuries: Ryan McDonagh (shoulder), Chris Kreider (hand)

Key Players: Derek Stepan, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi

SBNation Blog: Blueshirt Banter

Philadelphia Flyers

Injuries: Steve Mason (UBI), Niklas Grossman (ankle), Zac Rinaldo (body injury)

Key Players: Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Kimmo Timmonen, Braydon Coburn

SBNation Blog: Broad Street Hockey

What to look for: A chess match with who the Sean Couturier line will match up against. The Flyers lack of puck moving defence men could bite them in the playoffs. Ryan McDonagh's health.

Essential GIF

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via www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Pittsburgh Penguins

Injuries: Pascal Dupuis (knee), Chris Conner (hand), Joe Vitale (UBI), Marcel Goc (ankle), Evgeni Malkin (foot)

Key Players: Sidney Crosby, Jussi Jokinen, Matt Niskanen, Olli Maatta

SBNation Blog: PensBurgh

Columbus Blue Jackets

Injuries: Ryan Murray (knee), RJ Umberger (body injury), Nathan Horton (abdominal surgery), Nick Foligno (LBI)

Key Players: Ryan Johansen, Artem Anisimov, James Wizneiwski, Fedor Tyutin

SBNation Blog: The Cannon

What to look for: Besides the health of Evgeni Malkin; Marc-Andre Fleury's mental state, the health of Ryan Murray and the Johansen/Crosby matchup. Also if Dan Bylsma is comfortable turning to Tomas Vokoun if needed.

Essential GIF

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via goldandorsmith.com

Western Conference

Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks

Los Angeles Kings

Injuries: Drew Doughty (shoulder)

Key Players: Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, Slava Voynov, Drew Doughty

SBNation Blog: Jewels from the Crown

San Jose Sharks

Injuries: Raffi Torres (body soreness), Adam Burish (broken finger)

Key Players: Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Marc-Eduard Vlasic, Justin Braun

SBNation Blog: Fear the Fin

What to look for: Match ups. If the top two lines play each other to a draw the third lines could decide the series. Joe Pavelski versus Jarrett Stoll may be the most important match up there is.

Essential GIF

Omg-hertl-adorable_medium

via cdn1.sbnation.com

St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks

St. Louis Blues

Injuries: Vladimir Tarasenko (hand), David Backes (LBI), Vladimir Sobotka (body injury), TJ Oshie (UBI), Patrick Berglund (shoulder), Brenden Morrow (foot)

Key Players: Alex Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Ryan Miller

SBNation Blog: St. Louis Game Time

Chicago Blackhawks

Injuries: Patrick Kane (knee), Jonathan Toews (UBI)

Key Players: Marian Hossa, Brandon Saad, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya

SBNation Blog: Second City Hockey

What to look for: Besides the health of both teams, the use of Chicago's fourth line which is a D-zone heavy line that can break even on possession. Ryan Miller's play as he has turned into Ondrej Pavelec lately.

Essential GIF

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via i.imgur.com

Anaheim Ducks vs Dallas Stars

Anaheim Ducks

Injuries: Tim Jackman (hand)

Key Players: Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Cam Fowler, Francois Beauchemin

SBNation Blog: Anaheim Calling

Dallas Stars

Injuries: Rich Peverly (heart), Brenden Dillon (LBI), Ray Whitney (LBI)

Key Players: Brenden Dillon, Alex Goligoski, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin

SBNation Blog: Defending Big D

What to look for: The Dallas Stars to outshoot the Anaheim Ducks. Tyler Seguin to shoot above 2%. What goalie will start and finish the series for Anaheim? Bruce Boudreau offensive zone face-off loss puck recovery.

Essential GIF

Tumblr_ly9v34rcx81r3vlx1o1_500_medium

via 24.media.tumblr.com

Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche

Minnesota Wild

Injuries: Jason Zucker (knee/quad), Kyle Brodziak (body injury), Darcy Kuemper (LBI), Keith Ballard (groin), Mikael Granlund (UBI), Mike Rupp (body injury)

Key Players: Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, The Universe

SBNation Blog: Hockey Wilderness

Colorado Avalanche

Injuries: Matt Duchene (knee), John Mitchell (concussion), Tyson Barrie (UBI), Cody McLeaod (knee/ankle), Jan Hejda (UBI), Cory Sarich (back spasms)

Key Players: Semyon Varlamov, Paul Statsny, Jan Hejda, Nathan MacKinnon

SBNation Blog: Mile High Hockey

What to look for: Bad, exciting hockey. Two bad possession teams going head to head while suffering through injuries. This could very well turn into a battle of the Russian 'tenders with Ilya Brygalov going up again Semyon Varlamov.

Essential GIF

Minnesota-wild-nhl-charlie-coyle-waves-at-young-boy_medium

via gifrific.com

*Not all injury information reflects who will and will not play in the playoffs because it is the playoffs. All injury information from TSN.ca

Writer Predictions

The unscientific and completely non-stats based predictions of the writers of Arctic Ice Hockey. We all went Ken Holland and went with "gut analytics"! (Missing a couple of writers, sorry guys).

Team Garret TJ Justin Yaw Axis Truck Arby Daniel Terrell Cara Swervin'
Boston Win in 5 Win in 5 Win in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 5 Win in 7 Win in 5 Win in 6 Lose in 7 Win in 7
Detroit Lose in 5 Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 7 Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Win in 7 Lose in 7
Pittsburgh Win in 6 Lose in 7 Lose in 7 Win in 5 Win in 5 Lose in 7 Win in 6 Win in 6 Win in 6 Win in 5
Columbus Lose in 6 Win in 7 Win in 7 Lose in 5 Lose in 5 Win in 7 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Lose in 5
Tampa Bay Win in 5 Win in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Win in 7 Win in 7 Win in 6 Lose in 6
Montreal Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Win in 5 Win in 6 Win in 5 Win in 6 Lose in 7 Lose in 7 Lose in 6 Win in 6
New York Win in 5 Lose in 7 Win in 7 Lose in 7 Win in 6 Win in 6 Win in 6 Win in 5 Win in 6 Lose in 7
Philadelphia Lose in 5 Win in 7 Lose in 7 Win in 7 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Win in 7
Colorado Lose in 7 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 5 Win in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 7 Lose in 7 Win in 7 Win in 5
Minnesota Win in 7 Win in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 7 Win in 7 Lose in 7 Lose in 5
St. Louis Lose in 5 Lose in 7 Win in 7 Lose in 7 Lose in 6 Lose in 7 Lose in 7 Lose in 7 Lose in 6 Lose in 6
Chicago Win in 5 Win in 7 Lose in 7 Win in 7 Win in 6 Win in 7 Win in 7 Win in 7 Win in 6 Win in 6
Anaheim Lose in 6 Win in 5 Win in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 5 Win in 5 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 5
Dallas Stars Win in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 5 Win in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 5
Los Angeles Lose in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 5 Win in 5 Win in 7 Lose in 6 Lose in 7 Win in 6 Lose in 6 Win in 7
San Jose Win in 6 Win in 6 Lose in 5 Lose in 5 Lose in 7 Win in 6 Win in 7 Lose in 6 WIn in 6 Lose in 7

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