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Stanley Cup Playoffs

NBC commentators split on Halak-Elliott debate

Monday, 04.09.2012 / 6:28 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The question was put to the panel of commentators from the NBC Sports Group.

If you were Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, would you pick Jaroslav Halak or Brian Elliott to start Game 1 against San Jose on Thursday?

Mike Emrick and Pierre McGuire insisted they'd go with Halak, the goalie who led Montreal to the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago. Eddie Olczyk and Keith Jones picked Elliott, whose postseason goals-against average (4.14) is a higher number than the amount of postseason games he's played in (four).

"Brian Elliott," Olczyk said without hesitation and despite of Elliott's lack of playoff experience. "He's coming off a nice little streak there where he had gone into 200-plus minutes of shutout hockey. It's a great problem for Hitch to have, but to me I like the way he played the last 10 games of the season. It's a no-brainer."


Veterans to draw on past postseason experiences

Monday, 04.09.2012 / 6:01 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

It was less than a year ago that Patrice Bergeron and his Boston Bruins teammates outlasted 15 other teams to reach the summit of the hockey universe and claim the Stanley Cup.

Bergeron said he and his teammates hope to take the lessons they learned in last year's climb and put them to use when the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs start.

And for Bergeron, that's keeping the focus set on Game 1 against the Washington Capitals on Thursday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).


Bruins to open Stanley Cup defense Thursday

Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 12:56 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Boston will begin defense of its Stanley Cup championship Thursday when it opens the Stanley Cup Playoffs against Washington at TD Garden. Vancouver will look to start its journey back to the Stanley Cup Final when it opens the playoffs Wednesday against Los Angeles in a Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

For the second straight season the playoff matchups were not determined until the last game was played on the last day of the regular season, but it took the National Hockey League only a half a day longer to have the schedule ironed out and ready to go.

The playoffs begin Wednesday with three games on the schedule -- Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, Los Angeles at Vancouver, and Detroit at Nashville. Four more quarterfinal-round series will open Thursday, with Ottawa playing at the New York Rangers, Washington starting in Boston, San Jose opening in St. Louis, and Phoenix hosting the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Quote of the Day

I'll be happy, believe me, if we win our last playoff game. Not taking anything away, but we've had a fairly good lead for a while now. It would be more surprising if we didn't get the division. Business as usual.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau after clinching their third straight Pacific Division title