Craig Berube remembers playing plenty of back-to-backs in the playoffs and actually likes them. While back-to-backs are no longer common in the NHL postseason, the urgency to finish it this year means each first-round series has one set of them scheduled. ''I think it's a benefit for any team to have it,'' said Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour, who successfully split his qualifying round back-to-back between Petr Mrazek and James Reimer to complete a sweep of the Rangers.
Hockey is trending to look like the Vancouver Canucks, with smaller players and more skill, speed and offense. When Vancouver and defending champion St. Louis meet in the first round, it will be a matchup of opposites. ''We have to establish our physicality right away,'' reigning playoff MVP Ryan O'Reilly said.
On Monday night, during Phase 2 of the NHL Draft lottery, the New York Rangers won the No. 1 overall pick for the 2020 NHL Draft.