It was a tough first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for many of the so-called experts of the world. Upsets included the Predators over the Blackhawks and the Blues over the Wild. The Rangers over the Canadiens was a quasi-upset, too. Here at
This story appears in the May 1, 2017 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. As the bleu, blanc et rouge charged onto the ice and the Bell Centre filled with chants of “Go, Habs, go,” a booming, bass-heavy track introduced the Canadiens before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. As Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi recalls the opening four minutes, “They were killing us.
SAN JOSE – There was an NHL coaching casualty on Monday on a team that flamed out in the first round. No, it wasn’t in San Jose. It was in Chicago, as the Blackhawks fired assistant coach Mike Kitchen, who was in charge of their penalty kill. Chicago, swept by Nashville despite finishing atop the Western Conference, finished 24th on the PK in the regular season. When it comes to the Sharks’ coaching staff, there’s no doubt that head coach Pete DeBoer will return, but it’s fair to wonder if assistant coach Steve Spott is feeling a little heat right now. The Sharks’ power play, a primary focus of Spott’s, finished just 25th in the NHL this season (16.7 percent) after it was third in the league