iNashville Predators’ Kevin Fiala, of Switzerland, is taken off on a stretcher during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Playoff hockey is a constant reminder of how quickly momentum can change. On April 20, our model’s record was perfect: The Penguins clinched their series in five games and the Ducks and Predators had won in sweeps. Not only were we one of the very few to pick the Preds over the mighty Blackhawks, but our seemingly insane prediction that the Maple Leafs would take the series over the Presidents’ Trophy winning Capitals in a “coinflip” series seemed to have legs, with the series tied at two (including three games going to overtime and the teams’ stats lines standing virtually identical.
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Kings promoted Mike Futa to assistant general manager. Because it’s now being reported, via a Kings spokesman, that the Sabres have been granted permission to speak with Futa about their GM vacancy. Futa was once thought to be heir apparent to Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles.