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Playoff Preview 2019

Playoff Preview 2019

We have what you need to be ready for the best time of the year with our Playoff Preview! We break down every team with analysis, predictions, projected line combos and fantasy player rankings. Also, we've got features on what the 2004 Lightning Cup champs can teach this year's squad, why our 2019 Cup pick was four years in the making, how the Capitals plan to repeat, and profiles on Mark Giordano, Frederik Andersen and Mark Stone, and much more.

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Opening Thoughts

Bench Strength Deepened With New Additions

Dear readers, Loyal readers of The Hockey News no longer need me to trumpet all the additional content they’ve been receiving since I acquired the magazine in January 2018. It’s old news to them. If you’re a new reader of the print edition or our digital offerings, you’ve chosen a great time to come on board. The same group of writers, editors and designers that came over from TVA in 2018 has essentially produced all the extra features to this point. Initially, they worked on pure adrenaline to meet the increased demands, but over time I noticed the lights in the office were still burning in the wee hours. It was terrific to see the work ethic and camaraderie, but championship squads require depth and fresh legs to keep the motor humming. Enter…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

YEARS OF SACRIFICING draft picks and prospects in the name of winning Stanley Cups finally came back to bite the Blackhawks with a last-place finish in the Central in 2017-18, and a mediocre 6-6-3 start to 2018-19 led to coach Joel Quenneville’s firing in November. Things remained bleak at first under new coach Jeremy Colliton, but then something happened. He reunited Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews for a period. It worked, and both players enjoyed their best seasons in years. The Hawks acquired fallen prospect Dylan Strome, plugged him onto a line with old junior teammate Alex DeBrincat and watched both players explode for breakout seasons. Suddenly, the idea the Hawks were a top-heavy team only capable of icing one effective line wasn’t true. Chicago has the NHL’s No. 8 offense, with…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

PITTSBURGH’S BIGGEST strength is the fact it still employs one of the best all-around players ever, Sidney Crosby. The captain and three-time Stanley Cup champion is having one of his most remarkable seasons yet, and that’s saying something. Crosby, at 31, is still putting up points, still dominating the faceoff circle and still shutting down the enemy’s top lines. Could he add a Selke Trophy to his overstuffed cabinet this summer? Oh, and behind captain Crosby at center is another legendary pivot in Evgeni Malkin. The Pens also have young playoff wizards such as goalie Matt Murray and winger Jake Guentzel – both of whom become super-charged in the post-season. Murray has only lost one playoff series ever: last year, to the eventual champs from Washington. Overall, the Penguins are chock full…