The Hockey News

The Hockey News Playoff Preview 2021

The Hockey News is an iconic, authoritative and trusted voice of hockey. It was founded in 1947 and grew to become known as The Bible of Hockey. Once a tabloid newspaper, it has evolved into a multi-platform brand that goes deeper and broader than anyone in the industry. The Hockey News publishes regular editions plus its special editions that include the Yearbook, Ultimate Pool Guide and Money and Power.

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3 Min
rootin’ for the old guy

THE SPORTS WORLD LOVES a sappy old-timer success story. Always has. Maybe it’s because we project the love of our parents onto grey-haired athletes. Or maybe, if we’re the ones with the greying hair, we live out a vicarious fantasy watching someone who’s supposed to be long retired competing for a championship trophy. Jack Nicklaus made everyone warm and fuzzy winning the 1986 Masters at 46, and Tiger Woods’ rollercoaster of transgressions and redemptions hit a peak in 2019 when he won it at 43. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer won 16 games in 2008 and soft-tossed his way to a World Series ring at 45. Hockey treated us to the incomparable Gordie Howe playing games in his 50s, but, if we’re talking iconic old-guy winner imagery, Ray Bourque’s Stanley Cup…

1 Min
jersey hound

BROOKS BANDITS >2020-21 THE AJHL’S BROOKS BANDITS have become one of the premier Jr. A franchises in Canada, and they’ve looked good in the process thanks to their solid bandit logo. But who says a team can’t have two sweet looks? This season, the Bandits introduced a black third jersey with a nice “Brooks” script across the front and a pretty fun accent: barbed wire on the bottom of the sweater, as well as the arms and on the socks. Cale Makar’s old squad still has that cool bandit mascot on the shoulder, and the new black, grey and red color scheme makes for an intimidating look.…

2 Min
dallas stars

THE STANLEY CUP hangover is supposed to affect the team that’s spent the off-season celebrating a championship campaign, not the team that falls painfully short. Alas, it is the Stars – not the Tampa Bay Lightning – who have struggled most this season. Granted, Dallas has had positively rotten luck. Only a handful of players have been able to suit up in each contest in a campaign that started with a team-wide coronavirus outbreak that saw 17 players test positive. Tyler Seguin hasn’t played all season, nor has goaltender Ben Bishop. Alexander Radulov’s time has been limited due to injury. And any hope that captain Jamie Benn’s post-season performance would carry through to this season has fallen by the wayside. He’s not a non-factor, but he’s been more bit player than…

2 Min
minnesota wild

MEDIOCRITY HAS long been the story in Minnesota, and many expected more of the same from the Wild this season. That is to say that, while few predicted coach Dean Evason’s charges were set to bottom out in his first full year behind the bench, there weren’t many championing Minnesota as potential world-beaters. And while it’s true the Wild aren’t the latter, they are unquestionably a far more talented group than many anticipated. The results tell that story: after an unsteady start, they have been one of the league’s top teams from mid-February on, with separate five- and six-game winning streaks powering Minnesota into a comfortable spot in the West Division. Preternaturally gifted rookie Kirill Kaprizov has been behind more than his share of the Wild’s successes. Not only has he been…

2 Min
tampa bay lightning

THE 2019-20 LIGHTNING evolved and learned how to win ugly without sacrificing their unparalleled skill. The 2020-21 Lightning have the championship formula and, even without superstar Nikita Kucherov, play like a team hungry to repeat. With players on Hall of Fame trajectories at every position, the Bolts have dynasty potential. Relative to age, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 26, is accomplishing things only legends have done. With a Stanley Cup, a Vezina Trophy and possibly a second Vezina coming, his career to date compares with the likes of Patrick Roy, Grant Fuhr and Terry Sawchuk at 26. Wow. Whereas the analytics in previous seasons suggested ‘Vasy’ got a lot of help from his defense, he grades out as legitimately elite this year. It helps that Vasilevskiy has a Norris Trophy frontrunner in Victor Hedman…

5 Min
bolts will go back-to-back

THEY WON AN NHL-RECORD 62 games in one season. They suffered a crushing defeat as a heavy Cup favorite. They rallied and won it the following season with a team of future Hall of Famers. Are we talking about the 1996-97 Detroit Red Wings or the 2019-20 Tampa Bay Lightning? Both followed the same path, overcoming years of disappointment before breaking through as champions. That Red Wings team, of course, ended up winning back-to-back Cups in 1997 and 1998. So will the current incarnation of the Lightning keep walking in the footsteps of those ’90s Detroit teams and repeat as Stanley Cup champions? From a pure hockey standpoint, the Lightning look as dominant as ever. They boast award-winning talent at every position. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy already has one Vezina Trophy and had…