For some inexplicable reason, the NHL has scheduled all three local clubs to start their playoff chase tonight and to overlap with each other most nights. Because of that, fans of the various teams should get to know this website to figure out where they can watch the games.
As for the actual series, the Islanders have clearly drawn the toughest test. Buffalo started out the season on fire and hasn’t let up, earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres have four guys who scored more than 30 goals and unless Rick DiPietro can play, it will be very hard to stop them. The Isles should be able to win a game, but Gothamist thinks that will be about it.
The Devils are the only local team that has home-ice in the first round and while Tampa Bay has the awesome 1-2 punch of Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, the Devils have Martin Brodeur, who can shutdown any offense. Patrik Elias, Zach Parise and Brian Gionta should be able to light the lamp enough for New Jersey to prevail in six games.
Atlanta can score with any team, but they have a tough time on the defensive end. Kari Lehtonen has stepped it up recently, but the Thrashers will have their hands full with Jaromir Jagr. Henrik Lundqvist has been on fire the past few months and Gothamist thinks he carries the Rangers into round two in seven games.