Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Start Tonight

After a grueling 82 game schedule, the time has finally arrived for put it all on the line for the next month in search of the Stanley Cup. I'm not here to debate which tournament is better but it's hard to find a tournament in sports better than the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Eleven former Wisconsin Badgers are currently on the roster of NHL clubs who in search of that elusive opportunity to hoist the cup. Those 11 include three players off the 2010 Frozen Four squad in Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh with the New York Rangers and Blake Geoffrion with the Nashville Predators.

Other former Badgers in the NHL playoffs include Kyle Turris (Phoenix), Brad Winchester (Anaheim), Jake Dowell (Chicago), Davis Drewiske (L.A.), Dany Heatley and Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Ryan Suter (Nashville), and Brian Rafalski (Detroit). Additionally, Brendan Smith has been called up to Detroit to serve as a "Black Ace" for the playoffs which is basically just an additional practice body.

The following is a list of when former Badgers will be playing early in the first round.

Wednesday Playoff Schedule
6:00-Phoenix (Turris) at Detroit (Rafalski)-TV=Versus
6:30-New York (McDonagh, Stepan) at Washington-No TV
9:00-Chicago (Dowell) at Vancouver-TV=Versus
9:30-Nashville (Geoffrion, Suter) at Anaheim (Winchester)-No TV

Thursday Playoff Schedule
9:00-L.A. (Drewiske) at San Jose (Heatley, Pavelski)-No TV

Friday Playoff Schedule
6:30-New York (McDonagh, Stepan) at Washington-TV=Versus
9:00-Chicago (Dowell) at Vancouver-TV=Versus
9:30-Nashville (Geoffrion, Suter) at Anaheim (Winchester)-No TV

Saturday Playoff Schedule
Noon-Phoenix (Turris) at Detroit (Rafalski)-TV=NBC
9:00-L.A. (Drewiske) at San Jose (Pavelski, Heatley)-TV=Versus

Sunday Playoff Schedule
2:00-Washington at New York (McDonagh, Stepan)-TV=NBC
5:00-Anaheim (Winchester) at Nashville (Suter, Geoffrion)-No TV
7:00-Vancouver at Chicago (Dowell)-TV=Versus