With the regular season concluding over the weekend, eight teams from both the Eastern and Western conferences are ready for the next part of their season and the best part of the year for their fans: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Will Carey Price win both the Olympic Gold and Lord Stanley's silver in the same year? Will the Columbus Blue Jackets finally earn their first postseason victory? Will Martin St. Louis regret his trade demand by June?
Clean shaven and ready to go, some of these questions will begin to be answered tomorrow night as the 2014 quest to the Cup kicks off with a 7 p.m. ET start between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens. The second Eastern series between the heavily favored Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets, making their second franchise appearance in the post season, will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Here's a glance at all four Eastern Conference matchups and how the teams stack up:
All stats courtesy of the National Hockey League
Stanley Cup Quarterfinals: Boston Bruins vs Detroit Red Wings
All-Time Playoff Series Leader: Boston Bruins (4-3)
2013-2014 Regular Season Series Winner: Detroit Red Wings 3-1-0
Goal Leaders: Jarome Iginla (BOS) 30, Patrice Bergeron (BOS) 30, Gustav Nyquist (DET) 28
Point Leaders: David Krejci (BOS) 69, David Legwand (DET) 51
- Boston and Detroit haven't met in a Stanley Cup series since the Bruins defeated the Red Wings 4-1 in the 1957 Stanley Cup Finals.
- In four games against the Red Wings this season, Bruins' goaltender Tuukka Rask went 1-3-0 while surrendering 13 goals and posting a 3.29 GAA. Jonas Gustavsson earned wins in both of his starts against the Bruins and carries a 1.50 GAA into the quarterfinal series.
- None of the current Red Wings have ever faced the Bruins in a playoff series.
- Jarome Iginla leads the Bruins in playoff points against the Red Wings with eight (3g,5a).
- Henrik Zetterberg leads the Red Wings with 114 career playoff points in 123 appearances.
Stanley Cup Quarterfinals: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens
All-Time Playoff Series Leader: Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0)
2013-2014 Regular Season Series Winner: Tampa Bay 3-0-1
Goal Leaders: Valtteri Filppula (TB) 25, Steven Stamkos (TB) 25, Max Pacioretty (MON) 39
Point Leaders: Ondrej Palat (TB) 59, Thomas Vanek (MON) 68
- The last time these two teams met in the postseason was during the 2004 Eastern Conference Final where the Lightning outscored the Canadiens 14-5, sweeping their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Brian Gionta leads the Canadiens in playoff points against Tampa Bay with eight (5g, 3a) in 11 prior meetings.
- Canadiens netminder Carey Price has not won a playoff series since his rookie season (2008) when he went 5-6-0 in 11 meetings. Price has three career postseason shutouts in 30 games (9-17-0) with a 2.90 GAA and .905 SV%.
- Peter Budaj has not registered a win in six playoff appearances.
- Daniel Briere leads the Canadiens with 109 career playoff points
Stanley Cup Quarterfinals: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets
All-Time Playoff Series Leader: This will be the first meeting between the Penguins and Blue Jackets in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
2013-2014 Regular Season Series Winner: Pittsburgh Penguins (5-0-0)
Goal Leaders: Sidney Crosby (PIT) 36, Ryan Johansen (CBJ) 33
Point Leaders: Sidney Crosby (PIT) 104, Ryan Johansen (CBJ) 63
- This will be just the second Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance by the Blue Jackets, who were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in their one previous.
- Five members of the Blue Jackets have faced the Penguins in the postseason as members of other teams.
- In 80 playoff games, Marc-Andre Fleury is 45-34-0 with a 2.73 GAA, .903 SV% and six shutouts.
- Sergei Bobrovsky has a 8.13 GAA in 37 minutes played against the Penguins in a playoff contest. He has zero wins in seven overall playoff games.
- Nathan Horton leads the Blue Jackets with 36 career playoff points. In four games against the Penguins in the playoffs, Horton has two goals and three assists.
Stanley Cup Quarterfinals: New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers
All-Time Playoff Series Leader: Philadelphia Flyers (6-4-0)
2013-2014 Regular Season Series: Tied
Goal Leaders: Martin St. Louis (NYR) 30, Claude Giroux (PHI) 28
Point Leaders: Martin St. Louis (NYR) 69, Claude Giroux (PHI) 85
- The Flyers and Rangers have not met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1997 when Philadelphia wrapped up the series in five games, outscoring the Rangers 20-13.
- Philadelphia has won four of the last five playoff series against the Rangers.
- Steve Mason is winless in four playoff contests and is questionable to start the series on Thursday when the Flyers visit Madison Square Garden.
- In 67 postseason battles, Henrik Lundqvist is 30-37-0 with eight shutout victories.
- Claude Giroux leads the Flyers with 55 points in 50 career playoff games.
- Brad Richards has 28 goals and 50 assists to lead the Rangers with 78 points in his NHL Playoff career.