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The 2018 final eight is great: Why this year’s second round might be the best ever

For all the criticism of the NHL’s divisional playoff format, this year’s second-round series are loaded with compelling matchups. In the Western Conference, official nfl jerseys cheap we have the Vegas Golden Knights vs. the San Jose Sharks, two teams that swept their first-round opponents, and the Winnipeg Jets vs. the Nashville Predators, the teams with the two best records in the Western Conference.

In the East, we have the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Metropolitan-winning Washington Capitals, as well as the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning against the Boston Bruins.

And all eight teams remaining in the field finished the regular season with at least 100 points, a feat that has never happened before in NHL history.35

The remaining teams in 2018 make up the strongest class of quarterfinalists in the past decade, beating out the 2013 octet that featured the Chicago Blackhawks, Bruins, Los Angeles Kings and other heavyweights.

Winnipeg and Nashville might both have had easier matchups under the old playoff system.reebok nfl jerseys And, yes, there are still questions about the fairness of divisional playoff systems, especially during the seasons when one division is markedly better than another. But the 2018 second round is loaded with what are arguably the league’s eight best teams, including a two-time defending champion looking to reign again, a Presidents’ Trophy winner looking to avenge its Cup Final loss and a rock-solid expansion team looking to make history. What’s not to love about that?