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EP Rinkside 3 Stars: Pushback

One team down, 14 to go.

The fact is that some pretty good teams are likely to get eliminated in the first round and we're basically guaranteed to see two of them drop in the next couple days. Kings/Oilers features two very good clubs, as does Leafs/Lightning. Someone's gotta lose and it is at this point that I'm reminded of how stupid the playoff format is.

Of course you basically can't escape the "bad teams are the first to go" thing because that's kind of the whole point. Those teams just aren't that good. But the Avalanche and Wild are gazing into the abyss tonight, and these are two undeniably good teams. There are varying degrees of "good" here, but you see the point.

Sometimes good teams underperform in the regular season and sometimes mediocre or even bad ones overperform. That's just

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This article is about:
NHL New Jersey Devils Winnipeg Jets NHL Connor Hellebuyck Akira Schmid Andrei Vasilevsky Rick Bowness
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