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NHL Playoffs: Boston & Chicago On The Ropes

Five of the eight first-round series of the NHL playoffs have two games under their belt. Last year’s Stanley Cup finalists, the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, are a combined 0-3, and one of the most star-studded lineups in the league is all even. Here’s a rundown on the action since TheSportsNotebook’s last update on Friday morning…

ATLANTIC DIVISION BRACKET

Detroit 1 Boston 0: It was a defensive-oriented game, with both teams only getting 22 shots apiece and there were only a handful of consistent assaults on the net throughout the game. Detroit simply outskated Boston, using their speed to control the pace of play and control the puck most of the way.

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NBA Playoffs: The 1st-Round Matchups

TheSportsNotebook has posted the Tale of the Tape for the playoff teams in both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference of the NBA playoffs. Now, with tipoff of the postseason set for early Saturday afternoon, it’s time to dive into the first-round matchups. What follows are the series betting odds for each matchup, followed by some of my own thoughts and a misguided prediction.

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NHL Playoffs: A Look At The Raft Of Game 1s

Seven of the eight first-round series in the NHL playoffs played Game 1 over Wednesday and Thursday night. Here’s some thoughts on each of those games, plus a look at what’s ahead…

ATLANTIC DIVISION BRACKET

Montreal 5 Tampa Bay 4 (OT): The biggest injury development of the postseason has already hit this series. Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop turned out not to be ready to play after what appeared to be a minor arm/shoulder injury in the last week of the regular season. What’s more the Lightning aren’t optimistic that Bishop will be ready “anytime soon”, and without him, they lost a high-scoring game to a team not known for its offense.

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NBA Championship Betting Odds

It’s playoff time in the NBA, starting on Saturday, and if the NBA championship betting odds are to be believed, only five of the 16 teams have a serious chance to win the championship and three of those five stand above the class.

The reputation of the NBA is being a league where you’re the champ until your crown is knocked off is affirmed by the prices below. The Miami Heat haven’t looked the part of a champion for at least three months, and in spite of the best effort of the Indiana Pacers to give away the #1 seed in the East, the Heat couldn’t take it. Nonethless, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh come into the postseason as the 19-10 favorite to win a third straight title.

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The NHL Playoff Format & Postseason Overview

The NHL playoffs start Wednesday night. To set the tone for the entire postseason, what follows is TheSportsNotebook’s Tale of the Tape on all 16 teams—or, more accurately, a concise summation of the statistical tape measurement.

We’ve reviewed all 16 teams by every worthwhile measuring stick—do they score, and do they generate a high shot volume? Can they prevent the opponent from doing the same? How do they execute in standard 5-on-5 play, on the power play and in the penalty kill? How good is the goalie and who are the key players? What follows is how each playoff team has performed over the regular season in that regard.

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