Didn't take long for the Ottawa Senators to shake the underdog label.
On the outside, a gracious Trevor Linden wore the sincerest of grins as he extended his hand in congratulations to Ray Shero, whose New Jersey Devils had just won the NHL draft lottery on Saturday night.
The Maple Leafs kids were more than all right during the 2016-17 season.
At last call Sunday night, the Ottawa Senators ordered up another round.
Chicago and Montreal failed to advance past the first round. The Penguins survived the first round without their starting goalie. And Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian temporarily swapped roles for the Oilers.
It was a bloody fashion crime that even Don Cherry is pleading guilty to.
Not looking for any bulletin-board stuff or a screaming 'guaranteed win' quote that would be all over Twitter, the careful Edmonton Oilers were saying all the right things Saturday morning about how the San Jose Sharks were two wins away from winning the Stanley Cup last spring.
This is like the beginning of a special novel. Full of excitement and anticipation and welcoming change.
Mike Babcock trusts that Mitch Marner will be fine.
WASHINGTON — Time to dig in, as Mike Babcock would say.
The Buffalo Sabres have fired general manager Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma.
So the Washington Capitals did win the Presidents’ Trophy during the regular season after all.
TORONTO — The Maple Leafs first home playoff game of their much-hyped second century belonged to the kids.
Nikita Zaitsev is in. And the Maple Leafs defenceman, as you might imagine, couldn't be happier.
The Ottawa Senators were all smiles Sunday. Why not? The picture looks pretty good for the Senators at the moment.
As Frederik Andersen walked down the hallway at the Verizon Center just after midnight Sunday, followed not far behind by Kasperi Kapanen, a thought occurred: Almost everything about this young and growing Maple Leafs team comes back to Phil Kessel.
Doubt was the word coming out of Washington following Saturday night's Game 2 loss to Toronto. But it came with an asterisk.
Every person at the Verizon Center was madly ringing a cowbell Saturday night, but for the Maple Leafs it was like surviving the running of the bulls.
The Nashville Predators jumped in front of shots and got in the passing lanes for most of the night. On the precious few occasions that the Chicago Blackhawks found an open look, Pekka Rinne was there.