NHL Playoffs To Start This Week

Former Badger Derek Stepan and the New York Rangers are the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The NHL regular season ended on Saturday which means that the playoffs are kicking off in a few days. Nine former Badgers are expected to be on NHL playoff rosters at this point.

Brendan Smith could make it ten, but it hasn't been decided if he'll be on the Wings roster for the first round series or not at this point. Jack Skille is also on a playoff team, but he's been out with a shoulder injury and his status is unclear.

The Badgers will be represented on eight teams if we're including Smith and Skille. Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers), Jack Skille (Florida Panthers), Kyle Turris (Ottawa Senators), Brian Elliott (St. Louis Blues), Craig Smith and Ryan Suter (Nashville Predators), Joe Pavelski and Brad Winchester (San Jose Sharks), Davis Drewiske (LA Kings), and as I mentioned, possibly Brendan Smith with the Detroit Red Wings.

The most intriguing first round match ups from a Badger prospective are St. Louis/San Jose, Nashville/Detroit, and New York/Ottawa.

During the playoffs I'll be tweeting daily updates of how the Badgers still remaining in the playoffs are doing, as well as which former Badgers will be playing on TV on a nightly basis.

For now, here is the first weeks schedule from a Badger perspective:

WEDNESDAY:

7:00 PM--Detroit (Brendan Smith) @ Nashville (Ryan Suter, Craig Smith)-CNBC

9:30 PM--L.A. (Davis Drewiske) @ Vancouver--NBC Sports Network

THURSDAY:

6:00 PM--Ottawa (Kyle Turris) @ New York (Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan)-NHL Network

6:30 PM--San Jose (Brad Winchester, Joe Pavelski) @ St. Louis (Brian Elliott)-CNBC

FRIDAY:

6:30 PM--Detroit (Brendan Smith) @ Nashville (Ryan Suter, Craig Smith)-CNBC

9:00 PM--L.A. (Davis Drewiske) @ Vancouver--NBC Sports Network

SATURDAY:

6:00 PM--Ottawa (Kyle Turris) @ New York (Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan)-NBC Sports Network

6:30 PM--San Jose (Brad Winchester, Joe Pavelski) @ St. Louis (Brian Elliott)-CNBC

SUNDAY:

Noon--Nashville (Ryan Suter, Craig Smith) @ Detroit (Brendan Smith)-NBC

9:30 PM--Vancouver @ L.A. (Davis Drewiske)--NBC Sports Network

Join the Badger conversation on Facebook! Go to our Facebook page and "like" us!

For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Chuck on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz)

Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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