After a regular season clouded by the doom and gloom of a likely labor stoppage, continued lackluster TV ratings and the bad publicity surrounding Vancouver winger Todd Bertuzzi's attack on Colorado forward Steve Moore, the NHL couldn't have asked for much better first-round playoff matchups.
Throw in the propensity for upsets in the always entertaining first round and the NHL will give sports fans plenty of reason to watch what should be many long and grueling series.
Almost every pairing features a good rivalry that will only get stronger after the hatred is pumped up when the puck is dropped in the first games. Some, such as the Maple Leafs-Senators or the Flyers-Devils, don't need to wait that long for the intensity to start.
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