Preview of 2016 Ultimate NHL Playoff: First Round

The stage is set for the beginning of the 2016 Ultimate NHL Playoff. Much like the 2015 UNP First Round, the 2016 UNP First Round only includes one Stanley Cup Winner, and that would be the ’88-’89 Calgary Flames, a former UNP Runner Up. There are also 10 teams in this First Round that are making their UNP debut. Those teams are the ’14-’15 Tampa Bay Lightning, the ’08-’09 Carolina Hurricanes, the ’80-’81 St. Louis Blues, the ’09-’10 Vancouver Canucks, the ’84-’85 Washington Capitals, the ’72-’73 Minnesota North Stars, ’14-’15 Minnesota Wild, ’08-’09 Columbus Blue Jackets, ’15-’16 Winnipeg Jets and the ’22-’23 Hamilton Tigers. There is one matchup in the First Round that pits two debutants against each other, the ’84-’85 Capitals against the ’15-’16 Jets. The First Round also includes the ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres who are two-time UNP Quarterfinalists and have made one appearance in the UNP Semifinal. Now, here is a full list of the First Round matchups, listed in order that they will take place:

(#19) ’05-’06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim vs. (#46) ’19-’20 Quebec Bulldogs

(#26) ’05-’06 Ottawa Senators vs. (#39) ’78-’79 Atlanta Flames

(#31) ’06-’07 Nashville Predators vs. (#34) ’83-’84 Quebec Nordiques

(#20) ’08-’09 Carolina Hurricanes vs. (#45) ’76-’77 Cleveland Barons

(#25) ’09-’10 San Jose Sharks vs. (#40) ’77-’78 Colorado Rockies

(#22) ’09-’10 Vancouver Canucks vs. (#43) ’25-’26 Pittsburgh Pirates

(#29) ’11-’12 Phoenix Coyotes vs. (#36) ’08-’09 Columbus Blue Jackets

(#18) ’14-’15 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (#47) ’34-’35 St. Louis Eagles

(#28) ’72-’73 Minnesota North Stars vs. (#37) ’08-’09 Atlanta Thrashers

(#23) ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres vs. (#42) ’22-’23 Hamilton Tigers

(#21) ’80-’81 St. Louis Blues vs. (#44) ’74-’75 Kansas City Scouts

(#32) ’84-’85 Winnipeg Jets (original) vs. (#33) ’37-’38 New York Americans

(#24) ’84-’85 Washington Capitals vs. (#41) ’15-’16 Winnipeg Jets (modern)

(#30) ’85-’86 Hartford Whalers vs. (#35) ’14-’15 Minnesota Wild

(#17) ’88-’89 Calgary Flames vs. (#48) ’30-’31 Philadelphia Quakers

(#27) ’99-’00 Florida Panthers vs. (#38) ’75-’76 California Golden Seals

There are six matchups in this First Round that were also matchups in the First Round of the 2015 UNP First Round. CGY-PHQ, HAR-MIN, STL-KCS, TBL-SLE, PHX-CBJ and OTT-ATF all met in the First Round in the last tournament. CGY, HAR, STL, TBL, CBJ and OTT won those series’ last year. In the last tournament, six teams made it from the First Round into the Third Round and two of those teams made it to the Quarterfinal. That was after six teams also made it out of the First Round to the Third Round in the inaugural tournament while three of those six made it to the Quarterfinal. Two of those three then made it to the Semifinal.

The 2016 Ultimate NHL Playoff kicks off tomorrow afternoon!!!

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