The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is underway after a memorable -- and, frankly, wild -- first two weeks. I've spent that time traversing the East Coast, spending hours at the rinks and having conversations with players, coaches, front-office executives and people around the game. Here's some info I've gleaned:
• The Toronto Maple Leafs-Florida Panthers series will pit the two most electric American players against each other: Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk. And they're seemingly at full strength, which wasn't the case all season. Matthews' production dipped following his 2021-22 MVP campaign, but a large part of that was because of a hand injury he nursed and played through earlier in the season.