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Ranking the best playoff openers of the cap era

Among hockey fans, it’s become almost cliché to say that the first round of the postseason is the best time of the year. It’s also indisputably true. With 16 teams in action and hockey on pretty much all the time, you can be virtually guaranteed that something wild will happen somewhere. The first round is pretty great.

In fact, I’ll go one further: My favorite time to be a hockey fan is during the first 48 hours of the playoffs. Every series is a blank canvas at that point, and it feels like anything can happen. You don’t know which of the favorites are for real, and which are about to be exposed.