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Fantucchio’s Focus: Not your grandpa’s conference finals

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The conference finals matchups are officially set, and in a matter of weeks, the Stanley Cup will reside in the hockey hotbeds of either Florida, Carolina, Dallas or Las Vegas.

No, these may not be your grandfather’s Cup contenders, but they all provide intriguing storylines to follow the rest of the way and offer an example of the parody that exists in the modern NHL. I tend to view the chaos as an objectively good thing, as the unpredictability of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is one of the main reasons they’re so entertaining every year.

New York Islanders: 

15 Days in the Dark: Lou Lamoriello and Lane Lambert are yet to answer the biggest questions the Islanders face this offseason

Dobson’s down year in 2022: The young blue liner met his standard but failed to reach the lofty expectations many had for him

NHL Playoffs: 

The Dallas Stars finished off the Seattle Kraken with a 2-1 win in Game 7 at The American Airlines Center. The Western Conference final between Dallas and the Vegas Golden Knights will begin on Friday.

The Eastern Conference Finals will open on Thursday when the Florida Panthers meet the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 at PNC Arena in Raliegh, NC. The game will air on TNT with puck drop scheduled for just after 8 p.m.

More from National Hockey Now: 

Chicago: As Blackhawks start rebuild, they should be wary of Edmonton’s tribulations

Colorado: Does reuniting Drouin with MacKinnon make sense for the Avs?

San Jose: Vegas is doing for Adin Hill what the Sharks never could

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