An NHL season like none other will end with the kind of postseason that we are unlikely to see again. The 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs have begun and will feature a one-time-only format that pits four Canadian NHL teams against one another.
The teams that qualified for the postseason out of the all-Canadian North Division are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, and Montreal Canadiens. The first two rounds of the playoffs will feature three matchups involving those teams. It begins with a series between the Leafs and Canadiens, in their first postseason clash since 1979, and a series between the Oilers and Jets. The winner of each series will play in round two.
The 2021 NHL season was shortened by the pandemic. As a result, each Canadian team faced its own share of adversity during the four-month sprint through a loaded 56-game schedule, and each has its own major storyline entering the playoffs.