NHL Playoff Preview stories in the SI Vault

Cup Play: A Whole New Game By Martin Kane, April 25, 1966 What matters in pro hockey is not the championship but the Stanley Cup. Last week, as the playoffs began, two teams made radical changes in their playing styles to meet the demands of a short, bitter series.

Oh, Brother! A Pair To Watch By Jack Olsen, March 29, 1971 For such an affectionate family, the Espositos seem headed for a rousing scrap come Stanley Cup time when Boston's Phil, a champion scorer, starts shooting at Chicago's Tony, a goalie supreme.

Hard Times For Guy And The Guys By Mark Mulvoy, April 02, 1979 After flying high for three seasons, Guy Lafleur and the Canadiens were rudely brought back to aqua firma by Bryan Trottier and the Islanders as New York whipped Montreal in a showdown between the NHL's best teams.

The Islanders Go Four It All By E.M. Swift, May 23, 1983 Led by intimidating -- and impenetrable -- Billy Smith, New York took a 3-0 series lead over the Edmonton Oilers to pull within a win of a fourth straight Stanley Cup.

The Cup Runneth Overlong By E.M. Swift, April 13, 1987 The NHL playoffs seem more like a marathon than hockey.

Closing In By Austin Murphy, June 13, 1994 The New York Rangers drew nearer to their goal of winning the Stanley Cup by taking a 2-1 series lead over Vancouver.

Business As Usual By David Fleming, April 20, 1998 His contract controversy behind him, Sergei Fedorov is back in the good graces of his teammates and leading the red-hot Red Wings into the playoffs.

Healed And Dangerous By E.M. Swift, April 10, 2006 Besieged all season by injuries--including ones that sidelined stars like Peter Forsberg and Simon Gagne -- the Philadelphia Flyers are finally getting healthy. Playoff opponents beware: Adversity has made them stronger.

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