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Reliving the Stanley Cup Playoffs

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Reliving the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup Wednesday night, their third in six years, capping off another incredible NHL postseason.

The Capitals made their triumphant return to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus and looked as if they had exorcised their Game 7 demons with a win over the New York Islanders. Yet, after jumping out to a 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers, the Caps added another chapter to their disappointing playoff history by losing in seven games.

The Presidents' Trophy winning New York Rangers laid it all on the line for a run this year, but could not even with the conference as they fell to Tampa Bay. The Lightning looked impressive in the Finals going toe to toe with Chicago, but they were fortunate to get that far in the first place after being pushed to the brink by the Detroit Red Wings in the conference quarterfinals.

In the west, meanwhile, former Caps' coach Bruce Boudreau finally got over the second round hump...only to lose the conference finals in Game 7 to Chicago. The Ducks ended the NHL's best feel good story of the playoffs before it even began with a four-game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets.

Ken Hitchcock of St. Louis dealt with his own playoff struggles after another early exit for the Blues. Devan Dubnyk, a goalie few people had heard of and even fewer paid attention to, managed to lead Minnesota to a playoff berth and a first-round upset of the Blues as he stymied St. Louis' potent offense.

How did the Caps stumble? How did Tampa rebound after an earlty struggle with Detroit and how did the road to the Stanley Cup open for the Blackhawks? Relive every series with our playoff recap here to remember all of your favorite story lines of the postseason.

RELATED: Blackhawks beat Lightning, win third Stanley Cup in six years

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10 changes that would make the NHL better

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USA TODAY Sports

10 changes that would make the NHL better

Hockey is one of the most incredible, compelling sports in the world. As fun as it is to watch on TV, it is even more compelling in person and fans in North America are treated to the best hockey in the world as played in the NHL.

But the NHL's not perfect.

SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

Just like every sports league, the NHL is always adjusting and making changes to the game in order to improve it through things like rule changes, expansion, playoff formats, etc.

No sport is perfect and hockey is not without its flaws, but there are a number of clear changes that could be made that would improve both the game and the league.

 SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

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Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan finally got his day. 

Over the weekend, MacLellan played host to the Stanley Cup, taking it home to his offseason house in Minnesota. 

MacLellan brought the Cup to Powderhorn Park, where a youth hockey tournament was being put on by the Herb Brooks Foundation. 

MacLellean talked with local media about the experience:

"It's a fun day, a fun day to see people react to the Cup," MacLellan told FOX 9 TV. "You know, it brings a lot of smiles to people's faces, people that sometimes don't get a chance to get close to it are getting an opportunity and it's fun to watch them enjoy it."

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