Florida Panthers The darlings of the NHL after dispatching the “greatest regular season team in NHL history” in the first round are matched up against the Metropolitan Division Champions a team that if you took Boston out of the equation would have been the number one team in the NHL.
As long as Mr. Bobrovsky keeps playing at a high level and with Misters Tkachuk, Barkov, Verhaeghe, Reinhart, and Montour managing the offense, the Cats might win it all.
Carolina Hurricanes North Carolina hosts game one tonight to start off the semi-finals versus Florida led by Captain Staal as he gets his team ready to battle his two brothers assisting the Panthers.
The Hurricanes can smother a team with their defensive style of play and although other teams score more than them no one lets in fewer goals than Carolina and that spells shutouts and one goal low scoring games this series with Florida that can go either way.
Dallas Stars The Stars begin their series in the single most distraction-filled city imaginable against a team similar in statistics across the board with Dallas scoring just a bit more and letting in just a few less.
A “hot” goalie, a sensational rookie center, with goal scoring from Mr. Hintz and Mr. Pavelski could be a winning combination this series for Texas.
Vegas Golden Knights The NHL in all its glory gets to have a semi-finals series in sin city where gambling is first and foremost which compliments the NHL’s advertising of gambling with unabashed indulgence from announcers, former players, and adverts splattered all over the dasherboards and ice.
The Knights are counting on Mr. Hill to keep his play at a high level and the continued scoring from Mr. Stephenson, Mr. Stone, Mr. Barbashev, and Hat Trick Marchessalt to create an opportunity to defeat Dallas.
DAL 2 – SEA 1 there were two penalties in the first period with neither team scoring, afterward the officials kept their whistles to themselves in a tightly played affair with low SOG and iron-clanging shots, with the first goal not scored until four minutes left in the second period.
In a series where the winner scored 4 to 7 goals each of the first six games this game seven was an entertaining defensive display with one silky steal at the blue line for a breakaway goal and a rookie sensation beating out an offsides call to score the game-winner.
It was not controversial, it was not a bloodbath, it was not a barn burner and last night was straight up an NHL playoff game seven where no side could claim victory until moments left in the third period, of the last game of this series.
The Conference Finals begin this Thursday with the surprising Panthers visiting a solid Hurricanes team in Carolina with the opening faceoff scheduled for eight o’clock pm EST.
SC 5 – EDM 2 Offense began quickly as both teams scored on their first SOG in under the first 60 seconds of the game then the Oilers took the 2-1 lead a couple of minutes later on their second shot of the game.
The second period belonged to the Knights and Mr. Marchessault’s Natural Hat Trick as Edmonton allowed three goals on 10SOG prompting a goaltender switch to start the third period which worked as Mr. Campbell stopped all 4SOG he faced.
Not one of the 12SOG by Edmonton in the third period found twine and one Happy Net goal to finish the scoring by the Knights to win the game and series.
Dallas hosts Seattle in game seven of their series tonight at 8pmEST.
SEA 6 – DAL 3 Seattle scored first and Dallas tied it 30 seconds later halfway through the first period in a fast skating game that produced three goals in the first five and half minutes of the second period resulting in a two-goal Kraken lead and a Stars goaltender change.
Both teams scored even-strength goals in the third period with Seattle closing out the scoring with a Happy Net goal and in the game’s remaining 10 seconds four players earn cross-checking, roughing, and two misconducts, the belligerency continues this coming Monday night.
Edmonton hosts game six of their back-and-forth series with the Knights which has seen the winner score at least four times in each game and with the Oilers unsure about their goaltending situation game seven is not guaranteed.
FLA 3 – TOR 2 OT Toronto scored twice in each of their five games versus Florida which was not enough to move on as two-time Vezina Trophy winner Mr. Bobrovsky played the way the Panthers have expected him to since arriving from Columbus.
Toronto’s heart and effort were there as the Maple Leafs outshot, outhit, out-blocked, and won most of the faceoffs during this series, but a “hot” goaltender on a run in the playoffs can take their team far.
SC 4 EDM 3 The Oilers scored three times on the power play but it was the two scored against them that the Knights put in and built a two-goal lead with heading into the third period.
There was only one misconduct issued in this contest as there were 11 penalties on the board between these two belligerents and the Knights first goal highlighted how goaltender interference is negated if it is “outside” the blue paint.
Saturday Night Hockey
The Kraken must win at home tonight to force game seven in Texas as the Dallas Stars take a 3-2 series lead into climate facade arena to eliminate the Seattle Kraken in game six at 7pm EST.
Hurricanes PP scores in OT, Stars take series lead
CAR 3 – NJD 2 OT The delay of game penalty was created specifically to stop players from shooting the puck into the crowd to stop the clock, if it is incidental or just an honest mistake the official should be able to make the determination to not penalize the player without review.
To give the home team a power play advantage in overtime during an elimination game based on an accidental puck shot into the crowd is a bit much, overall the Carolina Hurricanes deserve to move on because they held off a very talented and skilled New Jersey team.
DAL 5 – SEA 2 Dallas forwards Mr. Hintz and Mr. Robertson contributed 3 goals and 4 assists while Mr. “Hot” Oettinger played superbly whereas Seattle’s goaltender Mr. Grubauer played an uncharacteristic .800 save percentage.
The Kraken’s two goals came from a defenseman and a forward notching his first tally, the Stars won 60% of faceoffs, both teams blanked on the power play, and were mostly even up on hits and blocks as game five and the series lead goes to Dallas.
Tonight downtown Toronto is going to be awash with fans of all ages as the Panthers come to town endeavoring to eliminate the Maple Leafs in game five of their series and the Knights at home in the late game look to take the series lead versus the Oilers.
TOR 2 FLA 1 A crucial road victory for the Leafs ensures a game five in Toronto as the Maple Leafs out-hit, out-blocked, won most faceoffs, and received timely scoring from Mr. Nylander and Mr. Marner.
The punching and mauling after the game highlights both teams heightened emotions with another elimination game this Friday night.
EDM 4 SC 1 The first period was filled with animosity, tripping, slashing, and roughing, but it did not compare to the seven misconducts handed out in the third period as Edmonton literally and figuratively fought their way through to an even series.
There were 10 power plays between both teams and the Oilers capitalized once in six attempts while the Knights blanked, the Knights Mr. Hill let one goal in short-handed and posted a poor .879 save percentage overall.
The belligerency and violence escalate during the NHL playoffs and for some, this can be exciting for others not so much, the Stanley Cup is so important that the ends justify the means, sadly.
Tonight the Hurricanes can eliminate the Devils in front of the home crowd and the Stars and Kraken are all even up for their game five.
CAR 6 – NJD 1 Changing goalies again, the Hughes brothers alone cannot do it, not enough SOG, cannot score on the power play, and coaching has diminished New Jersey’s Stanley Cup aspirations and brought them to the brink of elimination.
Carolina pumped in four goals in a five-minute stretch during the second period and then tacked on one more with 24 seconds remaining for five goals total in the period as the Hurricanes routed the Devils in New Jersey.
DAL 6 – SEA 3 The officiating and rules can be infuriating as the announcers assured us that the Stars’ third goal was goaltender interference and would be called back, unfortunately for the Kraken Mr. Bettman and the NHL now see it differently.
Seattle took only five SOG for each of the first two periods, did not score on the power play, and could not stop the Dallas power play, by the time the Kraken began to get their skates under them in the third period it was too little too late.
Florida can advance tonight by winning in Toronto and the Oilers look to tie the series with the Knights in Edmonton’s second home game of the series.
SC 5 – EDM 1 Edmonton scored on their first shot of the game from a player scoring his first goal, they killed four penalties, won most of the faceoffs, had one Knights goal called back, and poured on the SOG for the second and third periods but ultimately the Oilers could not score.
Three more SOG after giving up the initial score of the game the Knights lose their starting goaltender to injury with eight minutes left in the first period and in comes backup Mr. Hill who covers the net like syrup and stops all Oilers SOG to finish the game.
Tonight New Jersey hosts Carolina in an attempt to tie the series at two apiece and Dallas in Seattle needs to win or faces an elimination game at home for game five.
Road teams crushed by four and five-goal margins and one OT
NJD 8 – CAR 4 The Hartford Whalers franchise was accepted into the NHL eventually settling in North Carolina once had eight goals against in the playoffs during the 1980 playoffs, it took 43 seasons for it to happen again.
Incredibly the Hurricanes score three SHG with one on a penalty shot and the Devils’ Luke Hughes in his NHL debut earned two assists with all three goaltenders that played in this game producing subpar performances.
FLA 3 – TOR 2 OT Florida’s Mr. Reinhart put forth an outstanding individual effort in overtime to push the Maple Leafs to the brink of elimination.
The Maple Leafs were at 61% faceoff percentage with a dozen more blocked shots and only four less SOG in regulation than Florida, yet the offensive players Toronto counts on, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Marner, and Mr. Nylander combined for one assist in this disappointing loss.
SEA 7 – DAL 2 During the second period the Stars launched 17 SOG at the Kraken’s Mr. Grubauer and he let one past him as Seattle took eight SOG and managed to score five times.
Seven different Seattle players scored a goal and Dallas had 14 different players on the ice earning a -1 to -3 for their plus/minus statistic with both Stars goalies playing in the .700 save percentage range.
A split affords the Oilers an opportunity to take charge of the series with the Golden Knights tonight with a win at home in game three.