We are almost a month into the Stanley cup playoffs and the game have been exciting and fun to watch. With everything going on in the world it is good to have Hockey to watch to get a way from everything for a few hours.
With the first round over and half the teams eliminated we are down to the final eight. They have all been battling to advance to the next round.
Round 2 Match-Ups
In the Second round there are 4 match ups:
- Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars
- Vancouver Canucks vs, Las Vegas Golden Knights
- Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
- New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers and the Las Vegas Golden Knights were the favorites to win the Stanley cup heading into the first round. We will see what happens as the playoffs continue.
A Look Ahead to Game 6
Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche (3-2)
The Avalanche took the win yesterday against the Stars, forcing a game 6. The Stars are in control of the series with a 3-2 lead. Colorado put up 5 goals in the first period putting the Stars in a huge hole. The offense was provided by 5 different players. Andre Burakovsky scored twice for the Avalanche. The Stars would put up 3 goals but it wasn’t enough to put the series away. The Dallas Stars will look to close out the series against the Avalanche in game 6.
New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers (3-2)
Coming into game 5 the Islanders were up 3-1 in the series hoping to put away the Flyers. Mathew Barzal put the Islanders on the board early. The Flyers would respond by putting 3 in to go up 3-1. Brock Nelson and Derick Brassard would score to tie up the game in the third sending the game into overtime. Unfortunately for the Islanders it would be Scott Laughton who would score the game winner for the once favorites Flyers. The Islanders will see if the can pull it together after a tough loss and knock off the Flyers.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights
Game five was a tough battle for both teams. It was The Canucks who were able to defeat the Stanley Cup favorites the Golden Knights. Shea Theodore put the Golden Knights on the board first. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson were able to score to give Vancouver a 2-1 victory. Demko was able to fend off a barrage of shots in his first career playoff start by saving 42 of 43 shots put on him. The Golden Knights will look to put away the Canucks in Game 6.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins were one of the favorites of winning the Stanley cup coming into the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning made easy work of them defeating them in 5 games. Tampa Bay won game 5 in a double overtime. It was Victor Hedman who scored the game winner for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 45 of the 47 shots faced while Halak saved 32 of 35. Halak assumed goal tending duties when Rask opted out of the season.
Playoffs and Players Mental State
This is the most unique playoffs that the NHL has ever had. This is mainly due to the conditions that the players and games are put under. While they have high end accommodations where the have spent over a month at the arena complex in Edmonton some are speaking about how they are starting to go through metal fatigue. Coach Rick Bowness stated that everyone is making the best of it.
Players are having their mental toughness tested. They have to get tested daily, the play their game them back to their rooms, the lack of freedoms, and not being allowed to see their families. Bowness stated that it’s not as easy as people think living like this. Many feel like they are in a prison. While the players know that it is their job and they are getting paid to play, the mental aspect of it all is starting to take effect. Some are implying that it is not just the talent on the teams that will determine the outcome of the Stanley cup it is also the mental toughness.