I am glad to have sports back especially the NHL. To me there is nothing as exciting as the NHL Playoffs. Although it does lose some excitement without the fans in attendance but the play has been on the same level as before. You can see the players are happy to be out there.
As a New York Rangers fan it stunk to have them bounced out right away I guess the good that came out of it was that they will receive the first pick overall in the draft. They have their choice as to who they want to help build their franchise. Some of the young players looked good and it should be an exciting season for them next year.
1st Round Match-Ups
In the first round there are 8 match ups:
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
- Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars
- Chicago Blackhawks vs, Las Vegas Golden Knights
- Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins
- New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals
- Arizona Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche
- Montreal Canadians vs. Philadelphia Flyers
- Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues
As of right now the Philadelphia Flyers and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are the favorites to win the Stanley cup heading into the first round. Originally it was the Boston Bruins who were the favorites heading into the season. Anything can happen during the playoffs and there is a long road ahead.
Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins goalie opts out of NHL playoffs
Less than 2 hours before the Bruins play the Hurricanes in game 3 Rask opted out of the season. A statement was released on Twitter with the statement
“I want to be with my teammates competing, but at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family,” Rask said in a statement. “I want to thank the Bruins and my teammates for their support and wish them success.”
The Bruins have announced that Jaroslav Halak will take over as the starting goalie for the Bruins. The Bruins are currently trailing 2-1.
A Look Ahead to Game 3
Arizona Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche (0-2)
The Avalanche took a loss yesterday from the Coyotes, but still hold a 2-1 series lead. Coyotes goaltender Kuemper stopped 49 shots and the Coyotes held on to beat the Avalanche 4-2 on Saturday in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup first round playoffs. The Coyotes were in control in game 3 right from Derek Stepan’s first-period goal.
Montreal Canadians vs. Philadelphia Flyers (1-1)
The Canadians gave the Flyers a beating in game two and tied the series up 1-1. They were without head coach Claude Julien. Goaltender Carey Price stopped all 30 shots he faced for his second shutout of the playoffs. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Tomas Tatar scored two goals each for Montreal. The Flyers coach Alain Vigneault was angry with the Canadians for being up 5-0 and putting their best line on the power play. Both teams look to take the lead in the series.
Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues
The Vancouver Canucks lead the Reigning champs 2-0. The St. Louis Blues look to get on the board tonight and get back into the series. St. Louis was able to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the third period to tie the game with 8 seconds left. Look for the Blues to come out hard in game three and avoid the dreaded 3-0.
New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals
The Islanders took a 3-0 series lead against the Capitals. Mathew Barzal scored 4:28 into overtime, lifting the New York Islanders to a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Right now it looks as thought the Islanders will take the series and sent the Capitals packing. That is unless the Capitals have an enormous come back.
Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars
Calgary was up 2-1 on the Dallas Stars. Calgary’s Sam Bennett scored twice but it wasn’t enough to take a 3-1 series lead. Dallas was able to even the series up at 2-2 by a score of 5-4 in overtime. The Dallas Stars offense was headed by Pavelski who was signed as a free agent last off-season. He recorded Dallas’ first playoff hat trick since the franchise moved from Minnesota in 1993. Both teams look to take the series lead in game 5.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins
Carolina was up in the series 2-0. In the first game since Rask opted out of the remainder of the season the Bruins emerged with a 3-1 victory. Jaroslav Halak stopped 29 shots after starting replacing Rask. It was Marchand who ended Carolina’s comeback chances by putting the puck into the empty net with 30.9 seconds left. Game 4 is Monday night where the Bruins looked to tie the series at 2-2.
Chicago Blackhawks vs, Las Vegas Golden Knights
The Las Vegas Golden Knights took a 3-0 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots and William Karlsson and Patrick Brown scored for the Golden Knights to defeat the Blackhawks 2-1. Chicago’s power play has been lack luster going 0 for 4 on the power play and is 1 for 8 in the series. The Blackhawks will look to stay alive in game 4.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
After having the series tied at 1-1 the Tampa Bay Lightning was able to take a 2-1 lead. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 16 saves and offense was provided by Lex Killorn, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman. The Blue Jackets had some opportunities that they were unable to capitalize on. Tampa Bay out shot Columbus 34-17. The Lightning will look to go up 3-1 Monday.
Support Your Team
Now that sports are back in action you can start to support your favorite teams. It is time again to start stocking up on your favorite fan gear for the NHL, NBA, MLB, and even the upcoming NFL season. I like to get my gear from Amazon. Amazon is the one stop shop for all your favorite team and player apparel and products. They have thousands of products at all different price points and you can get it quick. You can easily go through the reviews of past customers and see what items will be best for you. Click the link below, happy shopping and may the best team win!