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NHL Playoffs Update - 4/20

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osunut2's picture
April 18, 2017 at 10:50am

Since we don't really have an ongoing NHL Playoff thread, I figured I'd add one. Fair warning - I'm a Preds fan first, a Blue Jackets fan second, and I don't care very much for big market hockey "privilege."

As of 4/20/17 (face-off times are EST):

Montreal tied with NY Rangers (2-2): Game 5 -> 4/20, 7:00pm @ Montreal

Let me get this out of the way - I still have a soft spot for Shea Weber, but I despise Alexander Radulov and Jimmy Vesey. That said, Radulov has been everywhere, and his effort has been rewarded. This has also been a great battle between two fantastic net-minders. I wouldn't be surprised to see this series go the distance.

4/19 update - The Rangers did a nice job defensively in Game 4, limiting the Canadiens to just 24 shots on goal; Rick Nash gets the game winner early in the 2nd period, en route to a 2-1 home win to level the series.

Ottawa leads Boston (3-1): Game 5 -> 4/21, 7:30pm @ Ottawa

The Bruins were on the verge of taking a 2-0 series lead, but a blown 2-0 3rd period lead in Game 2 has led to 2 consecutive OT losses, and suddenly Ottawa is in the driver's seat. Neither goalie has wowed just yet, but this has still been a pretty entertaining series. I'm expecting a 7-game series.

4/20 update - This was a great defensive battle, and now the Senators are in total control. Bruins appeared to strike first in the 2nd period, but the goal was ultimately waved off, thanks to a successful coach's challenge (missed offside call). Bobby Ryan tallied the game winner early in the 3rd, on a beautiful no-look pass from Erik Karlsson.

Toronto tied with Washington (2-2): Game 5 -> 4/21, 7:00pm @ Washington

Poor Barry Trotz. Three OT games already. I really didn't think that the Caps would have any trouble in this series, but this one feels like it has been dead even. Both goalies have been solid, but not spectacular. Toronto is getting scoring contributions from a ton of different players. Toronto is young, but it feels like they've got the Caps on edge. If the Leafs win Game 4, the Caps will be in a lot of trouble.

4/20 update - Game 4 reminded me a lot of Game 4 between the Blue Jackets and Pens. The Caps scored 4 times in the 1st period, but Toronto just wouldn't go away. The Leafs pulled to within 1 goal midway through the 3rd, and again with the extra attacker. Huge win for the Caps to level the series.

Pittsburgh leads Columbus (3-1): Game 5 -> 4/20, 7:00pm @ Pittsburgh

Columbus' first period performance in Game 1 (and Pittsburgh's subsequent second period performance) really set the tone for this series. The Blue Jackets failed to capitalize, and the Pens made them pay. Bobrovsky has been average, at best, and that hasn't helped the Blue Jackets at all. I'm not sure what Columbus has left at this point (especially after the Game 3 OT loss), but the Pens are just playing great hockey right now.

4/19 update - Nice to see the Blue Jackets get a W, but when is Bobrovsky going to actually have a decent game? Columbus has looked great offensively the last two games, but when your net-minder has a collective 89.1% save percentage with a GAA of ~4.0, that's almost impossible to overcome.

Nashville leads Chicago (3-0): Game 4 -> 4/20, 8:00pm @ Nashville

Probably the most unlikely result of the post-season thus far. Nashville has gotten under Chicago's skin, owning the neutral zone and clogging the middle of Chicago's offensive zone, while getting some fantastic play from Pekka Rinne (finally). I think the Hawks have to be stunned at this point, especially after blowing a 2-0 3rd period lead last night. That said, if there is a team that can come back from a 3-0 series deficit, it's Chicago.

St. Louis leads Minnesota (3-1): Game 5 -> 4/22, TBD @ Minnesota

Another unlikely sweep? This result has been almost as unlikely as the Preds-Hawks series, but that will happen when a goalie stands on his head; tip of the cap to Jake Allen who has put St. Louis on his back, stopping 117 of the 120 shots he's faced thus far.

4/20 update - Minnesota got the lead for the first time in the series, and they never looked back. Charlie Coyle scored in the 1st on a bizarre play that completely fooled Jake Allen (if you haven't seen the replay, check it out). The Wild still haven't completely solved Allen, but getting more than 1 goal (and shutting out the Blues) has to give them a huge lift, especially heading home for Game 5.

Anaheim sweeps Calgary (4-0), Ducks will host Edmonton-San Jose winner

4/20 update - What a way to go out. Brian Elliott gives up a terribly soft goal early in the 1st period; as a result, he gets the quick hook. A minute later, his replacement (Chad Johnson) gives up a goal, and suddenly the Flames are down 2-0. Calgary never recovered. Johnson stopped the remaining shots on goal, but the Flames could only muster one goal against John Gibson, who probably played his best game of the series last night. The Ducks sweep (and look great doing it), and they'll face the Edmonton-San Jose winner in the second round.

Edmonton tied with San Jose (2-2): Game 5 -> 4/20, 10:30pm @ Edmonton

This has "quietly" been a very good series. After blowing a 2-0 lead in Game 1 (and losing in OT), the Oilers defense has really stepped up; since then, they've limited the Sharks to just 38 total shots and 2 consecutive shutout wins. This series could easily go to 7.

4/19 update - I think it's safe to say that the Sharks took out their offensive frustrations last night, and it all started with a Joe Pavelski goal 15 seconds into the game. Cam Talbot gave up 5 goals, his backup gave up a couple more, and Martin Jones pitched a shutout. Pivotal Game 5 in Edmonton coming up on Thursday.

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