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Catching up on the 2020 NHL Playoffs

Here is what you missed (or enjoyed).

Vancouver Canucks v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Two Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After going months without any sports we are now in a glorious time with more sports than we know what to do with. While I hope you have been watching as much playoff hockey as you can, I understand there is a lot on everyone’s plate right now. That’s why I’m going to give you a quick way to catch up so you won’t feel like you missed anything. Have you been watching it all along? Then you can take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about what we have been blessed to see thus far.

Qualifying Round

East Conference

  • Semyon Varlamov and the Islanders defense were sharp, allowing just seven goals across four games.
  • The Hurricanes swept the Rangers with help from Andrei Svechnikov, who scored the Hurricanes first playoff hat trick. The Rangers don’t feel too bad, landing the first overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.
  • The Blue Jackets tried to close out the series against the Maple Leafs up 3-0 in game Four before the Leafs rallied to tie the game and win in overtime (the Blue Jackets won the series in Game 5.
  • Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens held the Penguins to two goals or fewer in three of the four games, upsetting Pittsburgh in four games.

West Conference

  • Chicago harnessed teams of past playoffs and stunned the hometown favorite Oilers with a number of high-scoring games, proving Edmonton needs more then Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid to advance.
  • The Coyotes won a handful of one-goal games to upset the Predators.
  • Vancouver and Minnesota had a shutout apiece and Christopher tied the second-fastest overtime goal, scoring 11 seconds into game Four’s overtime to seal the series for Vancouver.
  • The Flames harnessed their offensive power while shorthanded and beat Winnipeg in four games.
Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

First Round

East Conference

  • Barry Trotz got some vengeance as the New York Islanders continued their defensive strength, limiting the Capitals to two goals or fewer in four of the five games—winning in five and leading the Capitals to fire Todd Reirden.
  • The Bruins rallied from behind a few times, beating the Hurricanes for a second year in a row. They did it without Tuuka, who opted out of the Bubble to stay with his family.
  • The Lightning and Blue Jackets had a 5OT thriller, breaking a number of records including most goalie saves and most minutes played. Tampa Bay’s offense proved too much as they won the series in five games.
  • Carter Hart and the Flyers were dominant on defense, winning back-to-back games by shutout and beating Montreal in six games.

West Conference

  • Miro Heiskanen and the Dallas Stars offense put up five or more goals on the Calgary Flames in three games, including game Six where they recovered from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Flames and take the series.
  • Jacob Markstrom gave the Canucks a lift over the Blues. Despite being outshot in five of the six games in the series, he limited the Blues to two goals or less four times. A deep set of scoring behind Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes (all in the top 20 in scoring) doesn’t hurt.
  • Vegas extinguished the Blackhawks swan song early by outplaying them through each game. In the Blackhawks’ lone victory, Corey Crawford stood on his head with 48 saves.
  • Colorado showed why they might have the most lethal offense in the playoffs. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Nazem kadri and Gabriel Landeskog are all in the top 10 in scoring as The Aves won in five games (two of the games 7-1 wins).
Washington Capitals v New York Islanders - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Second Round

East Conference

  • The Islanders out-hustled, out-chanced and outscored the Flyers in game 1, showing their defense was solid. Seymyon Varlamov now leads the league in GAA among goalies with at least three starts.
  • A late push by Victor Hedman was not enough for the Lightning to outpace the three goals the Bruins scored to take game 1.

West Conference

  • The Golden Knights blanked the Canucks 5-0 behind 26 saves by Robin Lehner.
  • Dallas took a two-game lead over Colorado behind back-to-back five-goal games, thanks to Alexander Radulov (who has three goals now in the series).

Here is what I know from the remaining eight teams:

  • Flyers: Limited offense, fantastic faceoffs, excellent goaltending (#1 in faceoffs won, #2 in SV% among remaining teams who have at least 2 starts)
  • Islanders: Excellent defense and goaltending (#1 in GAA and SV% among remaining teams with at least two starts)
  • Lightning: Excellent scoring and a real gritty (2nd most hits in the playoffs)
  • Boston Bruins: Look like the most experienced with the mental fortitude to do a bit of everything in a great fashion
  • Golden Knights: Best offense without special teams help (#1 in 5v5 goals for, #11 in 5v4 goals for, also have the least time shorthanded of remaining teams)
  • Canucks: Probably the best defense among the remaining teams (#1 in blocked shots, #1 in DZ faceoffs and arguably the worst playing goalie still remaining)
  • Avalanche: Best pure offense (#1 in goals, #1 in shots from remaining teams)
  • Stars: Appear to have the most hustle of any team (most hits, most takeaways)

Poll

Who do you think will win it all?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Boston Bruins
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Philadelphia Flyers
    (0 votes)
  • 100%
    New York Islanders
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Vegas Golden Knights
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Vancouver Canucks
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Colorado Avalanche
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Dallas Stars
    (0 votes)
1 vote total Vote Now