Two even series and one potential sweep.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have a second day off today before Game 5 against the Carolina Hurricanes. With the extra day of rest for the players and the extra day of impatience for us, now is a good time to check in on the three other second round series that make up the NHL Playoffs.
Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders, series tied 2-2
It’s a best of three series between Boston and New York, starting in Boston tonight. Both teams have won a game in regulation and in overtime. The final three games are on Monday. Wednesday, and Friday. The winner of this series will play either Tampa Bay or Carolina (but hopefully Tampa).
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights, series tied 2-2
After starting out the playoffs with six straight wins, the Avs find themselves in a tied series with the Vegas Golden Knights and now it’s a best-of-three. This is the biggest test the Avs have encountered after losing their offense somewhere along the road to Vegas. They still have home ice for two of the final three games, but Vegas carries all the momentum and confidence. Whoever the winner is, they’ll be a terrifying opponent. The final three games are on Tuesday, Thursday, and potentially Saturday.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets, MTL leads 3-0
Edmonton lost to this team? Toronto lost to the other team? Montreal has won two blowouts and one single goal affair. Mark Scheifele, who was suspended two games, could be back in Winnipeg’s lineup for their elimination game. It’s going to be a hard task for them to win four in a row. Game 4 is tonight.
Bryan Burns covers the wild second period in the middle of Game 4. The Lightning are shooting through the roof on the power play, with a league-best 36%. Naturally, we would expect this number to come down, but considering the talent on the ice, quality of chances, and pre-shot movement, it might even be sustainable for the short period that is the playoffs. All we know for sure is that no team has an answer for them. [NHL dot com]
“So what was Saturday’s wild Game 4 and in particular the second period, where the Lightning and Hurricanes combined for eight goals in the period, the Lightning rallying from a 4-2 deficit to score four unanswered goals and win 6-4 to take a 3-1 lead in the series and come within a game of clinching the series and heading to the semifinal round for the fifth time in the last seven seasons?”
On the second period: “Probably the craziest playoff period you’re going to see the rest of the way.” #CARvsTBL
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 6, 2021
Canada won the World Championships after beating Finland in the gold medal game. Considering the pandemic, this was a really tight tournament from the rosters down to the on-ice product. Canada lost their first three games, but came back through the field and won gold.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) June 6, 2021
Canada’ government is allowing the North Division winner to travel between the US and Canada in the final two rounds (let’s be honest it’s just going to be one trip to Colorado before they go back home).
BREAKING: The federal government has approved a travel exemption for the final 2 rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs that would allow NHL teams to cross the Canada-US border without quarantining. Players and club personnel will be subject to enhanced public health measures.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) June 6, 2021
IIHF President Rene Fasel expects a resolution on NHL players at the 2022 Olympics in the near future, potentially as soon as next week.