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RTP Daily August 15th: So, about that Islanders pick...

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Canadian teams win big in last night’s action

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders - Game Two Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Before the playoffs started, our friend Trevor Shackles broke down the best scenarios for Ottawa’s draft capital as the following:

One week in and things are looking rather questionable. For starters, Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s Islanders are not giving the Caps anything and that ultimately impacts whether the pick will be in the 18-22 range as expected. On the other hand, Montréal and Vancouver are admirably playing their part in potential upsets, while Calgary and Tampa Bay are playing well enough to potentially secure the positions of the team’s second-round picks.

Friday’s Games:

Arizona Coyotes 2, Colorado Avalanche 3, COL leads series 2-0

  • If you look at the last 10 first round picks, Nathan MacKinnon has to be in the top-three in terms of value, no? The Nova Scotian star looked dynamite yesterday as the Avalanche survived a strong push by the ‘Yotes. I’ve been surprised by the play of Arizona’s third-pair of Jakob Chychrun and Jordan Oesterle, who are soundly beating the Avs every time they’re on the ice. The top talent of Colorado is what’s carried them this far, though, and Arizona doesn’t look to have a match for it despite Taylor Hall, Clayton Keller, and Phil Kessel.

Montréal Canadiens 5, Philadelphia Flyers 0, Series tied at 1-1

  • The hottest team coming into the playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers came out of the play-in surprisingly seeded first in the East. They... didn’t look the part yesterday. One look at the breakdown at NaturalStatTrick tells the story of this game: it was all Montréal. Tomas Tatar scored a goal in the opening minute, added another later on, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi double-dipped as well for a Habs squad that features 10 quality forwards and a locked-in Carey Price. Sean Couturier’s line was one of the reasons why the Flyers were victorious in game one, but couldn’t find their way past the Chariot — Weber pairing and the mishmash of fleet-footed Canadiens who were aggressive at every turn.

Vancouver Canucks 4, St. Louis Blues 3 (OT), VAN leads series 2-0

  • The most fun series to watch in my opinion, the young Canucks should bring excitement to Sens fans who are expecting their prospects to eventually step up in big moments like Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson have for Vancouver. Despite getting outshot 37 - 25, especially when the Blues’ top-line of Perron - O’Reilly - Schwartz was on the ice, the Canucks had more quality chances against Jordan Binnington, and finished when they had them. When Vancouver gave up at 3 - 1 lead in the last 15 minutes of the third, I fully expected the game to go the way of the defending champions. It took some heroics from Elias Pettersson in net (!) and Hughes channeling his inner Erik Karlsson with a bank pass to Bo Horvat for his second of the game to seal the deal.

What’s wild is that wasn’t even Horvat’s best goal of the night:

New York Islanders 5, Washington Capitals 2, NYI leads series 2-0

  • Barry Trotz continues to get ahead of his old assistant in Todd Reirden, and his team is receiving enough offence up and down their lineup to not just keep up with the Capitals, but to be the ones pushing play. The Islanders had five different goal scorers last night and our son Pageau had two-assists in a tidy 18 minutes of work. Alexander Ovechkin came alive with two goals, but it’s really the rest of the Caps lineup that’s going to have to step up to give Washington a chance to come back in this series.

Dallas Stars 0, Calgary Flames 2, CGY leads series 2-1

  • Calgary was outshot 35 - 23 and had a 32% CF% at even-strength (via NST), but still managed to come out of the game victorious thanks to a Cam Talbot shutout and some strong special teams play. Matthew Tkachuk did not play, but Mikael Backlund and T.J. Brodie chipped in the offence to take revenge for last night’s last minute defeat.

Saturday’s Games:

Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes, 12pm ET, Series tied 1-1

Colorado Avalanche @ Arizona Coyotes, 3pm ET, COL leads series 2-0

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30pm ET, Series tied 1-1

Vegas Golden Knights @ Chicago Blackhawks, 8pm ET, VGK leads series 2-0