While the Ottawa Senators did not qualify for this year’s post-season tournament, there’s a lot of great hockey yet to be played this spring. So while we’ll of course continue with our off-season coverage of the Sens, we also want to give folks a place to talk about the NHL hockey that’s still being played. Look for these daily open threads with a quick recap of the games that were played the night before, as well as a look ahead to the contests of the day.
Last Night’s Games:
Tom Wilson, who you could persuasively argue shouldn’t even be eligible to be playing right now, scored the opening goal of the 2021 play-offs and Nic Dowd potted the winner in overtime on a deflection as the Caps took the opener of their series against the Bruins 3-2 in overtime. Craig Anderson also became the 4th oldest goalie in NHL history to record a win in the Stanley Cup play-offs after he was forced into action when Washington starter Vitek Vaneck suffered an injury in the first period.
Full highlights: https://www.nhl.com/news/boston-bruins-washington-capitals-game-1-recap/c-324663564
After a quick start to the year, the Isles struggled badly down the stretch and with the Penguins once again healthy and firing on all cylinders this could be a short series; but that’s also the kind of thing that’s been written several time about this iteration of the team and they have defied expectations on several occasions.
The Wild have been a surprisingly feisty team this year but the Vegas Golden Knights are one of the true contenders to win the Cup this year in my estimation. Minnesota will put up a fight but I’d expect Vegas to walk out of this first round matchup fairly unscathed.
The first ever Battle of Florida, as the two teams from the Sunshine State face off in the play-offs. The Panthers were one of this year’s most pleasant surprises, but the defending champion Lightning have a fully healthy squad — including Nikita Kucherov. Expect some fireworks, but the Bolts should prevail; especially if the Panthers remain committed to playing Sergei Bobrovsky as they intend to do in Game 1.