Who would have thought that the mighty Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl would be swept clean in the first round of the playoffs. Was it goaltending? Was it poor planning from the coach or was it a complete disappearance from the star players? The Oilers were poised for a long run and this sweep is not only shocking but it has to be very concerning for management.
The Panthers may not win this series but they will not go out without a good fight. Last night, they survived elimination with a commanding win that could just give them the confidence they need to go back to Tampa Bay. The talk of the night was rookie goaltender Spencer Knight who made 36 saves to help the Panthers see another game. Quite the good story here, maybe he can be the miracle they need to see a game 7?
The New York Islanders have been a real fierce and fun team to watch for a few season now and nothing would be more satisfying for them than to take down their rivals in Pittsburgh. It took 2 overtime periods but they got it done and now they get to go home with an elimination game to prepare for. The Penguins have been a bit unpredictable in this series but they have a ton of playoff experience and if any team can come back in a series, it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Leafs should be completely dominating the Habs every game but they are not. We have yet to see an outstanding performance from Auston Matthews but maybe he’s saving it for the second round? The hero of this round for the Leafs has been William Nylander who has scored in 3 games straight now. As for the Habs, they’re still not in a lot of trouble, if they can tie the series, they can get into the Leafs minds and possibly do some damage. Game 4 should be an interesting one and telling of the Habs resilience and the Leafs strength.
Oh to have the loud Jets fans crowds in the arena last night would have been a sight to see. I think most people expected a hard fought series by the Jets and by no means were the Jets an “underdog” in this series but a sweep? Where was Connor McDavid? Leon? Not sure how the Oilers will move forward after this and what changes they’ll feel they need to make but the Jets will go into the second round with the best momentum and highest confidence in the league. It’s probably a good thing they ended the series early as they’ve needed to play almost 5 overtime periods to move ahead. No overtime win was as satisfying as last night's triple OT winner by Kyle Connor.
The Vegas Golden Knights seem to be an unbeatable team especially in the playoffs. The Wild have always been tagged as a boring team with most people shrugging them off in any of their predictions. What could winning a series against the mighty Knights do for them and the fans? It would be nice if they were at least able to bring the series to 7 games, but let’s be honest the Golden Knights are probably not going to lose two games in a row. Could we see a playoff miracle by a team that desperately needs to grab the attention of hockey fans? Yesterday’s win was a good start and if they can ride the momentum into a Game 7, anything can happen.
Game 4: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens - 7:30PM EST (TOR leads series 2-1)
Game 5: Nashville Predators @ Carolina Hurricanes - 8:00PM EST (Series tied 2-2)