The Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing, and already, there are some unfortunate teams that have fallen. The merciless grind of postseason hockey continues to claim its victims, and is poised to take even more over the course of the next week or so. From the frozen north, to the red-hot south no one is safe.
Here’s what you need to know for your Monday, in the latest edition of Links, News, and Notes.
- The Colorado Avalanche became the first team to advance in the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs last night, completing a sweep of the St. Louis Blues with a 5-2 victory./
Nathan MacKinnon and Co. now await either the Vegas Golden Knights or Minnesota Wild. Vegas leads that series 3-1, and can move on with a win in Game 5 tonight (10:30pm EST).
- The Avalanche own three of the NHL’s top five playoff point scorers: Mackinnon (6G 3A 9P) is in first alongside Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Gabriel Landeskog (2G 6A 8P) is tied for second with the Florida Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau, and Mikko Rantanen (1G 6A 7P) holds down the third spot along with Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov of the Lightning.
- This is the second consecutive year in which the Blues have been eliminated in the first round. They have not won a playoff series since the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
- The Boston Bruins also advanced to the second round last night, knocking off the Washington Capitals in five games./
Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice, while David Pastrnak added another to earn a series-clinching 3-1 victory.
- Boston has advanced to at least the second round every year since 2017, in which they were defeated by the Ottawa Senators in six games.
- The Capitals also have yet to win a playoff series since winning the Cup in 2018.
- Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are falling apart. In Game 3 of their series against the Winnipeg Jets, the Oilers blew a 4-1 third period lead, falling 5-4 in overtime, and finding themselves on the brink of elimination, down 3-0 in the series./
- Some teams are also prepping to have more fans back in the stands: /