Playoff Open Thread: May 20th

The end of the regular season, doubt OT and Kadri in trouble again

Well, the regular season has officially ended with the Calgary Flames winning a dominant game against the Canucks. As mentioned before, this game was on the Sens’ radar as it determined their draft position and with the Canucks loss, the Sens officially sit at 10th. We’ll see what the lottery has in store for us, but with the way the season ended, many fans are ok with moving up the draft ladder.

Yesterday’s Games:

Vancouver Canucks 2, Calgary Flames 6

There was a time where the Calgary Flames thought they could chase the Montreal Canadiens for that final playoff spot. They came up short and had to play meaningless games through the playoffs, they could not have asked for a worse ending. So last night, Matthew Tkachuk and Co. decided to play a worthwhile game last night and wreck more havoc on a Canucks team that has been completely drained this season. With this loss, the Canucks could not surpass the Sens and will be picking in the top-10; not a bad consolation prize.

Washington Capital 2, Boston Bruins 3 (BOS leads 2-1)

This series has definitely become one of the most entertaining matchups to watch. Their first game went to OT where the Capitals were able to take the series lead and last night a double dose of extra time and a little Ilya Samsonov misplay was needed for the Bruins to take back the series. Samsonov was on the taxi squad due to COVID-19 and up until that little turnover, he was having quite the game. We’ll see how he and the rest of the Caps team respond in Game 4.

Nashville Predators 0, Carolina Hurricanes 3 (CAR leads 2-0)

The Hurricanes put themselves in a very good position last night as they shutout the Predators to take a commanding 2-0 lead. Everyone was expecting a good showing from the Canes in the playoffs and the Predators were the perfect first round opponent for them. The biggest story of this series is Carolina’s rookie goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic. He made 32 saves last night in his second straight playoff start and is playing with the confidence of a seasoned vet. Sebastien Aho commented that having hot a goalie gives you confidence and it seems with Aho’s two-goal performance last night, he truly meant it.

Winnipeg Jets 4, Edmonton Oilers 1 (WPG leads 1-0)

This game was probably one of the most surprising results last night. Not to say that the Jets are not a good team and very capable of beating the Oilers, but this was a home game for the Oilers, and it was tied at 1 until the 9 minute mark of the third. The best part of that go-ahead goal is that is was counted and celebrated quite a bit after it was actually scored. You suddenly heard a goal horn and saw the Jets celebrating after the refs decided the previous shot had actually gone into the net, what a disaster.

Then came a complete meltdown by the Oilers in a game where Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had no points, they could not come close to solving Connor Hellebuyck who made 32 saves. Onto Game 2.

St Louis Blues 3, Colorado Avalanche 6 (COL leads 2-0)

Now this game will have some interesting follow up. For starters, while Game 3 will determine if the Blues are really in trouble, I really thought the Blues would be a bigger challenge for the Avs early on but here they are trying to make sure they get back on track when they get back home.

The biggest story of the night wasn’t the series lead or the dominant game performance by Nathan McKinnon; it was Nazem Kadri. He just cannot resist getting himself mixed up in controversies. With the Avs up 3-1, Justin Faulk came rushing through the offensive zone where he met a fast cruising Kadri shoulder to his head. Faulk went down immediately in what looked like a very scary situation.

Kadri was ejected from the game and is now suspended indefinitely pending his hearing which I expect will yield a hefty punishment considering his past suspensions.

Today’s Games:

Game 3: Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning  - 6:30 PM EST (TBL leads 2-0)

Game 3: Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders - 7:00 PM EST (Series tied 1-1)

Game 1: Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs - 7:30 PM EST (Series tied 0-0)

Game 3: Las Vegas Golden Knights @ Minnesota Wild - 9:30 PM EST (Series tied 1-1)

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