The first round gave us some great hockey. Philadelphia vs Washington gave us what looked like an easy round for the Caps, but turned into a competitive series. The biggest thing, though, was the nastiness in that matchup. From the bad hit on Orlov to Laughton losing his head and sliding right into the boards, laying motionless for several minutes, there were some scary incidents throughout the series. There was also the embarrassment from the Flyers and their fans that was game 3.
Detroit disappointed me. I thought they could handle business with Tampa shorthanded players such as Stamkos, but I guess the Lightning are just that deep. It’s uncertain whats going to happen to the Red Wings with the possibility of Pavel Datsyuk returning to Russia.
The Rangers had such a poor effort in games 4 and 5, and the Penguins, who are the hottest team in the league, took advantage and ran right over them in 5 games. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them go all the way, especially with the way Crosby is playing. I think the series versus Washington will be a fun one to watch.
As I thought, the Wild gave Dallas a hard time, taking them to 6 games, almost 7. Even with not being a strong team, they do not go down without a fight in the postseason. We’ll see how Dallas will fare against St. Louis.
The Sharks took down the Kings, finally getting revenge after 19 straight playoff games against them. It was clear they were going to be motivated from the start as they were on a mission. It was not the same team as 2014.
The same can be said about St. Louis in their matchup versus Chicago, which was probably the best series in the first round. Game 5 and 7 have been the best games of the playoffs, and that final match was exactly what a game 7 should look like. It is no wonder it brought along a new fan, which, starting on twitter, became a sensation around the hockey world. St. Louis persevered, winning their first series since 2012.
The New York Islanders outlasted Florida, who could not get those clutch goals, losing all 3 OT games. They will be a force in years to come, and I hope Jagr stays another year. I call him the Tim Duncan of the NHL. Hey, what do you expect from a Spurs fan?
The Ducks and Predators have game 7 tonight. We’ll see how that goes.