After a busy Friday night of hockey, the NHL playoff matches have been determined. To fall into a wild card place and face the Hurricanes, the Tampa Bay Lightning needed to lose to the Islanders and the Boston Bruins to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Some early Friday morning polls revealed that the Bolts preferred to play through the Metro rather than the Atlantic, and who can blame them? The Bruins were likewise keen to stay on the Metro side, as six regulars were left out of the lineup against the Leafs.
The Bruins’ dream came true when they were defeated 5-2 by the Leafs, who were led by two goals from Willy Nylander, and will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round. For much of the night, the Lightning were also struggling, until a five-goal third period and a hat trick from Steven Stamkos earned them the victory over the Islanders.
That set the stage for a first-round matchup between the Leafs and the Lightning. The squad that hasn’t won a round in the last two years vs. the club that has won eight in the last two years.
It also put an end to the timetable for the first round, which was revealed late last night. It’s as follows:
7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2 (Scotiabank Arena): Lightning vs. Maple Leafs.
Game 2 – Lightning vs. Maple Leafs (Scotiabank Arena) on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 — Maple Leafs vs. Lightning (AMALIE Arena) on Friday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 — Maple Leafs vs. Lightning (AMALIE Arena) on Sunday, May 8 at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, May 10th, Game 5 will be played between the Lightning and the Maple Leafs (Scotiabank Arena) * if required
Game 6 – Maple Leafs vs. Lightning (AMALIE Arena) on Thursday, May 12 (if necessary)
Game 7 – Lightning vs. Maple Leafs (Scotiabank Arena) on Saturday, May 14 (if necessary)
Because there are no back-to-backs, the Leafs and Lightning will alternate days from Monday to Saturday, if necessary. The Leafs will host games 1, 2, 5, and 7 because they hold home ice advantage. The Leafs haven’t won a playoff series at home since beating Ottawa in seven games in 2004 (ignoring the epidemic).
Injury Concerns and the Starting Lineup
The official lineup for Game 1 will be revealed on Sunday, when the Leafs conduct their final practise before the playoffs begin.
Michael Bunting and Ondrej Kae are still out, despite the fact that Kae has been skating in a red jersey this week. Sheldon Keefe has done nothing but project William Nylander to take John Tavares’ spot on the third line. We’ll see if he brings them back together for the first round or keeps doing what he’s been doing.
Rasmus Sandin, who did not participate in the final game of the season, will most likely be the team’s eighth defenseman. The other person out will most likely be Justin Holl or Jake Muzzin, depending on how he’s feeling. Last night against the Bruins, Muzzin was stepping up and hitting men for the first time in a long time, and he’s been putting up some impressive numbers lately. After an injury-plagued season, there’s a chance he’s returned to some sort of his previous self.
The Initial Round
The East’s official first round pairings are as follows:
Washington Capitals (1) against. Florida Panthers (1) (WC2)
(1) Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes (WC1)
Tampa Bay Lightning (2) against. Toronto Maple Leafs (2) (3)
Pittsburgh Penguins (2) against. New York Rangers (2) (3)
1v8, 2v6, 3v5, and 4v7 are the conference matchups. Because of the divisional system, the Rangers have the superior matchup. The situation is slightly worse for the Leafs and Hurricanes.
The United States of America:
Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche (1) (WC2)
Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames (1) (WC1)
St. Louis Blues (2) vs. Minnesota Wild (2) (3)
Los Angeles Kings (2) versus. Edmonton Oilers (2) (3)
The matchups are 1v8, 2v7, 3v4, and 5v6 each conference. Minnesota and St. Louis should be furious with this outcome.
Timings of Games
We already know that the Leafs will begin their playoffs on Monday and will play every other day until they are finished. This is also true for all of the other programmes, implying that the premiere timetable is very consistent. The Leafs will face Boston/Carolina, Minnesota/St. Louis, and Edmonton/Los Angeles on the same night. The last four series begin on Tuesday and conclude on those days off.
The majority of the Leafs games will begin at 7:30 p.m., while the Bruins series will begin at 7 p.m., with the exception of Sunday, May 8th, when Boston will play as a matinée and the Leafs will play at 7 p.m. If only the NHL could maintain this level of interest for the entire season.
Branches and leaves of various types
The Leafs defeated the Bruins to set up a first-round matchup with the Stanley Cup champions | by Katya
Bobby McMann signs a two-year contract with the Maple Leafs | by Katya
Last night, the Montreal Canadiens (the league’s 32nd team) stuffed him with 10 goals on 37 shots! Is Florida certain they want him to stay on as an RFA?