The NHL Playoffs for The Stanley Cup are underway, Round Two
begins tonight. While my updates have been infrequent, I'm doing this for my own fun and prognostications. It's just my own little world of "Fantasy NHL", (a world where the former Mrs. Drake frequently said is a world I spent too much time in, ...but I digress).
Whether you're a season-long fan, or just interested in watching the road to The Cup, feel free and most welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you've always wondered what is the big deal of why rabid hockey fans are rabid hockey fans, or want to see what makes it so interesting, tune
in and check out the games. There's a whole lot of impressive teams in this season's playoff games.
Looking back to the start of the season, here is where the teams ranked as of September 24, 2017
, - with each team having played about 3 or 4 games.
St. Louis San Jose
Nashville L Vegas
Ottawa NY Islanders
Tampa Bay Carolina
Florida NY Rangers
And here, the rankings as of April 8, 2018
x-MN WILD x-San Jose
St. Louis x-LA
x-Tampa Bay y-Washington
Ottawa NY Islanders
Buffalo NY Rangers
x-clinched playoff spot
Below is the current series between the Western and Eastern Conference Games.
I'm disappointed the Minnesota Wild didn't advance further, but...they had some injuries and the Winnipeg Jets have had a good season.
I don't understand how the new expansion team, the Las Vegas Knights (LV) - in their FIRST year - play as well as they have and are in the playoff spot they're in. The only explanation I have is that this proves the Vegas NHL is run by (ahem...) La Faimiglia
. No expansion team should be where LV is at. It just doesn't happen. I'm also at a loss to understand how they won their series against the LA Kings 4 - 0. The Kings won the Cup in 2014
and since then have had average and above average seasons; but to go winless in the playoffs against a first-year team...again...hard to fathom.
In game one, the Kings lost 0 - 1; both teams playing hard and tight. Game two was a LV win, 2 - 1 in double overtime, which is the last game LA appeared to have any cohesiveness at all. They dropped the next two games, both at home, and the series was done.
The Anaheim Ducks also were winless in their playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, 4 - 0. The Sharks, favored by many to win this year, have a solid season going for them and have "the bodies", but again, I am surprised the Ducks, Cup winner in 2007
, didn't win at least one game.
Nashville took their series against Colorado 4 - 2, and was the most interesting of match-ups to watch in the Western Conference. Nashville lost to the Pens in last year's
(2016) - 2017 Stanley Cup.
On the Eastern Conference side Tampa Bay took their series against 4 - 1 against the NJ Devils, with TBay playing almost flawlessly. Like others, I didn't think NJ would win only one game, but - that's the way the puck drops.
Wednesday night had the Boston Bruins win their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs 4 - 3, in a nail biting seven game series. So far, this has been the only playoff series to go a full seven games.
The Washington Caps took their series winning four games against the Columbus Blue Jackets' two wins.
The Penguins beat Philly in a 4 - 2 series.
The Next Round Starts Tonight:
At some point (and I think this will happen), as long as the Bruins and LV are eliminated, I can mostly live with the results of which team wins the Stanley, although, after the WILD, the Pens are my most favored second team. If they won The Cup this year, they would also become the first team since 1960
to win three or more Stanleys in a row.
Two games hit the ice tonight, each the first game beginning the second-round NHL bracket series.
The Caps vs The Pens and LV vs The Sharks.
Both Washington and LV have the home ice advantage in games one and two; games three and four move to Pittsburgh and San Jose.
Game 1: - 7PM EST - Penguins 4; Caps 3 in one OT
Game 1: - 10PM PST - Sharks 3; LV 1
Disclaimer: The above and future fantasy "final score predictions", are not meant to be, or intended to be, or construed as, or subconsciously suggested as, advice on which to make wagers or betting. It is simply the observation of an NHL fan. If you have even the slightest desire to gamble based on anything written here, immediately seek help from your doctor and/or call 911. You are INSANE to consider my fantasy NHL musings as a basis on which to gamble, “sportsbet” or other type of wager. I am not responsible for any losses, financial, emotional or otherwise. On the other hand, good natured comments of childish taunting, ad-hominem attacks and name-calling by hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike in the comments section is encouraged.
- - -
Very briefly proofread for spelling and grammar; 4-26-2018.