The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing, and the hockey world is jumping for all the excitement. Each series has completed two games. There have been some shocking moments throughout the playoffs, and it is just getting started.
After the first couple of games, let’s dive in to each playoff series with some brief news and notes. Let’s dive in to which series is going as expected, and which series are throwing fans for a loop.
CALGARY FLAMES VS COLORADO AVALANCHE
Analysis: Despite the Avalanche not scoring a powerplay goal in either game, the series is tied at 1. The Flames have dominated the faceoff circle in the series, but that has not stopped the Avalanche’s top guns from doing damage. Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon recorded the overtime game winner in Game 2 to split the series and send it back to Denver.
SAN JOSE SHARKS VS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Analysis: It was all Sharks in Game 1 as they were winning 4-1 through 40 minutes of play. After a fast 3-goal start for the Golden Knights in the first period of Game 2, the Sharks fought back in the same period to tie the game. The Golden Knights eventually took Game 2, as they ended up scoring two shorthanded goals in the game. This series has been physical and exciting and will now shift back to Vegas for the next couple of games.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS VS DALLAS STARS
Analysis: These two clubs are mirroring each other throughout this series. Each game has been decided by one goal, as the series is tied at 1. The Predators have had the slight edge in shots on goal, hits, and faceoff percentages, but each team has not been very good with the man advantage in the first couple of games.
WINNIPEG JETS VS ST. LOUIS BLUES
Analysis: It has been a bit of a shocker, but the Blues defeated the Jets twice on their home ice. Winnipeg is not an easy building to win it, and each game has been tightly contested. The difference in this series has involved the goaltending. While Jordan Binnington has played well for the Blues in both games, Connor Hellebuyck did not have a great outing in Game 2 for the Jets.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING VS COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Analysis: Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella gave a fiery pre-game speech before Game 1 of this series to motivate his troops. The Blue Jackets have been the biggest surprise so far, as they have run through Tampa in the first two games of the series. After a 3-0 deficit in Game 1, the Blue Jackets rallied with four straight goals to win. Their momentum carried into Game 2, as they scored the first 3 goals of that game and never looked back. The Lightning need to regroup, and need to play their best hockey of the season in Columbus for Games 3 and 4. The Lightning will not be helped for Game 3 as Nikita Kucherov will be suspended for the game.
BOSTON BRUINS VS TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Analysis: As expected, this Original 6 matchup has been a physical battle. There has been plenty of nastiness between these two clubs. The Bruins dropped Game 1 in a game where the bounces did not go their way. In Game 2, the Bruins responded by scoring the first three goals of the game and they did not look back. Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri will likely miss some time in the postseason after he delivered a cross-check to Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk in Game 2. That will hurt the Maple Leafs depth up the middle for the remainder of the series.
WASHINGTON CAPITALS VS CAROLINA HURRICANES
Analysis: Each game in this series has been tightly contested. The Capitals have had to fend off Carolina in both games, but the Capitals are currently leading 2-0. Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom recorded 2 goals in Game 1, and followed it up with 1 goal and 1 assist in Game 2. The Capitals have had the physicality edge in this series, but Carolina is dominating inside the faceoff dot.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS VS PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Analysis: It has been a physical battle between these two Metropolitan Division clubs. Islander forwards Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey have recorded a goal in both games played. Bailey scored the overtime game winner for the Islanders in Game 1 as they downed the Penguins 4-3. Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby has not recorded a point through the first two games of the series.
By: George Foussekis