It’s been one exciting week of the NHL playoffs, and like all post seasons in sports, you’re going to get your share of surprises. There were many things that no one saw coming, so let’s go down the list, shall we?
4. Calgary’s goaltending demise
I had Anaheim beating Calgary in my bracket, but I did not foresee a sweep, nevermind the total collapse of Brian Elliot. He had a save percentage of .880, and let in 12 goals in less than 4 games. Calgary is a great team defensively and offensively, but if they don’t get their goalie situation figured out soon, they will definitely end up as the next Dallas Stars.
3. Toronto and Washington neck in neck
Going into the series, everybody, even Leafs fans, thought that this would be over in, at most, five games. But now the Leafs are giving the Capitals hell. They went to overtime 4/5 times because both teams are dead even in every offensive category, and both goalies are under performing, causing a lot of high-scoring and intense games. Looking at the standings, you would have never believed that these teams were so close, but this series shows just how competitive of a league the NHL is. The best team in the league vs the fourteenth and this series is going to at least 6 games.
2. Ottawa leading the series
Ottawa was limping towards the playoffs with injuries to a lot of key players like Marc Methot, Bobby Ryan, and Kyle Turris. They also had that Erik Karlsson injury scare. But now, Craig Anderson is a brick wall, letting in 11 goals in 5 games with a .919 save percentage, and one shutout. Karlsson is playing over 30 minutes a game and is playing the best hockey of his career, and they are getting some clutch goals from the likes of Dion Phaneuf and Bobby Ryan. Boston is putting up a good fight, but the fact that this series is even a fight is what caught me off guard.
1. Chicago getting swept
Nashville is a really good team. They are very strong defensively, and have a steady offence coming from players like Filip Forsberg, Mike Fisher, and Victor Ardvisson. But that is not how they swept the Blachawks. The Blackhawks got swept because Pekka Rinne is carrying this team on his back. He has a .976 save percentage and 3 goals allowed. He shut out the Blackhawks two times in four games. No wonder this series was so quick. Chicago was playing a wall! All Nashville had to do was score a goal. I did not see this coming. Sure, Chicago isn’t the Stanley Cup favourites this year, but you would expect to see some more from this dynasty of a team. Or maybe, Nashville is actually a good team. Shocker!
I can’t wait for a Montreal vs Nashville final. That will definitely be one for the history books.
It’s been a week since the playoffs have started and now two teams are gone. Hold on to your seats everyone, because the first round isn’t even done yet. This quest for the Stanley Cup has just begun.