The first week of the NHL playoffs has featured an explosion
of goals and plenty of big hits as several of the series are off to a nasty
start. In fact, there has already been a pair of suspensions. Defenceman Drew
Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings was banned for the second game of his series
against the Vegas Golden Knights for what was ruled a hit to the head of
forward Will Carrier. In addition, Toronto Maple Leafs' forward Nazem Kadri was
handed a three-game suspension for an illegal hit on forward Tommy Wingels of
the Boston Bruins. Let's take a quick look and recap each series.
The Winnipeg Jets downed the Minnesota Wild 3-2 at home in their opener and
then followed up with a 4-1 win in the physical second game. The Wild then got
back into the series with a big 6-2 win in their first home outing. The series
has seen 16 goals in its three contests for an average of six goals per game.
The Pittsburgh Penguins
drilled the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0 at home in their opener only to see the
Flyers return the favour with a 5-1 drubbing in the second encounter. The
Penguins then won the first game in the City of Brotherly love by a score of
5-1. There have been 19 goals in the three contests for an average of 6.33 goals
The lowest-scoring series of the bunch has been the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas
Golden Knights as it's been a goaltending duel up to now. The Knights won 1-0
in the opener at home and then followed up with a 2-1 win in double overtime.
The highest-scoring contest was a 3-2 Vegas victory in the first game in Los
Angeles to take a 3-0 stranglehold in the series. Knights' goalie Marc-Andre
Fleury leads the league with a save percentage of 97.0 with 96 saves on 99
shots. Kings' netminder Jonathan Quick isn't far behind him with a 94.5 save
percentage with 104 stops on 110 shots. There have been nine goals in the three
contests for 3 goals per game.
The Tampa Bay Lightning took care of the New Jersey Devils 5-2 in the opener at
home and followed up with a 5-3 victory in the second match. The series has
seen 15 goals scored in two games for an average of 7.5 per outing.
The Nashville Predators got past the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 in their series
opener in Music City and followed it up with a 5-4 nail-biter in the second
contest. This series has seen 16 goals in the first two games for an average of
8 per outing.
The Boston Bruins spanked the Toronto Maple Leafs by scores of 5-1 and 7-3 in
the first two games in Beantown. There have been 16 goals in the series so far
for an average of 8 per game. Incredibly, the Boston forward line of Brad
Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak has combined for 20 points in the
first two contests. Pastrnak leads the postseason in goals with four and points
with nine. Marchand has chipped in with a goal and five assists while Bergeron
has five helpers. In addition, all three of them are plus-6.
The closest series has been the Columbus Blue Jackets vs the Washington
Capitals as both games have been decided in overtime. Columbus won the opener
4-3 and followed up in the second game with a 5-4 triumph with both wins coming
on the road. The series has featured a total of 16 goals for an average of 8
Another relatively low-scoring series has been between the San Jose sharks and
Anaheim Ducks. This has also seen the road team win the first two encounters as
the Sharks were 3-0 and 3-2 winners. There have been eight goals scored for an
average of 4 per game.
The first 19 contests of the playoffs resulted in 117 goals scored for an
average of 6.2 per game. With all of the pucks entering the net so far in the
postseason, fans have witnessed several goaltenders being pulled during games.
Connor Hellebucyk was yanked in Winnipeg's 6-2 game-three loss to Minnesota and
Frederik Andersen of Toronto suffered the same fate in the Leafs' 7-3 defeat in
game two against Boston. Keith Kinkaid of New Jersey was relieved in the
Devils' 5-3 loss to Tampa in the second game and Phillip Grubauer of Washington
was replaced in his team's 5-4 loss in game two to Columbus. Also, Brian Elliot
of Philadelphia was pulled in his team's opening 7-0 loss to Pittsburgh.
Labels: Ian Palmer