All four division winners in the NHL will watch Round Two from the comfort of their home and wonder why they cared about first place. If there was ever a week which absolutely nullified the regular season, this was it. Tampa Bay, Calgary, Nashville, and now the reigning Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals are gone. Wild-card winners and underdogs took them out. With the Pittsburgh Penguins also out (and Vegas, Nashville and Winnipeg), every Stanley Cup favorite is gone, except for San Jose.
Washington just couldn’t get their sticks on at least four pucks which got behind Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek but didn’t have enough steam to get across the goal line. In the end, Brock McGinn scored in Double OT and the bunch of jerks in Carolina pulled off the upset.
“Jubilation and Joy,” from Sarah Civian and The Athletic who covers Carolina (The Athletic)
If you’re into drinking the tears of your enemy and that sort of stuff, the Washington side (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Carolina will face the New York Islanders for the
Patrick Metro Division banner. I don’t know what TV ratings will look like with such small markets (Long Island and Raleigh); I suspect they will be strong at first as everyone tunes in to see the new guys, then quickly decline as New York sucks the fun out the game. That’s just a guess. I hope ratings explode and more people watch hockey beyond their team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will get the Boston Bruins for the
Adams Atlantic Division banner. Serious question, if a wild-card from the Metro which is forced to cross to the Atlantic wins the Stanley Cup, would they hang the Atlantic division banner with the Cup banner?
Get the Columbus side preview here (Jackets Cannon)
John Tortorella already poked holes in Boston’s experience edge. He called it “overrated.” Boston media took note (NESN)
I thoroughly enjoy Torts. He’s a great coach and breaks the cliche monotony. If you listen, he also educates about the game.
A stick tap for Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette who dropped the bombshell yesterday that the Penguins are considering making Evgeni Malkin available (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
That the Penguins are even talking about it is big news.
Analysis of the situation via PHN Extra: Analysis of the Pittsburgh Penguins Bombshell Trade Talk (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Also on PHN yesterday, I tried to frame the Kris Letang turnover discussion in the context of the rest of the league. I failed. I think it’s going to be a contentious summer if fans form warring tribes again. Spoiler–Letang’s turnovers fit in with the average top defenseman but aren’t good enough to be in the elite conversation. The words so many of you put in my mouth were…interesting. Read the analysis–Fair warning, it’s honest (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)