The Stanley Cup playoffs have been incredibly entertaining this year, with a ridiculous number of goals being scored. Personally, I think it’s great! The more scoring there is in the NHL right now, the better for hockey fans and people who want to see good things happening on ice. We’re only one month into the first round of play so far – and already we’ve seen two games go over five goals! Let’s hope that trend continues as much as possible because when these teams get too close together (or even while they’re playing), their skill level can be dulled which isn’t exactly what you want out of an exciting playoff game.
The “most goals in a stanley cup playoffs” is the most recent Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first round of the playoffs had 11 games with 10 teams scoring at least five goals.
Before Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said something incredible.
He announced a goaltender change from Linus Ullmark to Jeremy Swayman, which was anticipated with the team behind in the series. “If it ends up being one of those 2-1 games, we need a performance where we get that critical save,” Cassidy stated to defend his choice.
A 2-1 game?
What happens after the regular season?
In the postseason?
For decades, devoted hockey fans have salivated over games with high tension but low goal-scoring catharsis. Last season’s conference finals saw a 1-0 Game 7 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders as the archetypal playoff tension convention. The casual spectators regarded it as a one-goal game.
The National Hockey League has finally broken free from the aesthetic shackles of “playoff hockey.”
Everyone in the NHL questioned whether the incredible scoring rates of the regular season — 3.14 goals per team per game, the most since the 1995-96 season — would carry over into the playoffs before the 2022 Stanley Cup championship.
The answer is a resounding “yes,” albeit you may struggle to hear it above the deafening goal horns.
Teams were averaging 3.32 goals per game as of Wednesday night. If this trend continues through the first round, it will be the highest first-round average since 1995. (3.40). It would be the greatest postseason average since 1993 if it held for the next three rounds (3.42). “Those 2-1 games” that Cassidy and numerous NHL fans anticipate seeing in the playoffs? Only three of the first 36 playoff games this year had a total score under four goals, and two of them were in the same series (Calgary vs. Dallas).
However, like with many wonderful things in life, this offensive surge in the playoffs has had unexpected effects. So far, we’ve been treated to a cacophony of goal songs in exchange for the loss of competitive playoff games.
For a long time, we’ve desired more goal scoring in the playoffs. But, honestly, did we want it to look like this?
The average number of goals scored per game in the playoffs is 6.64, compared to 6.29 in the regular season. What else is going on? Power struggles. We averaged 5.8 power plays per game throughout the regular season. We had 8.2 power plays per game in the playoffs as of Wednesday, with some of them occurring outside of the Lightning vs. Leafs series!
However, as everyone who has seen the playoffs knows, these high-scoring games sometimes seem like just one side is scoring.
The first and second rounds will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2, with one conference finals series on ESPN and the Stanley Cup Final on ABC. • How to View • • Watch the NHL on ESPN with an ESPN+ subscription
Let us ponder this for a minute. In theory, what purpose should the playoffs serve?
Of course, there will be a champion for that season. Differentiating between contenders and pretenders. Offering the biggest stakes for any season game, as well as the most intense emotions.
We don’t talk about the playoffs enough as the largest platform for the game’s best talents. A run of 2-1 games doesn’t do much for demonstrating star power unless the game’s greatest stars are, in fact, the goalies — and the only people who think this are, in fact, the goalies.
As a result, when it comes to highlighting talents, the 2022 postseason very much reigns. Consider:
With ten points in four playoff games, Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche established a new record for most points by a defender.
The Bruins’ Brad Marchand scored five points in Game 4 against Carolina.
Auston Matthews’ game-winning goal in Game 5 against Tampa Bay transformed a jaded city into “be-Leaf-ers” once again.
Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov scored seven goals in five games, breaking the Minnesota Wild playoff record for most goals in a series. The last time we witnessed a goal-scoring performance like this was in 2009, when Sidney Crosby faced off against Alex Ovechkin. “We’d be competing our butts off a bit better if we had 20 of him,” Wild coach Dean Evason said of Kaprizov. (With this, Minnesota general manager Bill Guerin started his comprehensive study into human cloning…)
Crosby, for example, scored nine points in four games, doing all he could to keep the Penguins’ championship window open.
In a regular postseason, we don’t get all of these performances. Third-liners gritting their way past impregnable defenses are more likely to perform heroics than NHL all-stars. At this time of year, the game is better for having those talents take center stage, both now and in the future.
Foul of the Week in Jersey
I can’t determine if Jersey is disgusting or sweet. pic.twitter.com/nvUtEsj0x6
May 9, 2022 — x – Baggedmilk, Oily Playoff Boy (@jsbmbaggedmilk)
This is lovely, but it’s clearly a Matt Luff and Los Angeles Kings Jersey Foul.
It did remind us of one of the most memorable incidents in jersey name/number history, when former NHL defender Mike Commodore nearly wore No. 64 with the Detroit Red Wings in 2011.
(The Commodore 64 was a personal computer that sold 17 million units in the 1980s.)
Commie eventually settled on No. 22, which he felt was a more personal number. This was despite a pledge effort organized by yours truly to persuade him to wear No. 64, which garnered over $7,000. Even though he never wore the six-four, Commodore matched charitable donations.
In the case, we’re excited to witness our first PlayStation 5 Jersey Foul.
This week’s video
Clobberin’ Time is Here! @CMPunk finally makes it to the ring! Right now, on @TBSNetwork, watch #AEWDynamite LIVE! pic.twitter.com/8N5c08j1PA
May 12, 2022 — All Elite Wrestling (@AEW)
This week on The Drop, AEW star C.M. Punk joined us to talk about the Stanley Cup playoffs, the status of the Chicago Blackhawks, and who the greatest heel in the NHL is right now. (Spoiler alert: Brad Marchand was not chosen.)
There was no argument about who was the biggest heel on Long Island a few hours later. Punk walked out in a New York Islanders shirt… a JOHN TAVARES New York Islanders jersey, on AEW Dynamite, before a battle with local lad John Silver.
Quite gorgeous, yet very sinister.
The Week’s Winners and Losers
Pork and broccoli with a kick
The Penguins have moved on from the spicy pork and broccoli that powered their Game 1 victory against the Rangers. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has not. From lifestyle columns in the local paper to dogs eating it out of the Stanley Cup, spicy pork and broccoli is having a moment. Don’t we all like a good Stanley Cup playoffs meme?
Skittles, the loser
Let’s start with the obvious: don’t hurl anything at the players. Ever. Skittles, according to Avalanche defender Cale Makar, were tossed at him after his team completed a sweep of the Nashville Predators.
So, that established, our winner out of this incident are Smarties. During his postgame comments, Makar helped educate U.S. fans about the difference between American Smarties (chalky little candies) and Canadian Smarties (which are similar to M&Ms). So at least some good came out of this.
Barry Trotz, the winner
Yes, it is possible to lose your work and still win. After a terrible season in which the Islanders followed back-to-back trips in the conference finals with a non-playoff failure, Trotz was fired without fanfare. “Back-to-back conference finals appearances” is emphasized.
Trotz leaves a club that might be on the verge of falling out of contention, and half of the league is seeking to hire him or fire their current coach in exchange for a Stanley Cup-winning improvement. Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press offers my preferred option: To turn around the Nashville Predators, GM David Poile is promoted to president of hockey operations, Barry Trotz is promoted to general manager with a strong cap/contract assistant, and Trotz’s associate coach Lane Lambert is promoted to head coach. Fun!
Lou Lamoriello, the Isles’ general manager, is not required to explain why Trotz was benched. He is the ruler of whatever he observes and hence is not answerable to the press or admirers. However, when he says that the decision to terminate Trotz wasn’t largely based on the team’s performance this season — remember the aforementioned “back-to-back conference final appearances” — some explanation on what he means would be appreciated.
New Jersey Devils are the winners.
Another triumph in the draft lottery (and getting the No. 2 pick most certainly counts as a win). If Shane Wright is selected first overall, the Devils may choose winger Juraj Slafkovsky, center Logan Cooley, or defenseman Simon Nemec and David Jiricek. They’re still in the running to win the draft lottery in 2023 to choose Connor Bedard, according to the new NHL draft rules. That is, providing they don’t reach the playoffs this year.
Detroit Red Wings are the loser.
Another defeat in the draft lottery. Detroit has never won the lottery and has been demoted four times based on point percentage. You know you’ve had bad luck when the Vancouver Canucks can remark, “Hey, at least we’re not Detroit” when it comes to the draft.
NHL.com puns are the winner.
“Auston Powers!” “Capital Gains!”
To the pleasure of wordplay and dad joke fans worldwide, the NHL.com pun headlines have made a surprise and welcome comeback.
NHL puck tracking is a loser.
Sidney Crosby scored a goal in Game 4 between the Rangers and the Penguins that was reviewed by the NHL because the puck wasn’t immediately visible beneath Igor Shesterkin’s pad. Which reminded me that although we have puck- and player-tracking technology that can create virtual reality recreations of games and count how many kilometers Teddy Blueger skates in a game, it couldn’t tell whether the puck crosses the goal line. What exactly are we doing here?
Headlines by Puck
There are eight possible replacements for Barry Trotz. Two of these individuals are now canceled, while one is currently coaching the Vegas Golden Knights.
Filip Forsberg wants to stay with the Predators in Nashville. “From where we began in September [in terms of talks], there has definitely been some development over the season, and myself, my agent, and [Poile] will be in constant communication throughout the process. We’ll simply have to wait and see where this goes.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning series is like a march to the penalty box. “I’m not sure how much of what we’re seeing in this series is due to a clear shift in officiating instructions and how much is due to Maple Leafs who can’t stop tripping, holding, slashing, and overall being so frightened of making a mistake that they take penalties in droves. Tampa is also making its way to the box.”
A call for the playoff structure to be changed back to the conference system. “Why is it possible for a No. 2 or No. 3 seed to be eliminated in the first round?”
Sarah Thompson will go to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to teach street hockey to youngsters from a low-income area. In other news, this week I finished my laundry. I liked about half of it.
With a column in The Players’ Tribune announcing his retirement, Patrick Marleau made sure to give respect to longtime teammate Joe Thornton. “Jumbo and I joined the league together, and I was lucky enough to spend more than half of my career on the ice with him. Your upbeat attitude has always been contagious. Joe, thank you for all of your fantastic passes. You’re more than a colleague; you’re a buddy for life.”
This season, a much higher number of women are watching the NHL, and here’s why.
Finally, here is the official NHL draft lottery drawing for 2022. Check video commissioner Gary Bettman’s amusing response when he finds that the Montreal Canadiens, the draft’s host club this summer, had snatched the top overall choice. (In the video below, fast forward to 10:30.)
From Your ESPN Friends
Finally, in case you missed it, our Stanley Cup playoffs beard project was a blast. Trevor Zegras and Gritty’s quotes are included!
The “nhl playoffs 2020” is a question that has been asked many times before. The answer to the question, is that ridiculous goal scoring is good for the Stanley Cup playoffs because it makes them more exciting.
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