The Stanley Cup Playoffs always seem to electrify the sports world every April through June, and the 2018 installment has been no different. Here are 3 things we’ve learned after just 1 week of playoff hockey.
1: Vegas is for real.
It’s fair to say the Vegas Golden Knights had proven all the doubters wrong in the regular season by winning the Pacific Division as an expansion team, (something never done in NHL history), but come playoff time many people took L.A. over Vegas. Well in classic Golden Knight fashion they did what they did all season, just kept winning, and swept the Kings.
Even more fitting was that the Knights’ pick from the Kings (Brayden McNab) was the one who scored the goal that ended L.A.’s season.
Oh and also Marc Andre-Fleury has looked almost unbeatable allowing just 3 goals in 4 games. Good luck to anyone who has to face these guys down the road.
2: The Jets are just too good for the Wild.
Currently the Jets hold a 3-1 lead over the Minnesota Wild, heading back to the Bell MTS Center for game 5. The Jets won both games 1 and 2 at home and have just looked to be too much for the Wild to handle.
While yes, the Wild won game 3 in pretty convincing fashion, they have been unable to get anything going since then. Connor Hellebuyck has looked unreal and earned the Jets/Thrashers organization not only their first ever playoff win but also the franchises first ever playoff shutout.
Dustin Byfuglien has also been an absolute machine, and has just been a force all series for Winnipeg. Even with the loss of Myers, the Jets still looked dominant over Minnesota in game 4. With game five in Winnipeg it might be curtains for the Wild, and another early playoff exit for them.
3: Boston’s first line is one of the best in the NHL.
Patrice Bergeron centering David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand is arguably the best first line in the entire league right now, and they’re having fun. Pastrnak leads the entire league in terms of playoff scoring with 9 points after just three games, including 4 goals.
Brad Marchand has been the agitator he always is and is driving the Leafs crazy. Oh yeah, he also has 6 points. Not to bad for “the rat”.
Patrice Bergeron continues to solidify himself as one of the best shutdown centers in the league and has 5 points in three games, so I think it’s fair to say they’re playing alright.
Interestingly enough, Boston’s first line was held pointless in Toronto in game 3, and with game 4 tomorrow night, we’ll have to wait and see if they bounce back.