3 Things the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have shown us so far

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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.

Jordan Bay

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Flames lose another meaningless game

Flames logoThe Calgary Flames have continued to stumble their way towards the 82-game mark. As a team that started the season facing such high expectations, now they are left to wonder what could have been.

In their third-to-last contest of the season on Tuesday night, the Flames faced a Coyotes team who have had a strong month, despite having one of the worst point totals in the NHL. Their record as of late can be attributed to Antti Raanta, their Finnish number one goaltender. Raanta – who was acquired from the New York Rangers in the offseason – has had a strong second half for the Coyotes.

Like a lot of things this season, this one didn’t go the Flames’ way. Their trend of heavily out-shooting teams but not being able to score continued, with shots favouring Calgary 43-21 but the score ending up 4-1 for the Coyotes.

The lone bright spot in this one was deadline-acquisition Nick Shore, who got his first goal as a Flame.

— Danica Ferris

Canucks dynamic duo call it a career

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Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the twin superstars for the Vancouver Canucks, have announced they will retire at the end of the 2017-18 season after 18 years in the league.

“This feels right for all of us.”

Selected by the Canucks with the 2nd and 3rd overall draft picks in the 1999 NHL draft, there were high expectations for the Swedish youngsters, and they delivered. The Sedins famously won back to back scoring titles with Henrik winning in 2010 and Daniel in 2011.

Henrik leaves the NHL as the Canucks’ all time leader in points, assists and games played, and was voted the league’s MVP in 2010. Daniel Sedin retires as their all-time leading goal scorer and ranks second in points behind his brother.

“We started the season in the mindset that a decision would be made in the postseason,” the 37 year old brothers wrote on the team’s website. “This feels right for all of us.”

Though they were never able to lead the Canucks to a Stanley Cup title, The Sedins are generally regarded by fans to be future hall of famers. Their final game will be on April 7 in Edmonton.

-Chris Oldale

Winnipeg Jets continuing into playoffs

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The Winnipeg Jets have found their spot in the playoffs after winning to the Nashville predators in a shoot out.

The final score was five to four.

Rookie Kyle Conner scored one of the five goals and assisted 2. He now holds second place on the western conference, just five points back of first-place Nashville.

He now has 29 goals in the season, tying him with Vancouver Canucks Brock Boeser on the NHL rookie goal scoring lead.

The Flames didn’t find luck in Vegas

Flames logoThe Flames had a disappointing 4-0 loss against the Golden Knights on Sunday.

“It’s the little things that makes a big difference in a game.”

Calgary played a strong first period, but couldn’t stop Vegas from their scoring frenzy in the second. William Karlsson scored a hat trick, making his season total 39 goals.

Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said this was a big win for his team. Gallant said he “could see most pucks, and that makes a big difference and when there were rebounds, they took their guys away. It’s the little things that makes a big difference in a game.”

The Flames are still fighting for an unlikely playoff position and take on the Ducks tonight.

-Mandy Vocke

 

 

Calgary Flames in face off with a ten million dollar lawsuit

 

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Don Henderson, a former hockey officiate has sued both the Calgary Flames and ex hockey player Dennis Wideman for over ten million dollars.

Henderson has not officiated a game since being allegedly hit from behind by Wideman. He says he suffers both serious mental and physical damage, resulting that he can no longer work.

A Calgary judge however says that Henderson cannot sue because the of the NHL constitution, which says “Any dispute between players, coaches, or referees should be handled by arbitrators ” and everyone agrees to this when they join the league.

“Any dispute between players, coaches, or referees should be handled by arbitrators”

It is expected the case will be pushed back onto the NHL.

Henderson’s legal team does have the right to appeal, but no decisions have been made yet.

-Reya Lehoux

 

That’s a wrap: 2018 NHL trade deadline recap

 

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The N.H.L trade deadline has come and gone with the Winnipeg Jets and Tampa Bay Lighting making some big moves.

The Jets picked up Paul Stastny from St. Louis, and the Lightning’s traded for Ryan McDonough and J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers

Both Alberta teams seemed to be fairly quiet on deadline day without making any major trades over the weekend.

Calgary did acquired Nick Shore from the Ottawa Senators and reassigned Morgan Klimchuk to Stockton. While Edmonton acquire third-round pick J.D. Dudek.

-Andrea Ferrari