Stanley Cup Playoffs Near End of Round 1
The Stanley Cup Playoffs arguably present the most exciting sporting events of the year, and this year’s bracket is no exception. There have been games where the scores are higher than what you get from some football games, where others were low scoring affairs which took over-time to complete. With five of the eight series in the bag, let’s take a quick look at where we stand.
8-seeded Ottawa Senators have made it to Game 7 with the top seed New York Rangers. More accurately, the Rangers kept from being eliminated by winning Monday’s game 6. The final contest will be played at Madison Square Garden on Thursday evening.
The 2 seed in the East isn’t fairing much better. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins were also on the brink of elimination in Game 6 of their series, but scored an over-time victory to force Game 7 against the Washington Capitals.
Having not trailed in the series since winning Game 2, the 3-seeded Florida Panthers can eliminate the New Jersey Devils in tonight’s Game 6. There’s speculation that this will be the final NHL game for legendary goal tender Martin Brodeur.
The top seed in the West narrowly avoided getting swept by the Los Angeles Kings, but not by much. The Vancouver Canucks won Game 4, but that would be the only game in the series they would win. No game in the series was decided by more than two goals. Who knows what might happen if the Kings continue their winning ways and bring some Hollywood celebrities along for the ride…
The St Louis Blues did what they were supposed to do as the 2 seed in the West, defeating the 7 seeded San Jose Sharks, only allowing the lower seed to win once – the series opener.
Not far from a Stanley Cup championship themselves, the Chicago Blackhawks will have to wait until next year to reclaim glory, as the 3-seeded Phoenix Coyotes finished out the series Monday, winning Game 6 by a score of 4 to 0. They’ll have to compete next round without Raffi Torres, who was levied a huge suspension by the league for causing Marian Hossa to be stretchered off the ice.
In a series which should have been close based on the respective seeds involved, the 4-seeded Nashville Predators only lost one game against the 5-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the best-of-7 series.
The only Eastern Conference series which has ended also provided the most fireworks. Goals scored and penalty minutes assessed aplenty, the 5-seeded Philadelphia Flyers took one step closer to returning to the Stanley Cup Finals as they defeated cross-state rivals Pittsburgh Penguins (the 4 seed) in six games.
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