May 31 — Round 2 Numbers & Western Conference Final Preview

Yesterday’s NHL Score

Last Night’s News 📰

PUTTING THE “PLAYER” IN PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: The Vancouver Canucks continued to shake things up on the management side, with GM Patrik Allvin announcing the hiring of former NHLers Mikael Samuelsson and Mike Komisarek to the club’s player development department. They will join Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who moved over to player development after serving in hockey operations.

HOMESICK: After going a perfect 7-0 at PNC Arena, the Carolina Hurricanes fell behind early and saw their season end. The New York Rangers scored two power-play goals in the first eight minutes of the opening period, and they won 6-2. Mika Zibanejad had three assists, and Igor Shesterkin made 36 saves to lead the way for the Blueshirts.

ADDING INJURY TO INSULT: An emotional season-ending Game 7 loss at home for the Hurricanes was much harder to swallow with injuries to two key contributors. Leading rookie playoff scorer Seth Jarvis did not return to the ice after suffering an upper-body injury in the first period, and goaltender Antti Raanta exited one period later with a lower-body injury.

NEW MR. GAME 7?: Chris Kreider had two goals in the Rangers’ Game 7 victory over the Canes, giving him 15 goals when facing elimination. That is tied for second-most in NHL history with Jaromír Jágr, Maurice Richard, Gil Perreault, and Mr. Game 7, Justin Williams. The quintet trail Mark Messier (16), the captain of the Rangers’ most recent Stanley Cup championship during the 1993-94 season. 

Trivia Tuesday

How Well Do You Know the New York Rangers?

  1. How many times have the New York Rangers played in the Eastern Conference Final since 2000?
    • Two
    • Five
    • Three
    • Four

  2. Which round did the Rangers select Igor Shesterkin during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft?
    • Seventh
    • Fourth
    • Third
    • Sixth

  3. How many Rangers have won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP?
    • Two
    • Eight
    • Four
    • Six

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

By the Numbers: 2022 Second Round

The second round of the 2022 Postseason concluded last night when the New York Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-2 to win Game 7. This year’s conference finals are set, with Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers facing off against Nathan Mackinnon and the Colorado Avalanche tonight and the two-time defending-champion Tampa Bay Lightning battling the Rangers tomorrow night. Before the final four get underway, let’s look back at the conference semifinals and their defining numbers.

Josh Manson and the Avalanche were overtime winners over the Blues on the first night of the second round (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

27 – Total contests played between the four second-round series. The Lightning swept the Florida Panthers, Edmonton took care of the Calgary Flames in five meetings, the Avalanche took six games to eliminate the St. Louis Blues, and the Rangers prevailed over the Hurricanes in seven.

4 – Games in Round 2 that went into overtime. Colorado beat St. Louis 3-2 with a Josh Manson goal 68:02 into Game 1 before the Blues beat the Avalanche 5-4 with a Tyler Bozak winner 63:38 into Game 5. The Rangers and Hurricanes also started their series with extra time, as Carolina beat New York 2-1 on an Ian Cole tally 63:12 into Game 1, while the Oilers had to go past regulation to eliminate the Flames, finishing them 5-4 on a McDavid marker 65:03 into Game 5.

1 – Home team victories in the series between the Avs and Blues, and games the road team won in the series between New York and Carolina. Colorado won Game 1 of its series at home before the next five games went to the visiting team. Out east, the home team won all of the first six contests between the Rangers and Canes before New York finally broke through in Game 7.

3 – Hat tricks in the second round. After the Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov and Edmonton’s Evander Kane had a three-goal game in Round 1, Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk recorded one in a 9-6 Game 1 victory over the Oilers. Meanwhile, Colorado’s Nazem Kadri and MacKinnon notched back-to-back hat tricks in a 6-3 Game 4 win and 5-4 Game 5 loss to the Blues. 

2 – Shutouts in a high-scoring Round 2. Goals were aplenty, with each team recording at least one in every game except Game 2 between the Rangers and Hurricanes (a 2-0 Carolina win) and Game 4 between the Panthers and Lightning (a 2-0 Tampa Bay win).

Edmonton vs Colorado – Let’s Go!

With apologies to hockey fans in Calgary and St. Louis, it’s hard not to be excited for the dream Western Conference Final matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. Don’t be fooled by the 15-point gap between the teams in the regular-season standings. Both appear to be maximizing their potential and are heading for an explosive, high-octane, and star-studded series. Are we going to break down this conference final? You know we are!

Star Power

Seriously, how excited is the NHL for this one?? McDavid. MacKinnon. Draisaitl. Makar. Four of the game’s most dynamic young players, all in one series—the league’s marketing department is probably pinching itself right now. A dominant Connor McDavid in his first-ever conference final would be compelling enough, but Colorado superstar Nathan MacKinnon offers a worthy McDavid rival. Meanwhile, rising superstar Cale Makar could use the series to become a household name if the defensive phenom isn’t already. Don’t forget about Leon Draisaitl, either! 

Offensive Explosion?

A quick glimpse of the highest goal-per-game averages in the playoffs offers an idea of what this series might become. In first, at 4.33 goals per postseason contest, is the Oilers. Narrowly behind at 4.30 goals is the Avalanche. Both teams boast a wealth of talent amongst their top-six forward corps and, if we’re honest, question marks in the crease with Mike Smith and Darcy Kuemper. Get ready to see some goal lights going off!

Plenty at Stake

Given the talent and the number of core players just entering their prime years on both sides, it seems like a safe bet to suggest these teams could be deep playoff mainstays for years to come. For now, though, Edmonton and Colorado face considerable pressure. The Oilers have faced ridicule for featuring two of the league’s top scorers with nothing to show for their contributions. On the other bench, the Avs don’t have a ton of recent postseason success to show for what has been a dominant regular-season run, but their first Cup Final since 2001 would change that.

Trivia Answers

  1. Four Times
  2. Fourth Round
  3. Four Players

Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket

Stanley Cup Playoffs Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule