NHL Week in Review (May 12-18)

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The first round of the NHL playoffs has come to an end while the second round has started up with only 8 teams left in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. These teams will look to win another 12 games to win the cup and will have to go through some very tough battles to achieve their goals. This is the round where the grit will shine through as one round has taken its toll on the remaining teams and the players. It is a time when two thoughts can creep through the league as veterans take on the young guns with two very different thoughts on what might be better. In the older teams there are players who have been in every situation known to an NHL hockey player. These players are thought of as the best thing to have when making a playoff run because of what they bring to the locker room. They bring a sense of calm to the locker room as nothing surprises them and when they lose a big game they do not overreact to the situation. Instead they stay calm and show everyone in the room that it is not the time to panic as it is instead time for the team to come together and work harder. This can help a team greatly in the playoffs as every team will have their ups and downs and will need to react properly if they hope to win the Cup. These players also bring some concern as the playoffs draw on as they are not players who can easily bounce back. When they were younger the bumps and bruises of the regular season were easily put aside in the playoffs and the injuries suffered in the playoffs were easy to overcome. As they got older every bump and bruise from the regular season became magnified and injuries suffered in the playoffs were much more serious. The aging body cannot recover as well as a young body and these veteran players get more tired and less effective as the playoffs go on. The veterans in the second round are getting tired and teams that rely heavily on these veterans need to be aware that the longer every series goes the tougher it will be to win. Then there are the young players on teams who are able to bounce back and put injuries behind them to continue to play. These players are not as tired even if they play multiple seven game series. Of course they do get tired and rest is the best scenario for everyone but younger players require less recovery time from the pain that comes with playing a season and a postseason. The problem with these players is that these players have not experienced everything that the playoffs can throw at them. These younger players have a tendency to overreact to issues and can try too hard to make things right. When players try too hard they tend to fail and make a bigger problem that what had already happened. They can put a team in a tough spot and can cause the locker room some problems that are hard to fix during a playoff run. Teams that rely heavily on younger players have to be sure that they have a strong presence in the locker room from either a veteran player or the coach to end the concern over difficult situations. The debate will always continue as to whether it is better to have veterans or young guns and this second round of the playoffs could go a long way to prove one side or the other. In the West there will be two matchups between younger and older teams as the young guns from Chicago and Los Angeles take on the veterans from Detroit and San Jose. NHL fans will see first-hand what theory will work although it will likely not solve anything in the bigger debate. It will be an interesting second round as only four teams will survive while four will go home empty-handed as the Stanley Cup gets closer and closer.


(Thoughts on the past week in the NHL)

The Collapse
The Toronto Maple Leafs are known for disappointing their fans and they would do it again after going up 4-1 in Game 7 against the Bruins and blowing the lead in the 3rd period only to lose the game in overtime and end their playoff run

The Lone Canuck
Four Canadian teams entered the NHL playoffs this year and at least one would be eliminated with Montreal and Ottawa facing off but it was three who would not move on with the Ottawa Senators the only Canadian team remaining in the playoffs

Torres at it Again
Raffi Torres seems to always make headlines when the playoffs role around and it is never for doing something good as he would continue to pattern being suspended for the rest of the Kings-Sharks series for his hit against Jarrett Stoll in game 2

Crosby Getting Better
The Penguins are only two games into their series and already Sidney Crosby has taken over the series with three goals as he looks to be only getting better as the playoffs move on which is scary for everyone that has to face him


Conference Semi-Finals:

Eastern Conference:

Pittsburgh Penguins 2 – 0 Ottawa Senators
Game 1: Pit 4 – 1 Ott
Game 2: Pit 4 – 3 Ott
Game 3: Pit @ Ott (Sunday May 19th; 7:30 pm ET)
Game 4: Pit @ Ott (Wednesday May 22nd; 7:30 pm ET)
Game 5: Ott @ Pit (Friday May 24th; 7:30 pm ET)
Game 6: Pit @ Ott (Sunday May 26th; TBD)
Game 7: Ott @ Pit (Tuesday May 28th; TBD)

Boston Bruins 1 – 0 New York Rangers
Game 1: Bos 3 – 2 NYR (OT)
Game 2: NYR @ Bos (Sunday May 19th; 3:00 pm ET)
Game 3: Bos @ NYR (Tuesday May 21st; 7:30 pm ET)
Game 4: Bos @ NYR (Thursday May 23rd; 7:00 pm ET)
Game 5: NYR @ Bos (Saturday May 25th; TBD)
Game 6: Bos @ NYR (Monday May 27th; TBD)
Game 7: NYR @ Bos (Wednesday May 29th; TBD)


Western Conference:

Chicago Blackhawks 1 – 1 Detroit Red Wings
Game 1: Chi 4 – 1 Det
Game 2: Det 4 – 1 Chi
Game 3: Chi @ Det (Monday May 20th; 7:30 pm ET)
Game 4: Chi @ Det (Thursday May 23rd; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 5: Det @ Chi (Saturday May 25th; TBD)
Game 6: Chi @ Det (Monday May 27th; TBD)
Game 7: Det @ Chi (Wednesday May 29th; TBD)

Los Angeles Kings 2 – 1 San Jose Sharks
Game 1: LAK 2 – 0 SJS
Game 2: LAK 4 – 3 SJS
Game 3: SJS 2 – 1 LAK
Game 4: LAK @ SJS (Tuesday May 21st; 10:00 pm ET)
Game 5: SJS @ LAK (Thursday May 23rd; 10:30 pm ET)
Game 6: LAK @ SJS (Sunday May 26th; TBD)
Game 7: SJS @ LAK (Tuesday May 28th; TBD)


Conference Quarter-Finals:

Eastern Conference:

Pittsburgh Penguins 4 – 2 New York Islanders
Game 1: Pit 5 – 0 NYI
Game 2: NYI 4 – 3 Pit
Game 3: Pit 5 – 4 NYI (OT)
Game 4: NYI 6 – 4 Pit
Game 5: Pit 4 – 0 NYI
Game 6: Pit 4 – 3 NYI (OT)

Montreal Canadiens 1 – 4 Ottawa Senators
Game 1: Ott 4 – 2 Mtl
Game 2: Mtl 3 – 1 Ott
Game 3: Ott 6 – 1 Mtl
Game 4: Ott 3 – 2 Mtl
Game 5: Ott 6 – 1 Mtl

Washington Capitals 3 – 4 New York Rangers
Game 1: Was 3 – 1 NYR
Game 2: Was 1 – 0 NYR (OT)
Game 3: NYR 4 – 3 Was
Game 4: NYR 4 – 3 Was
Game 5: Was 2 – 1 NYR (OT)
Game 6: NYR 1 – 0 Was
Game 7: NYR 5 – 0 Was

Boston Bruins 4 – 3 Toronto Maple Leafs
Game 1: Bos 4 – 1 Tor
Game 2: Tor 4 – 2 Bos
Game 3: Bos 5 – 2 Tor
Game 4: Bos 4 – 3 Tor (OT)
Game 5: Tor 2 – 1 Bos
Game 6: Tor 2 – 1 Bos
Game 7: Bos 5 – 4 Tor (OT)


Western Conference:

Chicago Blackhawks 4 – 1 Minnesota Wild
Game 1: Chi 2 – 1 Min (OT)
Game 2: Chi 5 – 2 Min
Game 3: Min 3 – 2 Chi
Game 4: Chi 3 – 0 Min
Game 5: Chi 3 – 1 Min

Anaheim Ducks 3 – 4 Detroit Red Wings
Game 1: Ana 3 – 1 Det
Game 2: Det 5 – 4 Ana (OT)
Game 3: Ana 4 – 0 Det
Game 4: Det 3 – 2 Ana (OT)
Game 5: Ana 3 – 2 Det (OT)
Game 6: Det 4 – 3 Ana (OT)
Game 7: Det 3 – 2 Ana

Vancouver Canucks 0 – 4 San Jose Sharks
Game 1: SJS 3 – 1 Van
Game 2: SJS 3 – 2 Van (OT)
Game 3: SJS 5 – 2 Van
Game 4: SJS 4 – 3 Van (OT)

St. Louis Blues 2 – 4 Los Angeles Kings
Game 1: STL 2 – 1 LAK (OT)
Game 2: STL 2 – 1 LAK
Game 3: LAK 1 – 0 STL
Game 4: LAK 4 – 3 STL
Game 5: LAK 3 – 2 STL (OT)
Game 6: LAK 2 – 1 STL

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