Round Two is still underway, but we have one team eliminated from this round: The New York Islanders, who were eliminated in Five Games last night versus the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Pittsburgh Leads Washington 3-2, St Louis can clinch tonight with a win over Dallas as they lead 3-2, and the Sharks (boo) can win the series tonight against Nashville.
Meanwhile, we have a few Oilers who kicked off the World Championship, including Matt Hendricks and Patrick Maroon on Team USA, Leon Draisaitl for Germany, Andrej Sekera with Slovakia and finally Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot representing Canada.
The Edmonton Oilers
There’s not too much in news as it’s the off season and it’s slim. That said, the World Championships are under way.
Canada has looked dominant so far. I haven’t really watched too many games (you know 7 am start time and I’m at work by 7:30) but Canada has looked amazing. It’s to be expected however: Belarus was blown away 8-0 (Talbot had the shutout), Hungary lost 7-1 and the Americans who have a very youthful blue line, lost 5-1.
The Oiler Trio of Hall, McDavid and Talbot have all looked impressive. McDavid has no goals, but four assists in three games while Hall has three goals and an assist in the same span. Talbot is sporting a very nice .974 save percentage after two games. Talbot was not especially busy against Belarus today, only facing 13 shots in an easy game.
The other Oilers: Hendricks has no points while Maroon has a goal (scored the opener against Canada) and an assist in three games. Leon Draisaitl is the best player on Germany and he has an assist in two games played. Captain Sekera of Slovakia has two goals and an assist in three games played.
Connor McDavid’s NHL 17 Cover Vote continues, round two against Joe Pavelski wraps up tonight. McDavid has a lot of support via his Team Canada teammates.
I really want to see this happen for very obvious reasons.
The NHL Playoffs
The Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the New York Islanders last night. I’m focusing on this series for both teams in particular.
First off, The Tampa Bay Lightning looked dominating this playoffs series and this is without Steven Stamkos or top pairing Anton Stralman. Instead, it’s the crazy amount of depth that the Lightning have that is getting the job done. The Triplets Line looks back to it’s former form after an okayish season, with Nikita Kucherov leading the way with an outstanding 9 goals in 10 games played. Not only that, but Jonathan Drouin is looking like a player this playoff season.
Maybe, just maybe, playing Drouin in the playoffs and keeping him could be very beneficial to the Lightning. Drouin currently is sporting one goal and nine points in 10 playoff games.
Or how about Victor Hedman in these playoffs? He is looking like one of the best NHL defenders at the moment. Hedman was absolutely a mammoth against the New York Islanders.
Meanwhile the New York Islanders are looking like a good team. John Tavares willed his way over the Florida Panthers during the playoffs first round series. However, there are some questions regarding the future of Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen are all pending Free Agents.
Most importantly, it’s in regards to the future of Travis Hamonic who has requested a trade in November. Robin Brownlee of Oilers nation had a piece about the cost of Hamonic , although I have to disagree about trading Taylor Hall. I have been hitting the Eberle drum from the beginning of the trade request and I stand by that.
Around the NHL
Bruce Boudreau accepted a new job not with the Ottawa Senators but the Minnesota Wild. I feel like this is a great hire for the Wild. Boudreau, even with his playoff record (dreadful in Game 7s), is a quality NHL coach.
See, I like the Ottawa Senators. They are my second favorite team. That said….for some reason I’m not thrilled with this hiring. Boucher worn out his welcome very quickly with the Tampa Bay Lightning and played a boring style of hockey. Marc Crawford has a reputation of being a complete hard ass.
I don’t know if this does much for the stability of coaching in Ottawa. They need it badly. I would have liked Boudreau instead.
Lightning and Islanders Highlights
Sharks take the series lead
Washington Stays Alive
The Week Ahead
The week ahead you might have the conference finals starting. If I were a betting man (which is horrible because my bracket is ruined) I’m taking San Jose vs St Louis and Washington vs Tampa Bay. I have the Capitals and Blues in the finals. That’s the week that was, follow me on Twitter and have a wonderful week.