2022 Stanley Cup playoffs — Takeaways following four games in each series’ second round

We are at the halfway point of each series' second round. 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, one conference semifinalist has already started its offseason, as Presidents' Trophy-winning Florida Panthers They were swept away by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

What can we learn from the first four games in each series? What will these lessons mean for the remainder of the round?

2022 Stanley Cup playoffs -- Takeaways following four games in each series' second round

They might have been favored to be three-peat Stanley Cup champs as the Lightning going into the playoffs. Tampa Bay dismantled Florida Panthers A second-round sweep was an impressive feat considering how easy it seemed. The Lightning are heading for their third consecutive Eastern Conference finals appearance. This is also their sixth appearance in eight years. This kind of success is rare in this era. Tampa Bay is already doing this.

Lightning netminder was however the real star in the series against Florida. Andrei Vasilevskiy. His remarkable play (.981 save rate, 0.75 goals against the average, and capped off with a shutout of Game 4) was beyond words. The Panthers had 4.11 goals per game in regular season, which was more than any other team. Vasilevskiy made them look weak as Tampa Bay outscored them by 13-3. Vasilevskiy's dominance was not guaranteed after his performance in the match against Toronto. Although his numbers in six games were average (.885SV%, 3.37 GAA) he was still able to rise to the occasion in Game 7 (30 saves,.968SV%) and helped Tampa Bay win.

Next, The Lightning will take on New York City or Carolina. It's not an easy assignment for either. This postseason has seen the Lightning grow stronger. Their potential may not be limitless. Shilton


Igor! [clap clap]

Keep in mind the Eastern Conference playoffs' opening round, which took place between the New York Rangers And the Pittsburgh Penguins? Do not forget when Igor ShesterkinThe favorite to win the Vezina Trophy for the NHL's best goaltender was pulled twice. Do you remember how he gave up at least three goals in six out of seven games?

If you don’t want to, it’s fine. Carolina's goalie, the Rangers goalie, has done everything possible to make sure you forget about those first-round struggles.

Shesterkin stopped 117 of the 122 Hurricanes shots that he faced, giving him a save percentage of.959. This includes his 73 saves on 75 shots during two home victories at Madison Square Garden. To the delight of Rangers fans, they chanted his name for encouragement after each save (and any opposing goals). He hasn’t been perfect — he’d love that Nino Niederreiter He scored the backhand goal in Game 3 back, but it was good enough that the Hurricanes still believe they can beat them.

“I believe they will find the back of it eventually. Perhaps we as forwards can do a bit better to be in his eye and get to lose pucks out there,” Hurricanes centre Sebastian Aho “After Game 4. “Dirty goals. One of those gives you confidence, and then you're able to achieve all kinds of goals. — Wyshynski

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Igor Shesterkin spreads his leg to deny Hurricanes in the second half.


Carolina is filled with fire

The Hurricanes are an amazing team, evidently. They're now dangerously close to the Rangers. Carolina was strong in winning the series' first two home games thanks to key goals scored by depth players Ian Cole (With Game 1 overtime winner) Brendan Smith (With the opening salvo of a 2-0 Game 2 win).

Incredible heroes are a hallmark for successful postseason teams. Carolina's top players will require more, as shown by their inept sticks when the series moved to New York. The Hurricanes stormed into Manhattan, dropping consecutive games. With the series tied at 2-2, they moved to 0-5 in road play this postseason. Carolina was outscored 7-2 overall in Games 3 and 4. Their poor power play (0-12 in their past five games), remains a concern. Aho! Teuvo Teravainen In Games 3 and 4, the goal was scored by both Niederreiter and combined. The Hurricanes didn't seem to be able to fire on all cylinders.

Carolina has yet to lose at-home in the postseason (6-0), but it still holds the home-ice advantage. The Canes could easily become complacent. Carolina held Rangers to just one goal in Games 1, 2 and 3. It could possibly shut them down again. The heat is building in this second round matchup, after Game 3. This is the perfect opportunity for the Rangers and Carolina to grab one on the road. Shilton


The goals keep flowing

Do not let the Rangers vs. Hurricanes series' defensive grind fool you. The 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs will continue to follow the extraordinary offensive pace of the regular season.

Through 67 games, the Stanley Cup playoffs now average 6.27 goals per game. The postseason is expected to score 6.27 goals through 67 games, which puts it on pace for being the highest scoring since 1995 (6.56 goals per game), when it was played following a lockout.

This regular season saw an average of 6.3 goals per match, which is the highest score since 1995-96 (also at 6.3).

This scoring has been at the cost of close finishes. There have only been 10 overtime games through the first round. The postseason saw 16 overtime games in the first round. — Wyshynski


The future goaltender for St. Louis is in danger of falling apart. After taking over from the Blues, Jordan Binnington Husso is terrible since the Game 1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, posting incredible stats (9-1-2),.913 SSV%, and 2.88 GAA) Minnesota Wild In the Blues' opening-round series. Binnington replaced him in Game 4.

St. Louis rallied to Binnington and won the second round against Colorado. Binnington suffered an injury in Game 3. He will not be returning for this series. Husso takes over the Blues' crease once again. The results since Husso stepped in have not been good: 0-2,.847SV% and 4.99 GAA. Ouch.

In the series, the Avalanche lead the Blues by 3-1. It would take everything St. Louis could do to defeat the Western Conference's top team for three consecutive wins and make it to the next level. What Husso is displaying doesn't match that level. The Blues must give their rookie netminder a chance. He must recreate the magic that made Husso so great for large swathes during the regular season. Shilton


Avalanche has more to offer than Makar and MacKinnon

The Colorado Avalanche They have succeeded in pushing the St. Louis Blues To the brink demise without a goal Nathan MacKinnon And only two points from Cale Makar. This should be enough to scare all the teams remaining in the Western Conference.

Take a look at how the Avs steamrolled it Nashville Predators The playoffs' opening round was a success. MacKinnon had six goals. Makar scored 10 goals, which is the most by a defenseman in NHL history through four postseason games. It was a different story against the Blues. MacKinnon has been exposed to a lot of St. Louis' defensive ace Ryan O'Reilly. He's managed to score assists in three of the four games, but has yet to score a goal despite having taken 17 shots. Makar scored nine goals in Denver's two first games. He only managed two in St. Louis. He did manage to get assists in both of those games.

It is truly frightening that Colorado doesn't need them. They got a hat trick, and they had help from Nazem Kadri In Game 4. They scored two goals before the deadline pickup Artturi Lehkonen Game 3. It was defenseman who won Game 1 of their overtime victory. Josh Manson In overtime, getting the win.

A championship-caliber team must be able to win, even when its stars aren’t shining brightest. Round 2 saw the Avalanche achieve that mark. — Wyshynski


Some bites are needed for the Battle of Alberta

A matchup between Edmonton and Calgary is the best part. the torrid history between their teams. This was evident in Games 1 & 2. The Flames resisted physically, putting Edmonton in a difficult position and reaping all the benefits. After losing Game 2, Calgary experienced a shift in its fortunes. Edmonton won the third game with a 5-3 victory over Calgary, despite being down 2-0.

Since then, the Flames aren't quite the same. Their game is less exciting, as if they are trying to match Oilers' skill rather than challenging it. Edmonton appears comfortable and this will not help the Flames overcome a 3-1 series deficit.

Then there's Calgary's goaltending. Jacob Markstrom Inexplicably, he was inconsistent. He produced periods of brilliance (like a 21 save effort in Game 3's opening 20 minutes or a clean sheet during Game 4), but then he made costly errors that were uncharacteristic for a Vezina Trophy finalist. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl And Evander Kane All combined, they scored 16 points in the home games of Games 3 and 4. The Oilers offense is on fire. Markstrom has been getting beaten consistently, and he's sometimes hurting his cause by trying too hard to play the puck (including a gaffe which directly resulted into a goal 21 seconds into Game 4).

Although the Flames fought back to tie Game 4, they couldn't maintain momentum to win. They've now been tied twice in this series and have come up empty.

There are no more parades to and from the penalty box, but there is too much of what makes Calgary great. If they are to extend this series, the Flames will need to be strong. Shilton


Floppy cats

Can we blame the “Presidents’ Trophy curse” for this? Florida PanthersThey were swept away in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Only one team has won the Stanley Cup in the last decade: 2012-13. Chicago Blackhawks. Only the Blackhawks, the 2007-08 and the Blackhawks have been able to use the salary cap since it was enacted after the 2005 lockout. Detroit Red Wings The Presidents' Trophy and Stanley Cup were won simultaneously. The 2014-15 New York Rangers and those two teams are the only Presidents Trophy winners to be in a conference final. All others have bowed out before them.

What if the supernatural is not to blame for the Cats' downfall? Evidently, it is the offense that is at fault. Florida's playoffs averaged 2.3 goals per match, a decrease from the 4.11 goals per contest in the regular-season. This was the highest number of goals for any team since 1995-1996. Power play was the source of frustration, going from fifth in league (24.4%) down to last in playoffs (3.2%). There was one goal in every 31 power-play opportunities.

It seemed like an interim coach Andrew Brunette Before the playoffs began, he was heading toward a multiyear extension. Did winning a playoff game before being swept by a Stanley Cup champion earn him that? The Panthers will now have to assess what worked and what didn’t in the playoffs. Are their personnel changes necessary? Or were their goal scoring woes indicative of a stylistic difference between the regular season and the playoffs. — Wyshynski

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