This is a service for fans who are interested in the National Hockey League, but don't know much about the past.The Cup was raised This FAQ is available as a guideline to the . For you hockey-crats out there, this is your official refresher before the games start.
Is it finally normal for the Stanley Cup playoffs?
It is possible to end a two-month battle for attrition by a hot goaltender.
The NHL saw a complete 82-game season for the first year since 2018-19. NoFor the playoffs. Full capacity of fans in buildings After the war, all four divisions were restored to their original configurations. . We're not able to compete in the all-Canadian Division, but we will be back to the wild-card conference playoff format that NHL used since 2014. The only anomaly in the 2022 playoffs, however, is the fact that they begin on May 2nd because of the Olympic break.
NHL players did not go to the Olympics.
They didn't, unfortunately.. The NHL and its members collectively agreed to allow them all to play in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. There was also an out clause in case the 2021-22 season was adversely affected by the COVID pandemic.
It was true: 131 games were delayed and rescheduled for this season. After positive tests, hundreds of coaches and players entered the COVID protocols for the league. There were 1,004 skaters by the end of the season and an NHL-record number of 119 goalies who had played at least one game during the season. This is just one reason.) why goal scoring went so cuckoo-bananas.
What was the average score this season?
It's a huge improvement. Some games were almost like low-scoring NFL matches.
This season was the most successful in NHL history, with an average of 6.3% goals per game. Eight NHL players broke 100 goals, the most since 1995-1996. In addition, 51 NHL players scored 30 goals or more, the highest total since 1993-1994. Some of the most notable individual performances were:Star Being the first 60-goal scorer since 1996 In 2011-12 defenseman To become the most-scoring defenseman in 29 year's, he scored 96 points.
There were also historic team performances like theScored 340 goals to be the NHL's top-scoring team from 1995-96 .
Wait, the Florida Panthers are good? The same Florida Panthers that haven’t won a playoff series for 26 years.
Both.They have the NHL's best record (122 point), only the second time in franchise history that they have crossed 100 point in a single season. Left wing With 115 points, the team set a record. The NHL trade deadline was a time when the rich got richer. The Panthers acquired 115 points. star (and pending free agents) .
This is a remarkable feat, as it involves a first-time head coaching behind the bench.He was appointed interim head coach by Following the publication of an investigation into the Kyle Beach's claims that Brad Aldrich, his former video coach, had sexually assaulted and raped him in 2010 were handled. The Panthers won the Atlantic Division under Brunette in a walk. The entire Eastern Conference playoff field was also a walk this season.
What happened to parity
It didn't have a home in the East. The Eastern Conference playoffs saw eight teams participate for the first-time in NHL history.. The final wildcard team (the) was separated by 16 points. ) and the highest-placing non-playoff team (the ). This resulted, as one NHL coach laughed at me, in a playoff race that was “over Halloween.” The West was an entirely different story.
How was the West playoff race?
Intense! The Nashville PredatorsHolded down the last two wild-card spots for the And The challenge was mounted in the final month of the season but it failed. Dallas was assured a playoff spot in the final week. Nashville was also successful, but it fell to the West's last seed. At the .
Wait, the Golden Knights did not make the playoffs.
Nope. Nope. The Golden Knights were eliminated from the playoffs for only the fifth time in their long, rich history (that's five years). They were defeatedOn April 26, all of them had almost finished their season.
They were one of the favorite teams to win the Stanley Cup this year, even before a huge trade for disgruntledStar In November. However, a number of injuries have occurred to key players such as winger. Goaltender Their demise was due to salary-cap headaches and their own inability to pay.
The NHL enjoyed the schadenfreude of NHL fans, especially because Vegas parted ways unceremoniously with their goalie.He was traded to Chicago Blackhawks last offseason. He's now in the playoffs and the Golden Knights are not.
Marc-Andre Fleury, where are you now?
TheHe was purchased by, who bought him at the Chicago trade deadline. He is now 9-2-0. Other notable additions to playoff teams are Giroux, defenseman (Panthers), defenseman (Maple Leafs), forward (Lightning), center (Hurricanes), winger (Penguins), defenseman (Bruins), defenseman And (Avalanche), defenseman (Blues) (Oilers).
Which is the favourite to win the Stanley Cup
Caesars Sportsbook claims that the following:After finishing second to the Panthers (+550), they are now the favourite to win the Cup (+330). They won the Central Division, and will now face the Predators in round one of the Western Conference playoffs. The Predators' top goalie was a major break for the Avalanche He sustained a late-season injury to his ankle that could affect his status in the series. The Avalanche's 80-point seasons were not something they needed. , , And . Plus, goalie In 2022, has been one the NHL's most successful teams. The Avs are ready for breakthrough.
Here are the future odds of winning the Cup, as per Caesars
What are the West's other first-round series?
(No. (No. (No. (No.. The Wild enjoyed their most offensive season in franchise-history, thanks to a 47-goal season by star winger. . Blues enjoyed their most offensive season since 1990-91 thanks to star winger. (82 points), who has gone from asking for a trade last offseason, to leading the Blues' scoring. This could be a very bruising series.
(No. (No. (First wildcard). Three 40-goal scorers were among the Flames' in , And A pending free agent, who scored 115 points. They also had one league's top goalies. . While the Stars could be considered a one line team, they were an extraordinary line. (81 points), (37 goals) & 22-year-old breakout star 41 goals were scored by.
(No. (No. (No. (No.. The And The show was full-force as McDavid (123) and Draisaitl (110) led the Oilers into the postseason. Jay Woodcroft was appointed interim coach in February to replace Dave Tippett, which resulted in several positive metrics for Edmonton.
The NHL's surprise team, the Kings, made it to the playoffs in 2018 for the first time. The veterans led the way, not the centers.And A resurgent season for the goalie . The Kings star defenseman is the only bummer in this matchup He is currently out of action with a wrist injury. They could use him.
Which matchup is the best in the East?
The, No. 2 in Atlantic, vs. The division's No. 3 team. There are enough stories here to make 10 series.
Since 2004, the Leafs are without a win in a playoff series. This includes last season's shock loss to Montreal. Now they are looking for their first Stanley Cup win since 1967. They are the MVP favoriteA dominant line should be centered with A 26-year-old rookie . They have also questions about their goaltending abilities and postseason mentality.
Meanwhile, the Lightning are trying to be the NHL's first team ever to win three consecutive Stanley Cup championships, since 1982. Many of these names will be familiar to you:(106 points), (85 points), , goalie And winger You might remember him from his conversation with? last summer.
This is without a doubt the most intriguing playoff series in the first round. This is especially true when you consider the potential fallout for Toronto if the Leafs lose in the first round for the sixth consecutive season.
John Buccigross analyzes the historic run of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the past two seasons.
What are other matchups in East?
(No. (No. (second wildcard). The Capitals are beaten by the high-octane Panthers. After injuring his shoulder during a fall into the boards, he will miss the final few games of the regular-season. Washington could be in serious trouble if he doesn't return to 100%. But, Washington can't afford to lose their goaltending or the Panthers' offense.
(No. 1, Metro Division) vs. (First wildcard). The Hurricanes enjoyed their best season as a team (116 points), thanks to a balanced offensive approach and stellar goaltending. Unfortunately, he sustained a late-season injury which could have an impact on his status in this series. The Bruins do not have a goalie who is a key playoff player. (who retired) (who left to go and play in Czech Republic). They still have a core group of players. (A pending free agent). , And Supported by a cast that includes And . In two of the three previous postseasons, the Hurricanes were eliminated by the Bruins.
(No. 2, Metro Division) vs. (No. 3, Metro Division). The Rangers are now in a first round series for the first times since 2017, thanks to a large part to 26-year old goalie, whose chances of winning the Vezina Trophy in one walk are high, could be considered for MVP consideration. But it's not all about one man. The Rangers also have great seasons from forwards (96 points), (81 points), (52 goals) and the Norris Trophy winner last year . Their window to win is just opening.
The Penguins, on the other hand, try to keep theirs open.In a season that could end in the Pittsburgh core's final ride, their MVP was 84 points in just 69 games. , And you are one of the team's pending unrestricted free agents. One thing to be aware of: Goalie He was a star in the regular season and has broken his foot. His availability for this series may be affected. He would have made the crease without him.
So who will win the Stanley Cup this year?
Better question: HowWill the Stanley Cup be won by the Leafs? Teams like the Leafs and Panthers will be favored if the playoffs continue to deliver the offensive fireworks of the regular season. Remember that Florida wins means that the team is a 24-year-old veteran.(First time Cup winner.)
Perhaps the Flames and Hurricanes will be more inclined to play tight-checking, low-event Hockey in the postseason. A team like the Lightning is another option, as they have demonstrated in the past two seasons that it is possible to win in both.
Nobody knows what to expect. This is part of the Stanley Cup playoffs' unique charm. This championship trophy can also be used as a champagne glass, or a beer mug. Let's take that!