Freitag, 27. April 2012

[Hockey] NHL - Playoffs first round wrap up

Today, I just wanna give you an update after the first round of the NHL playoffs, what happened during the last weeks and which teams advanced into the second round of the playoffs.

Eastern Conference:

New York Rangers (1st) - Ottawa Senators (8th) 4:3
The New York Rangers, the best team during the regular season in the East, were down 2:3 after 5 games, so it was a great effort to force game 7 and they used their home ice advantage at Madison Square Garden to win the last game.

Boston Bruins (2nd) - Washington Capitals (7th) 3:4
Games 1-7 were decided with a one goal difference. Game 7 went into OT and the Caps scored the game winning goal to eliminate last year's Stanley Cup Champion Boston.

Florida Panthers (3rd) - New Jersey Devils (6th) 3:4
The Devils forced a 7th game in Florida and won it in the second overtime to move into round 2.

Pittsburgh Penguins (4th) - Philadelphia Flyers (5th) 2:4
I've already said enough about this series. I love the Pens, and I believed, when they won the games 4 and 5. But these just disguised the problems, they've had in the defense and with the goaltending. Interesting to see, if there will be any moves during the off season.
On the other hand, I am looking forward to the next Flyers games, not sure, how they will play against the upcoming team(s).

Western Conference:

Vancouver Canucks (1st) - Los Angeles Kings (8th) 1:4
Wow, that was fast, the Vancouver Canucks entered the post season with winning the Presidents' Trophy (meaning, they got the most points during the regular season) and were last year's Stanley Cup finalist (they lost 3-4 against the Boston Bruins then), now they are out, just won one game during this series (4th game). Excited to see the Kings during the next round.

St. Louis Blues (2nd) - San Jose Sharks (7th) 4:1
The Sharks just won the first game, but had no chance against the 2nd in the Western Conference during the regular season.

Phoenix Coyotes (3rd) - Chicago Blackhawks (6th) 4:2
While the first five games all went into overtime, the Coyotes won the last game 4-0 in Chicago and advanced to the next round.

Nashville Predators (4th) - Detroit Red Wings (5th) 4:1
Just kind of surprising, what happened in the first round, never thought, the Penguins, Canucks and Red Wings, wouldn't pass the first round. The Predators had an amazing goalie during the regular season and an even better one now. Pekka Rinne is just outstanding. One of the reasons the Predators moved into the next round, now facing the Phoenix Coyotes.

3 of  4 series in the East went to 7 games, while just one game in the West went to 6, the other three just took place in 5 games/series.
It's the third elimination in round 1 or 2 for the Pittsburgh Penguins after they won the Stanley Cup 2009.
No team in the Western Conference, moving into the 2nd round ever won the Stanley Cup. In the East, only the Washington Capitals haven't won the Cup, yet.
In the East 3 of 4 teams, advancing to the next round are from the Atlantic Division (Rangers, Devils, Flyers).
Goaltending was a big issue in the Western Conference, all 4 teams, that advanced, allowed 37 goals (in 21 games) combined, meaning 1,76 goals per game, while the Pittsburgh Penguins in the East allowed 30 goals in 6 games, 5 goals per game. (Their opponent wasn't just that better, the Philadelphia Flyers allowed 26 goals, 4,33 goals/game).
First round eliminations for the last four Stanley Cup Champions: Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston plus Presidents' Trophy winner and last year's finalist Vancouver Canucks.
All 8 teams in the 2nd round don't have the same seed number.
Last but not least, I want to mention the German players, that had a chance to play in the first round of the playoffs. San Jose Sharks' back-up goalie Thomas Greiss just missed the second round with his team, same as Dennis Seidenberg with the Bostson Bruins and Marco Sturm und Marcel Goc, who are with the Florida Panthers.

And with that, we have the following matchups for Round 2: (starting this friday)

Eastern Conference (Semis):

New York Rangers (1st) - Washington Capitals (7th)
Philadelphia Flyers (5th) - New Jersey Devils (6th)

Western Conference (Semis):

St. Louis Blues (2nd) - LA Kings (8th)
Phoenix Coyotes (3rd) - Nashville Predators (4th)

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