By Logan Franz
On Thursday, the NHL playoffs began the second round after the first round had fans scratching our heads and asking: why?
Starting with the, Carolina beat Washington in a Game 7 in a double overtime Game 7. “Mr. Game 7” Justin Williams continued his Game 7 heroics and notched the goal that put the Hurricanes in control of the series.
Tampa Bay, the consensus best regular season team in the NHL, was swept by the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets. The Lightning decided that they didn’t want to show up and their best players got suspended for a key game, and the Blue Jackets never looked back.
In a series that flew under the radar, the New York Islanders swept Pittsburgh. It’s not often that a sweep flies under the radar, but the Islanders are often overlooked. That has been the case all season, and even so, they advance to play one of the league’s most fun teams in Carolina.
Colorado somehow managed to beat the best team in the Western Conference over the Calgary Flames in five games. It was an unexplainable win for Colorado, and if we know anything about hockey, it’s that nothing can be explained and none of us truly understand what happens.
In other things that shouldn’t have happened that did, the Dallas Stars beat the Nasvhille Predators. Nashville had one of the best goaltenders and defensive core in the playoffs, but they gave up a goals in bunches to a team that’s not known for its scoring. It just further proves the unpredictability of the NHL.
In a shocking Game 7, the Sharks beat the Golden Knights in OT after rallying from a 3-0 deficit and scoring 4 goals during a five-minute major penalty. Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault tied the game with less than a minute left to force overtime. Eventually, Barclay Goodrow then scored in overtime to end the series.
Jaden Schwartz single-handedly decided he wanted to end the Blues series in Game 6, where he scored all three of the teams three goals to help the Blues advance to the next round.
The Bruins topped the Maple Leafs which seems like one of the more sensible endings to a series in this first round. It feels like one of the only things that should have happened that did- and the Bruins seem like the best team remaining in the Eastern Conference.
Stanley Cup Prediction: Sharks over Bruins