NHL Playoffs Skating Forward

The Washington Capitals will host the Carolina Hurricanes in game 7, and that will wrap up round one of the NHL playoffs. Round two gets under way later in the week, with the Boston Bruins hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets, followed by the St. Louis Blues hosting the Dallas Stars. Later on, the Sharks will host the Avalanche, and the NY Islanders await the winner of the Capitals-Hurricanes game 7 winner. Maybe I am more of a traditionalist, but I like it when the original 6 teams, or at least teams that have been around for a while make the playoffs, so it's good to see teams in there like Boston, St. Louis, and the Islanders.

I'm not big on the expansion teams like Columbus, Dallas, Colorado, and even the Sharks, though they've been around for a while now. I think it will be hard for Washington to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions this year. Pittsburgh repeated in 2016 and 2017, but before that you have to go back to 1997 when Detroit won back to back championships. Also, Washington is playing in a first round game 7, so even if they advance to round two, they'll be playing on tired legs against an Islanders team who is well rested after completing a 4 game sweep of the Penguins. But then the old argument always comes into play rest vs. rust. I think it's better to have the rest because the rust usually only lasts a few shifts or periods. San Jose will open at home against Colorado Friday. They definitely have momentum.

Playing in game 7 last night against Vegas, trailing 3-0 in the third, they scored 4 unanswered goals, all on a 5 minute power play to Eakin for cross-checking Pavelski. But Vegas tied it back up at 4 with less than a minute remaining. The game went to OT before Goodrow scored his 2nd goal of the playoffs late in the period, sending San Jose into a frenzy, and into round two. I think they'll win their opener against Colorado and find their way into the Western Conference Finals.