Shoutout CEO Joe for the very clever title..Ohhhhhh baby what a weekend of hockey we had ladies and gents. The qualifying rounds and the round robin games officially came to a close and they ended with a bang. We now know all of the matchups for the 1st round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and teams are only 16 wins away from capturing the most prestigious trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup.
First off, Friday was a hockey fans dream as we had not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, but 6 thats right 6 elimination games. It started at noon and went all day long and it was fucking awesome. The Islanders and Panthers kicked the day off with the Islanders just destroying the Panthers and sending them home with a 5-1 win. Then we had our first series upset as the young Arizona Coyotes sent home the experienced Nashville Predators with a 4-3 overtime win.
Right after the Yotes sent the Preds home, it was the 12th seeded Montreal Canadiens turn as they upset the 5th seeded Pittsburgh Penguins with a 2-0 shutout win. Two serious cup contenders sent home within hours of each other, you truly hate to see it…Not really though because I for one am thrilled that the Penguins have been sent home. Next up we had the Oilers and Blackhawks in another upset as the Blackhawks took down Connor McDavid and the Oilers 3-2 sending the Oilers home, well they were already home but they kicked them out of the bubble.
We ended the night with two thrilling games, first between the Leafs and Blue Jackets. After being down 3-0 the Leafs stormed back to win the game 4-3 in overtime forcing a game 5 which took place last night. Then to end Friday night we had a wild one between the Canucks and Wild…A back and forth affair that saw the Nucks tie it late and score only 11 seconds into overtime to pick up the series win.
Then we got to my favorite part of the weekend as Saturday we had two round robin games. First the Golden Knights and Avalanche duke it out as the top two teams in the west fought for the number one seed. It would be the Knights picking up the 4-3 overtime win securing the one seed for them. Saturday night saw my Philadelphia Flyers going up against the powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning. What a fucking game by the boys in orange and black. When I say the boys were buzzin, I mean the BOYS WERE FUCKING BUZZIN BABY!!!!! A huge 4-1 win for my guys as they continued to put the rest of the NHL world on notice by just destroying the Tampa Bay Lightning and going from the 4th seed all the way up to the 1st seed. Very impressive and if for some reason you still don’t think this team is good, I suggest you open your eyes and hop on the bandwagon before its too late because this team is going to be a problem for whoever they face.
Sunday afternoon we had the last two round robin games to determine the 3rd and 4th seeds in each conference. It started with the struggling Boston Bruins taking on the Washington Capitals as both teams looked for their first win. Once again the Bruins would come up short and lose 2-1 to the Caps. Boston fans, how ya feeling? I’d be pretty worried at this point as they just can’t seem to figure it out. Next we had the defending champs the St. Louis Blues taking on the Dallas Stars and this one needed a shootout to be decided. The Stars would pick up the win securing the 3rd seed leaving the Blues stuck with the 4th seed.
The last game of the weekend was the one that meant the most, our first win or go home game between the Leafs and the Blue Jackets. The Leafs couldn’t find any offense as they were shutout by the Blue Jackets 3-0 and were sent home from the bubble.
Stanley Cup Playoff Matchups:
Now that we have finished the round robin and qualifying games, lets take a look at how the official first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will look…
#1 Philadelphia Flyers vs #8 Montreal Canadiens
#2 Tamps Bay Lightning vs #7 Columbus Blue Jackets
#3 Washington Capital vs #6 New York Islanders
$4 Boston Bruins vs #5 Carolina Hurricanes
#1 Vegas Golden Knights vs #8 Chicago Blackhawks
#2 Colorado Avalanche vs #7 Arizona Coyotes
#3 Dallas Stars vs #6 Calgary Flames
#4 St. Louis Blues vs #5 Vancouver Canucks
I don’t know about you guys but I am fucking hyped for some of these matchups. The NHL bubble has provided nothing but great playoff hockey and it may only get better from here on out. As always keep it here with Branded Sports and your boy Walsh as i’ll be keeping you up to date on everything going on in the NHL bubble.