Stanley Cup Playoffs: Is A Stanley Cup Final Rematch A Potential?
|Photo Credit: Sportsnet.Ca|
I do not own, or profit from any image or video on this site.
The Boston Bruins had maybe one of the most dominating periods of hockey in recent history. Down 2-0 going into the third period, not only did they score four unanswered goals they did so in a span of about seven minutes.
The period was so tilted in their favor that not only did they take the lead, the Bruins added an insurance marker before the Hurricanes were able to fire their first shot on net for the period.
Blues/Bruins Picking Up Steam
The Bruins now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series, and they are doing it after rallying together after Tuukka Rask decided to opt out for the rest of the playoffs.
For the defending champs, they quickly found themselves in a hole after losing their first two games against the Vancouver Canucks. In fact, after their game two loss, the Blues had dropped all five games they played during the restart.
A change to Jake Allen in net has given the Blues the jump they needed, and Brayden Schenn’s overtime winner gave them the momentum into game four.
St. Louis dominated Monday night, outshooting the Canucks 37-23, tying the series up at two.
Neither the Blues or Bruins won any of their round-robin games, both ending up as the four seed in their respective conferences. Even with different goalies than they used in their series last postseason, it’s going to be hard to bet against them if they continue rolling like this.
Who has the easier road to a potential rematch? The Blues still have to win two-of-three against Vancouver, who with a day of rest could find the hop in their step once again.
Boston just needs one win in their next three to make it to the next round. With Carolina down Andrei Svechnikov, and now potentially Jordan Staal, coming back from that deficit might be too much.
Beyond that, the New York Islanders don’t look like any fun to play against, and Tampa Bay is getting amazing contributions from their third line.
The West through seems like a road that isn’t ideal to travel. Vegas might be better than their inaugural season. Colorado presents all sorts of matchup problems with their speed, and there’s enough talent on both Dallas and Calgary to not sleep on.
A rematch is a long way out from forming, but with their collective efforts on the same day, it’s not a stretch of the imagination in any form.
Nathan MacKinnon Appreciation Post
Can we take an extra moment just to appreciate the awesomeness that is Nathan MacKinnon? Is there a better player still participating right now in the postseason than MacKinnon? It sure doesn’t feel like watching him play.
Not only can he move at speeds that maybe only one other player can match, he can do things at top flight that most can't do while going half as fast as he is going.
He didn’t score on this play, but he blew past the Coyotes defense so fast that no one saw Nazem Kadri swoope in and put in the rebound.
Poor Jason Demers. Against just about anyone else in the league he plays that perfectly. Tries to contain him to the outside, but MacKinnon is just at another level.
Demers even recovers somewhat and is able to (along with Darcy Kuemper) keep MacKinnon from getting a shot off, but the damage had been done, as everyone had already rightfully collapsed on him in front of the net.
The Blues are picking up steam, but it would definitely be interesting if they could contain MacKinnon enough throughout a seven game series.
Oh, he fights too? Maybe he is second to none in the league?
Adios, You ‘Bunch of Jerks’?
Man have the Carolina Hurricanes been refreshing these last two seasons. They are fun to watch, and while it would have been nice to see them make another deep run, they hit the Bruins again, just a lot earlier than before.
You have to wonder how different this game goes with Staal finishing the game, and Svechnikov playing at all.
Maybe it doesn’t make that big a difference. But Carolina is fun to watch. Sebastian Aho has to be on the shortlist of most underappreciated stars in the game, all though these playoffs may fix that.
More players should visit the museums that Dougie Hamilton attends, they might be able to do what he does in the offensive zone. I lost count how many plays Jaccob Slavin has broken up and the impact he’s made in both zones.
They also looked exhausted at times Monday. Playing on your heels for an entire period will do that. They have a day off Tuesday and will probably have to play their best game of the season to keep it from ending.
With the first round almost over, who are your favorites so far? How likely is a rematch from last year? Let me know what you think in the comments below! Also, continue the conversation on Twitter and follow me @AJ_Murfy.