While the Tampa Bay Lightning have been patiently enjoying their rest since sweeping the Florida Panthers, the three other series to determine who will advance to the conference finals are still raging.
Over the past few days, the NHL has benefitted from exciting hockey due to teams blowing leads and making exciting comebacks. The drama surrounding this postseason has been at a high.
Here’s a look at some things going on for May 26.
The ghost of Steve Smith
Rasmus Andersson cleared the puck from his own zone, trying to give the Calgary Flames relief from the Edmonton attack. However, Andersson ended up doing more, guiding the puck past Oilers goaltender Mike Smith, who didn’t see the puck coming until it was too late. While Edmonton ended up scoring a 5-3 win, it was a challenge for the Oilers, who had built a 3-0 lead in the first period.
The history of Calgary and Edmonton in the postseason has mostly been a one-sided affair. The Oilers, who lead this year’s series 3-1, have won four of the team’s five meetings in the postseason. However, Smith allowing the goal likely brought back nightmares of the 1986 playoffs.
Edmonton defenseman Steve Smith attempted a cross-ice pass in Game 7 that deflected into the goal off goaltender Grant Fuhr five minutes into the third period.
The Oilers couldn’t find a way to tie the game and were halted short of a third straight Stanley Cup. That was the only time Calgary ever beat Edmonton in a playoff series.
Carolina had a nightmare trip to New York. The Hurricanes’ offense lacked punch, as it has all series against the Rangers. What is most troubling is that Carolina hasn’t been successful with the man advantage. The Hurricanes are 0-of-9 on the power play this series.
While New York has been successful in not giving away too many penalties, Carolina needs to find a way to break through, as this tight 2-2 series will likely be decided by the little details.
Trophy not so great
The Lightning are a juggernaut, having reached the Eastern Conference finals in six of the past eight seasons. But what Tampa Bay did to Florida was stunning on many levels. The Panthers’ offense, which averaged 4.1 goals per game in the regular season, only scored three goals during Tampa Bay’s four goals sweep.
Florida’s failure to advance continued the trend of the team that wins the Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record bowing out early in the postseason. No team with that honor has even made the finals since the Chicago Blackhawks won it all during the 2012-13 season.
Not done yet
The St. Louis Blues appeared deflated in the aftermath of losing netminder Jordan Binnington following a collision earlier in the series.
However, with St. Louis’ season on the line, the Blues appeared to be a team very much hungry to hang around. The Blues forced overtime when Robert Thomas scored with 56 seconds left in regulation.
Fourth-line center Tyler Bozak then put a shot past Colorado goaltender Darcy Kemper 3 minutes, 38 seconds into overtime to lift the Blues to the victory.
St. Louis had trailed 3-0 at one point and allowed Avalanche star center Nathan Mackinnon to record a hat trick. The Blues will now have an opportunity to even the series when the affair shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6.
Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting related articles across the web.