After an exciting regular season, many people expected this year’s playoffs to be tightly contested.
The First Round has proven to be anything but that, with a couple series already done, a few on the brink of being over, and a few that are still up in the air.
Vegas and San Jose swept their opponents, Los Angeles and Anaheim respectively.
Nashville, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, and Pittsburgh all just need one more win to complete a 4-1 series victory.
It does not help that each of those teams will be playing the next game on their home ice, and that each of these teams are hard to beat on home ice.
However, there is much to be determined in the Boston Toronto series (tied 2-2) and the Washington Columbus series (Columbus lead 2-1).
Now, I do have to say, I do not think the way these series played out do justice to the losing teams.
In the Vegas series, Game 1 Vegas won 1-0, Game 2 went to double overtime with Vegas winning 2-1, Game 3 Vegas scored 2 goals in twenty seconds to beat the Kings 3-2, and in Game 4 Fleury yet again stood on his head as the Kings could not score giving Vegas a 1-0 win.
Yes it is a sweep, however all of those games could have easily gone the other way.
In the San Jose series, Game 1 San Jose scored 3 goals in the second period to win 3-0, Game 2 San Jose hung on to a 3-2 lead late in the game to win, Game 3 the Sharks just smoked the Ducks 8-1, Game 4 Anaheim could not tie the game late yet again to lose 2-1.
Aside from Game 3, this series as well could have easily extended to Games 6 or 7.
Moving to the Nashville series, Colorado has given the Predators a run for their money in every game including an impressive 5-3 Game 3 win.
In Game 4 last night, the Avalanche were able to come from behind 3-0 to make it 3-2 with about ten minutes remaining in the game, however Nashville did hold on for the win.
This series could very well be tied 2-2, however it is 3-1 Nashville lead and heading back to Nashville.
The same goes for the Tampa Bay, New Jersey series and Winnipeg, Minnesota series.
A series that appears to be on it’s own is The Battle of Pennsylvania.
Not one of these games as been close and Pittsburgh has put on an incredible offensive display winning Games 1, 3, and 4, 7-0, 5-1, and 5-0 respectively.
Philadelphia was able to bounce back in Game 2 winning 5-1, however it appears Pittsburgh will take this series in Game 5 as the series moves back to Pittsburgh.
With Crosby already at 9 points in 4 games, and other offensive weapons recording points as expected, the Penguins could very well just be getting started.
Which is very scary and aggravating to anyone who does not root for Pittsburgh.
There are a couple series that still have a lot left to be played out.
First is Boston and Toronto, Boston leads the series 2-1 as they took both home games and lost Game 3 in Toronto.
If Toronto can have another strong performance tonight in Game 4 and tie the series 2-2 going back to the Boston, the Maple Leafs could take control of this series by walking into Boston and stealing a win.
On the flip side of things is the Washington Columbus series, not one game has gone to the home team as Columbus leads 2-1 with Game 4 in Columbus tonight at 7:30 PM ET
The Blue Jackets have made things extremely difficult for the Capitals as each game as gone to overtime, Game 3 even went to double overtime.
Washington has to be looking to tie the series 2-2 as Game 5 will be in Washington Saturday at 3:00 PM ET.
With the way these series have played out, I am not sure that we will see a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs until the Second Round.
Los Angeles: www.immitate.com