Skating into the NHL Playoffs

The 21-22 NHL regular season has come to an end, and the playoffs are in full swing. Right now, the playoffs include the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, and New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers. These teams all have their strengths and weaknesses, leading to good matchups throughout the postseason.


Four out of five  NHL writers and editors have the Lightning winning the series against the Panthers. With the Lightning winning the two previous Stanley Cups, they are looking to secure their third consecutive championship. Led by Brayden Point, leader in goals this postseason, the Bolts are able to keep a good offensive flow. Panthers goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, has been a top tier piece to this defense. However, this has not been enough for the Panthers to gain a lead against the Lightning. The Lightning’s goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy, has stopped 98 of 101 shots in this series so far. Overall, it’s looking good for the lightning. 


Four out of five NHL writers have the Hurricanes winning the series against the Rangers. While this is an intriguing matchup, the Hurricanes have a solid 5-on-5 play along with their number one ranked defense. However, the Rangers have their world class goalie, Igor Shesterkin, who made an instant impact as he came on the team and is now a key piece to this team. The Hurricanes have continued to play an up-tempo game which can cause problems for the Rangers, who still have some holes in their game. 


 Five out of five NHL writers have the Avalanche winning the series against the Blues. This matchup is interesting, yet predictable. The Blues have players who know how to win and have the ability to challenge the Avalanche. Blues LW (left wing), David Perron, has been of much use, scoring two goals in game 2 to tie up the series. However, led by Cale Makar, the Avalanches’ defense is quite unstoppable and is too much for the Blues offense. 


Four out of five NHL writers have the Flames winning the series against the Oilers. Led by Connor McDavid, with 72 assists and 105 points in just 56 games, the Oilers come in this series with a lot of confidence in their offense. However, the Flames alternate captain, Matthew Tkachuk, is this team’s spark right now. If Tkachuk can catch fire, the Flames have this series secured in the bag. 


Hockey fans all around the nation are in for a treat this postseason with tough and intense match-ups.