The primary day of the NHL’s restarted season produced a couple of surprising moments, a couple of controversies and a speech that hockey followers will not quickly neglect. Day 2 brings the beginning of the round-robin video games among the many prime seeds and the remainder of the qualification spherical sequence, because the Jap Convention postseason rolls on in Toronto whereas the West performs out in Edmonton.
Take a look at the ESPN Stanley Cup Playoffs Day by day on daily basis of the postseason till the Cup is handed out in October.
Immediately’s video games
The nice goaltending thriller of the Predators will probably be solved on Sunday. Will it’s 37-year-old franchise standard-bearer Pekka Rinne, or 24-year-old Juuse Saros, the latter of whom was the stronger goalie this season? In the meantime, the Coyotes enter this sequence probably with out middle Nick Schmaltz, who was injured on successful by Vegas ahead Ryan Reaves of their exhibition recreation; and completely with out common supervisor John Chayka, who stop the group earlier than the playoffs. How will the Coyotes course of that distraction?
The Flyers completed 11 factors in again of the Bruins, who have been the one NHL group to achieve 100 factors and received the Presidents’ Trophy because the NHL’s greatest regular-season group. But with three wins within the qualification spherical, the Flyers may leap all the way in which into the highest seed within the Jap Convention. The Bruins may put an finish to that chatter with a win on Sunday.
The defending champion Blues may have Vladimir Tarasenko on the ice for the primary time since Oct. 24, as he returns from shoulder surgical procedure. The Avalanche are additionally celebrating good well being, as Colorado welcomes various gamers again to their lineup that have been injured on the finish of the season — together with Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon, middle Nazem Kadri and winger Mikko Rantanen.
Final postseason, the Blue Jackets confronted a superior offensive group crammed with high-end talent and championship aspiration within the first spherical … and swept them. With Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares, the Leafs have the celebrities. Coach John Tortorella hopes, as soon as once more, the Jackets have the blue-collar aesthetic that results in one other upset. “We’re not constructed with game-breakers. We’re not. We have actually purchased into taking part in as a group,” he stated.
The Canucks play their first playoff sequence since 2015 in opposition to a Wild group that performed 12 video games below new head coach Dean Evason earlier than the season was paused. The Wild have been defensive group that did not get the saves they wanted from their goaltenders. The Canucks have been offensive group that wanted goalie Jacob Markstrom (11.40 targets saved above common) to bail them out defensively.
Query of the day: Will the facility performs proceed?
Toss out the Islanders vs. Panthers recreation, and the opposite 4 contests on Day 1 of the postseason averaged 11 energy performs every. There have been 16 minor penalties within the Rangers’ recreation in opposition to the Hurricanes, making a disjointed affair with minimal 5-on-5 play. Followers have come to count on tightly officiated video games firstly of a season, because the on-ice officers try to established guidelines and the expectations for the way they’re going to be adopted. Maybe the identical factor is taking part in out throughout the season restart.
Guess of the day
Avalanche over Blues (-110). The Avalanche are wholesome, and took each video games in opposition to the Blues they performed in 2020. This may very well be a press release recreation for Colorado. However understand that the round-robin sequence is in the end a tune up for the subsequent spherical for these groups, so method with warning.
About final night time…
The primary recreation of the day supplied the postseason’s first shock, as Henrik Lundqvist acquired the beginning for New York after Igor Shesterkin was dominated “unfit to play.” (The rookie would watch the sport from the stands.) The 38-year-old goalie performed properly in making 34 saves, however the Hurricanes outlasted the Rangers with targets in every interval and beat the New York for the primary time in 5 tries this season, when it counted probably the most.
After Connor McDavid scored 2 minutes and 34 seconds into the sport, the Blackhawks dominated the remainder of the primary interval in scoring 4 straight targets in opposition to goalie Mike Smith, who was pulled within the second interval after Chicago’s fifth purpose. Rookie Dominik Kubalik had 5 factors, whereas Jonathan Toews had three factors. McDavid and Leon Draisaitl every had three factors, however Edmonton laid an egg in opposition to a Chicago group that clearly did not admire being written off as a No. 12 seed. One observe: Chicago’s Drake Caggiula may have a listening to Sunday for an unlawful examine to the top on Edmonton’s Tyler Ennis.
Commerce deadline addition Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring whereas Semyon Varlamov (27 saves) and the Islanders’ protection did the remaining of their Sport 1 victory in opposition to the Panthers, who have been restricted to 5 photographs on purpose within the third interval. The silver lining for Florida: Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky performed properly, making 26 saves.
Within the day’s different shocker, Jeff Petry‘s purpose at 13:57 of additional time gave the Canadiens the Sport 1 win over Pittsburgh. For the Penguins, it was each nightmare situation for the sequence coming true for a recreation: a failure to transform their possibilities, together with a 5-on-Three energy play and a penalty shot by Conor Sheary late within the third interval; and watching Carey Value grow to be the difference-maker in purpose for Montreal.
Mark Scheifele‘s first-period damage modified the trajectory of this one, because the star middle was restricted to simply 2:59 in Sport 1. Andrew Mangiapane had a purpose and an help and Cam Talbot wanted to make solely 17 saves within the Flames’ win.
Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba addresses social injustices and the way everybody could be higher earlier than the Blackhawks tackle the Oilers.
The NHL held pregame ceremonies earlier than a few of Saturday’s high-profile video games to deal with racial injustice, however none in comparison with the facility of Dumba’s speech previous to the Blackhawks vs. Oilers recreation. The Wild defenseman referenced Black Lives Matter and Breonna Taylor earlier than taking a knee throughout the U.S. nationwide anthem as gamers stood round him.
The Calder Trophy finalist had two targets and three assists in Chicago’s Sport 1 stunner in opposition to the Oilers. His 5 factors set a report for many in a rookie’s playoff debut. Properly, this wasn’t technically a “playoff recreation” within the NHL’s eyes, however these have been “playoff stats” within the NHL’s eyes, so … who is aware of, actually?
Petry had the game-winner, however this recreation would not even get near additional time with out Value’s 39-save efficiency. Particularly, this can be a very completely different recreation if Value would not cease 18 Penguins photographs within the first interval. The “goalie single-handedly sparks five-game sequence upset” narrative actually acquired some fodder.
Outfit of the day
“The Stanley Cup, shiny and chrome!” pic.twitter.com/SuH145UINr
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 1, 2020
Robust Immortan Joe vibes from Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks earlier than their recreation in opposition to the Oilers.
Social publish of the day
It is recreation day!!! There’s nothing like playoff hockey. Though we might give something to observe our fav man play in individual, we’ll be cheering loud sufficient he may hear us anyway! 💛🖤🐧 LETS GO PENS! pic.twitter.com/OsmleacB9K
— Christina Marleau (@c_marleau) August 1, 2020
The Marleau household despatched sunny vibes to the Penguins. They’re going to want extra of them.
Controversy of the day
“It was intentional,” Maurice stated. “It was a dirty, soiled kick to the again of the leg. You possibly can’t see it on this system [camera] feed, however you’re taking the blue-line feed and also you zoom in. He went after the again of his leg. May have lower his Achilles [tendon]. May have ended the person’s profession. It is a completely filthy, disgusting hit.”
Earlier than Maurice’s information convention, Tkachuk denied he did something intentional to injure Scheifele, letting out an exasperated snort when requested if he had any position within the damage. “No, completely not,” Tkachuk stated. “I am backchecking on him. It is such an accident. I felt horrible. He was turning away, and I simply went in and my left skate had a little bit little bit of the pace wobbles. I used to be most likely shifting too quick for myself and I used to be taking place. It regarded like my leg most likely jammed him up.
“I really feel horrible. He is a prime participant within the NHL and somebody I’ve gotten to know up to now few summers [training with him]. It is not good for the sport when any person like that is not within the recreation. It was very unlucky and unfortunate. However there’s actually nothing that might have occurred.”
Scheifele will see a specialist on Sunday.