The Eastern Conference Semifinals are set (as is the West). With the Flyers finishing off the Canadiens in last night’s Game 6, they advanced to take on our beloved Islanders. (The other clash: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins.)
I like the way we match up against Philadelphia. Carter Hart played really well overall, but also had some less than stellar moments. The Flyers struggled quite a bit against the lowest seed in the entire Return to Play tournament and Hart saved their bacon, so to speak.
But don’t just take my word for it; take the numbers’ word for it, as well!
the islanders are going to be a big, big problem for the flyers if philadelphia plays anywhere close to the way they did in round 1— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) August 22, 2020
Game 1 of the Isles’ series starts Monday night at 7:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC, Sportsnet, and TVAS in Canada—the last of the semifinal series to start. Here is the full schedule for the second round of the postseason, with the Isles-Flyers series at the top of the list.
Our matchup is set for Round 2️⃣! pic.twitter.com/e90WN2gP10— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) August 22, 2020
- The Isles’ depth has been a huge part of their success this postseason—Ross Johnston and Michael Dal Colle seamlessly stepped in for Game 5. [Newsday]
- Arthur Staple identifies five key reasons the Islanders are on to the Conference Semifinals, including their dominant 5v5 play and the emergence of Anthony Beauvillier as “A Guy Teams Have to Worry About.” [The Athletic]
- And the team site identifies five takeaways from the series, similar to The Athletic. [Islanders]
- Adam Pelech is doing all the little things right, as he always does when he’s at his best. [NY Post]
- It was an emotional win for Barry Trotz, beating the guys with whom he won a Stanley Cup, but it was enjoyable. [Islanders]
- Chris King and Greg Picker have been on the radio call for the Islanders throughout the playoffs, working remotely from Hofstra. [Islanders]
- VIDEO: Let’s relive the series clincher, for good fun! [Islanders]
Last night’s NHL scores featured two Game 6 elimination scenarios, with both of them coming to fruition:
- Philadelphia took an early 2-0 lead and, though they let Montreal back into the game (and arguably walk all over them), they held on to knock out the Habs.
- Also, the upstart Canucks toppled a hobbled iteration of the defending champs—the St. Louis Blues were ousted in Game 6. Last year, Jordan Binnington was a stone wall in elimination games. He’d been replaced by Jake Allen for the last few games, but coach Craig Berube reinserted him for this elimination game. And then he gave Vancouver a 4-0 lead midway through the second period to get yanked.
Elsewhere, Including Beginning of Next Round
- The Stars and Avalanche were scheduled to begin their second round series tonight at 8:00 p.m. EDT whether the Flyers-Canadiens and Blues-Canucks series ended last night or not. It will be on NBC. [NHL]
- After this most recent Flames playoff disappointment, Johnny Gaudreau appears to be on his way out of Calgary, despite having two years left on his team-friendly deal. [Sportsnet]
- Now that his Coyotes are out, Taylor Hall acknowledges that the money may not be there and, with only two playoff appearances in his career, both of which resulted in a 5-game elimination in Round 1, he says that winning is “what [he’s] after.” [NHL]
- J.P., or Japer, as it were, penned an article which stated the Capitals were right to walk away from Trotz, even if they went with the wrong guy in Todd Reirden. Sure, we’ll take him! [Japers’ Rink]
- The Canadiens weren’t able to pull off the upset against the Flyers, but they looked good doing it and they have a bright future, for a change. [Sportsnet]
- Old friend Katie Strang eviscerates Mike Milbury, both about his string of offensive commentary and about his inability to offer any interesting or constructive commentary. [The Athletic]