The NHL conference finals begin tonight with the high-octane Western series where the Oilers visit the Avalanche for Game 1.
Back in the East, we also know our conference finalists as the Tampa Bay Lightning will face...some other team...I think they might have a bye, actually. Not sure. As Islanders fans, it presents a kind of torture, which Dan and Mike get into in their latest Islanders Anxiety podcast.
That’s because the Carolina Hurricanes, who had not lost at home (but could not win on the road) to this point, chose a hell of a time to choke on Raleigh ice. They lost Game 7 last night, and it wasn’t even close, so as a result some other team moves on to face the Lightning. I am told that the Lightning must beat “New York” for the third year in a row to make the Cup final.
IIHF World Championship
- In the World Championship final, Canada erased a late 3-1 Finland lead but the host team (Finland) won in overtime, thanks to a power play that the Canadians called a dive. Mathew Barzal had three assists. [Sportsnet]
- In the bronze game, the U.S. had a 3-1 lead after one, then the Czechs torched them, with David Pastrnak notching a third-period hat trick. [TSN]
- Antti Raanta just could not stay healthy, which was a factor in Carolina’s Game 7 loss. [NHL]
- And Jacob Trouba delivered another big hit that was a bit of a turning point, leading to an injury to Hurricane Seth Jarvis, a too many men penalty as Carolina replaced him too soon, and power play goal for the visiting team. [Post | Sportsnet]
- Onward: Previewing the Western final between Edmonton and Colorado. [NHL]
- Understatement Alert: It should be electric. [TSN]
- MacKinnon vs. McDavid will be big for the highlights but also should seriously shape the series. [Sportsnet]
- The defeated Flames will not turn attention to trying to re-sign Johnny Gaudreau. [TSN]