NHL Covid-19 2020 Playoffs | Third Round Predictions and Analysis
With the conclusion of round 2, only 4 teams remain competing for the cup. The Lightning and Islanders have both left the Toronto bubble and have joined the Stars and Golden Knights in Edmonton to compete in the Eastern Conference finals. Blowing a 3-1 lead was a common trend that we saw in round 2. The Knights, Stars and Islanders all had the chance to close out their series in 5 games but sealed the deal in 7. The fuckin Canucks had the whole country behind them but fell short in game 7. Just a heartbreaking loss for the city but with the rise of Thatcher Demko, this is only the beginning for a promising young team. With that being said, round 3 has 2 exciting match-ups with a lot of hockey left to watch.
(1)Vegas Golden Knights vs. (3) Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars somehow managed to squeak by the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche looked like the team to beat but with injuries starting to pile up, they lost a lot of key pieces in their lineup. The Golden Knights beat the Canucks in 7 which surprised everybody. The scary part about this Vegas team is that they have not played their best hockey. Although they did beat a good and young Canucks team, I think the Golden Knights have another gear they can reach. The drama between the two goalies may have played a factor in blowing a 3-1 lead, but Lehner did play well earning 3 shutouts in that series alone. They also ran into a hot goalie in Thatcher Demko, however the Knights will need to produce a lot more offence against this Stars team. Dallas has found their stride offensively going from one of the worst scoring teams to putting up at least 5 goals in all their wins. They have a stud in Miro Heiskanen who is leading their team with 21 points as a defensemen. They have also been receiving a lot of secondary scoring. One of them being Joel Kiviranta who played hero in game 7 scoring a hatty. However, Dallas can’t rely on guys who aren’t regulars in their lineup to carry them through this series. They are going to need their top guys in Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov to step up if they want to win. Although Vegas is missing Ryan “the muffin man” Reaves for game 1, I still think Vegas is too much of a wagon for the Stars, but they’ll go down with a fight.
Vegas in 7
(2) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (6) New York Islanders
This series should be a very interesting one. An offensive powerhouse against a structured defensive team. The Lightning are coming off four straight wins against the big bad Bruins. Is that good? Steven Stamkos has been ruled out of round 3 but the Lightning have been doing just fine without their captain. Brayden Point has been going off and this Lightning looks like the team that everybody thought they should have been for the last few years. The Islanders are coming off a game 7 win against the Flyers. This team has really shown how important coaching is in the NHL. First by beating the Capitals and now the first place Flyers. The Islanders will be put to a much bigger test here. They beat a Flyers team who’s top guys were struggling to find the back of the net. The Lightning have been quite the opposite, getting scoring from everywhere it seems like. They made two huge pickups with Goodrow and Coleman who have both been solid in these playoffs. Kucherov’s injury doesn’t seem to be too bad and should be in for game 1. Beating the Bruins in 5 was crucial for them as they are well rested and are facing an Islanders team that had to play 7 games. I think fatigue will bite the Islanders in the ass because of the schedule for each game to be played every second day. It will be tough to bet against the Islanders as they have been defying the odds these whole playoffs but, let’s not be stupid the Lightning are riding a fuckin heater and Zack Bogosian is the goat.
Lightning in 6.
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