The Columbus Blue Jackets shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 in Game 5 of their Qualifying Round series, pushing Columbus, the 9th seed in the East, into a First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning... Again.
Hello Jackets my old friends... I’ve come to play this series again...
Game 1 between the two teams is slated for 3pm ET on Tuesday, August 11th. Presumably they’ll play every other day until 4-7 games are up*, hopefully with the Lightning on top. “Home ice” will be allocated as normal, with the Lightning getting last change for the first two games of the series and games five and seven if they’re necessary.
Right off the bat, how are you feeling about this matchup?
How are you feeling about Tampa Bay vs. Columbus?
This poll is closed
We won’t let them beat us again.
I’d feel a lot better if we had Stamkos/Hedman/Rutta
Still nervous about Columbus
Dammit, Toronto, why didn’t you win?
Dallas Stars 2, St. Louis Blues 1 (SO)
St. Louis finishes bottom of the Western Conference Round Robin and will play the Vancouver Canucks in the First Round. Dallas will sit third in the Round Robin and play the Calgary Flames first.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 0
The Blue Jackets scored early and then held the lead all the way until the final horn. With this result, both host teams are out of the playoffs, neither technically making it.
Teams get a day off today to prepare for the First Round on Tuesday.
The First Round
The top teams in both Conferences, Boston and St. Louis, have lost all the home-ice advantage they earned in the regular seasons and they will now be 4th seeds until the end of the tournament. Both 12th seeds made it, with Pittsburgh and Edmonton both getting ousted by the worst teams to make the tournament. There were a total of four upsets in the Qualifying Rounds, a perfect 50/50. There was one series that went three games, six that went four games, and one that went five games, for a perfect average of four games each series.
The Quest for Alexis Lafreniere
One of these teams will win the Alexis Lafreniere sweepstakes and pick first overall at the NHL Draft Lottery 2.0 today (Monday) at 6pm ET. Each team has an equal 1/8 or 12.5% chance to win the lottery.
The only teams without a first overall pick on their rosters are the Predators, Wild, Rangers, and Jets. Although, All four of those teams have at least one top-three pick. Nashville has Matt Duchene (3rd, 2009) and Kyle Turris (3rd, 2007), the Wild have Eric Staal (2nd, 2003) and Alex Galchenyuk (3rd, 2012, yikes), the Rangers have Kaapo Kakko (2nd, 2019), and the Jets have Patrik Laine (2nd, 2016).
The last New York Rangers player to be taken first overall was Andre Veilleux in 1965, before expansion. The Jets/Atlanta Thrashers picked first in 2001 taking Ilya Kovalchuk (on Washington now), and in 1999 taking Patrik Stefan. The old Jets took Dale Hawerchuk in 1981 as well. The Predators and Wild have never had a first overall pick in their history.
The first overall picks on the other four teams include Sidney Crosby (2005), John Tavares (2009), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Aaron Ekblad (2014), Connor McDavid (2015), and Auston Matthews (2016). The Oilers also had and traded away Taylor Hall (2010) and Nail Yakupov (2012), and the Penguins let go of Marc-Andre Fleury (2003). Why am I bringing this up? No reason.