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Lightning Round: Carolina Hurricanes complete the sweep

Our old South East rival is into the First Round.

NHL: Eastern Conference Qualifications-Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Rangers
Aug 4, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CANADA; Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes scores a goal on Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers during the third period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 04, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tony DeAngelo (out of frame) died on the play.
Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

In like the blink of an eye, the New York Rangers have been eliminated from the 2020 NHL playoffs and are expected to leave Toronto by this morning. They were swept in three games by the Carolina Hurricanes in four short days. To put it bluntly, it was never close. With the victory, the Canes get almost a week break before the First Round officially starts.

Once the Boston Bruins play the Washington Capitals on Sunday, August 9th, sealing the Round Robin results, the Canes will know who they’re playing. As the sixth seed, there’s a high chance they’re guaranteed either the third or fourth seeds among the Conference leaders. As of right now, those teams are Washington and Boston, so no easy opponent there.

Two of the three remaining series in the East are tied 1-1 with the New York Islanders up 2-0 on the Florida Panthers with Game #3 today at noon. Pittsburgh and Montreal are tied after two games and play tomorrow, while Toronto and Columbus get a day off after Toronto evened the series with a 3-0 victory yesterday.

Yesterday’s NHL Games

Islanders 4, Panthers 2 (series 2-0)
Jordan Eberle is on fire as a playoff performer. So underrated.

Maple Leafs 3, Blue Jackets 0 (series 1-1)
It was an almost-scary domination by Toronto in this game. Jake Muzzin hurt his neck late in this game and had to be stretchered off. He was taken to a hospital with details to be provided later.

Hurricanes 4, Rangers 1 (series 3-0)
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Don’t forget to watch the Sebastian Aho goals and James Reimer’s save. Also, the Canes Twitter account started their own dunk competition on Rangers fans, to put salt in the wound even further.

Predators 4, Coyotes 2 (series 1-1)
These two teams are tied up and have another game this afternoon. The offense was just too little too late for the Yotes. Juuse Saros was good.

Flames 6, Jets 2 (series 2-1)
The Winnipeg Jets are such a depleted team of talent that whenever they tried to push, they gave up two goals. Seems inevitable the Flames come out on top of this by Thursday.

Canucks 4, Wild 3 (series 1-1)
There was a late comeback attempt at the end of this game. Minnesota nearly pulled it off. This game ended too late for me to find a quality recap for it. I heard the highlights were fun!

Today’s Games

New York Islanders “@” Florida Panthers — Islanders lead series 2-0
12:00 pm, NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS, MSG+, FS-F

Nashville Predators “@” Arizona Coyotes — Series tied 1-1
2:30 pm, NHLN, NHL.TV, SN360, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, FS-TN

Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0-0) “@” Boston Bruins (0-1-0) — Round Robin

Colorado Avalanche (1-0-0) “@” Dallas Stars (0-1-0) — Round Robin
6:30 pm, NHLN, NHL.TV, FX-CA, FS-SW, ALT

Pittsburgh Penguins “@” Montreal Canadiens — Series tied 1-1

Edmonton Oilers “@” Chicago — Series tied 1-1

Lightning Links

Yesterday I wrote about the possibility of a Lightning-Leafs playoff series. With the Lightning sitting as the first seed in the Round Robin and the Leafs looking strong against Columbus and the lowest seed of those expected to make the playoffs, there’s a strong chance the series we were all anticipating in March actually happens. And what a series it would be.

We have an editorial speaking about JT Brown’s protest and how it laid the groundwork for what we’re seeing in the NHL playoffs today. Powerful article from Chris here.

Akim Aliu has started his own foundation to empower youth to succeed in life through sport. Like he says, let’s remove those barriers.

The AHL has officially cancelled the 2021 AHL All-Star game, awarding the hosts (the Laval Rocket) 2022’s weekend instead. It’s expected they’ll announce an regular season start date for December soon, but a lot can change from then to now.

In the West, Ivan Barbashev has been given permission to leave Alberta for Missouri for the birth of his first child. He’s expected to get tested and quarantine when he re-joins the bubble.

Lou Lamoriello has kicked an NHL player out of the league and it’s a travesty. Ho Sang was buried in the AHL, not played, and not traded. Completely healthy, he played 22 games in the AHL only. Not great for a player the Islanders traded up for in the first round of the 2014 draft.