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Lightning Round: guess who got eliminated first

and a quick stats look at the first round

2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Tampa Bay Lightning v Nashville Predators
SMASHEDVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 26: Juuse Saros #74 of the Nashville Predators tends net against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series NHL game at Nissan Stadium on February 26, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The Nashville Predators are officially the first team eliminated from the NHL Playoffs after getting swept by the Colorado Avalanche. They scored nine goals in the series while allowing 21; they only spent five minutes (4:57) leading in any of the games.

Only one other team is on the brink at the moment, and that is the New York Rangers. They lost on the road to the Pittsburgh Penguins to fall down 1-3 in their series. After Nashville, they’ve allowed the most goals in the playoffs after four games with 20. Pittsburgh is also leading all the playoff teams in xGF% with 65% of the chances. The Rangers are getting thoroughly out-played, and their goaltending from Igor Shesterkin isn’t covering their blind spots like it did all season.

Meanwhile, all the other series currently sit at 2-2, with a best-of-three left to decide things. The Lightning and Leafs statistically have been the most even series up to this point. They are more-or-less tied on goals, time leading, and expected goals. Goaltending is equivalent so far, too. Tampa has the slight edge in shot share, while the Leafs are getting better quality. Playoff stats can be really messy, especially in the third period when one team is defending the whole time or there are blowouts, but that seems to be going equally well for both teams.

Last Night’s Results

Pittsburgh Penguins 7-2 over New York Rangers — PIT up 3-1
Florida Panthers 3-2 (OT) over Washington Capitals — series tied 2-2
Colorado Avalanche 5-3 over Nashville Predators — COL wins 4-0
Calgary Flames 4-1 over Dallas Stars — series tied 2-2

Tonight’s Games

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Series tied 2-2, 7:30pm, ESPN2, CBC
Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes
Series tied 2-2, 7:00pm, ESPN, SN360
St. Louis Blues @ Minnesota Wild
Series tied 2-2, 9:30pm, ESPN, SN360
Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers
Series tied 2-2, 10:00pm, ESPN, CBC

Let’s see who gets the upper hand tonight. Game 6 is guaranteed for everyone, but Game 7 isn’t.

Late predictions: I think Tampa and Toronto go the distance, Boston wins tonight and we’ll see if Carolina has enough in them to force seven, Minnesota wins in six, and LA is going to shock Edmonton.

Lightning Links

Victor Hedman is a finalist for the Norris Trophy (again). Vasilevskiy wasn’t picked for the Vezina, which is fair I think.

Here was a good article from the other side, evaluating the Lightning vs. Leafs series after four games. It’s from the perspective of the Leafs, but I wouldn’t call it homerish at all. [Maple Leaf Hot Stove]

“The typical fan reaction right now is of the “here we go again” variety. I’ve heard enough complaints about “killer instinct” to last me a lifetime. Fans can think what they’d like, but if the Leafs go into their games with that defeatist mindset, they’re toast. There’s no reason for the Leafs to wave the white flag, and there’s no reason that this team can’t win two of the next three games.”

The Ottawa Senators have fired Pierre McGuire. He was hired by Eugene Melnyk to be a possible successor to Pierre Dorion. It’s unsurprising Dorion wanted to get rid of him as soon as he could.

The other thing that doomed McGuire was himself. His “one crack” move that he was allowed to do over the summer ended up being signing Michael Del Zotto, who has two more years at $2 million and spent half the year in the AHL. He was making $750k a year ago.

Whom ever could’ve seen this coming.

The New York Islanders fired head coach Barry Trotz yesterday. Lou being Lou.

The San Jose Sharks signed Alexander Barabanov to an extension, as well.