Here is the rest of our analyzes on the second round series.
Very difficult to decide between the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes. Here are two teams at their peak after a rather long reconstruction, completed a little earlier in Carolina, it must be mentioned. Two teams that rely on speed and a good balance within the four lines and three pairs of defenders.
The Devils and Hurricanes also finished almost neck and neck in the standings. They both won 52 games, but the Hurricanes won one more game in overtime.
The Devils have scored more goals this season, but in contrast, the Hurricanes have been tighter defensively.
Despite missing star Andrei Svechnikov, the Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders in the first round. But even though they had amassed 20 more points than their opponents in the season, the job was harder than expected. Carolina has won three of its four games by one goal. Frederik Andersen came on as a relief to Antti Raanta at the end of the series.
The Devils defeated a much more formidable opponent, the New York Rangers, 107 points on the season, only 5 less than New Jersey. Head coach Lindy Ruff had to make a bold decision after Game 2: replacing Vitek Vanecek with an unknown youngster, Akira Schmid. A pay roll of the dice.
In addition to Svechnikov, the Hurricanes lost another member of their offensive top 6 along the way, Teuvo Teravainen. The Devils’ big acquisition before the trade deadline, Timo Meier, was knocked out by Jacob Trouba in Game 7 on Monday. We will see what state it will be in over the next few days.
Although he is three years younger than Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes remains the Devils’ flagship center. He’s coming off a 99-point season in just 78 games, had 5 points in the first round, and was the most-used forward.
Even deprived of his wingers, in the infirmary, Sebastian Aho continued to produce against the Islanders with four goals and seven points in six games.
John Marino was the most-used defender in Round 1 against Rangers, 22:57, more than Dougie Hamilton and Damon Severson. What a disastrous trade for the Pittsburgh Penguins!
The overtime goal to eliminate the Islanders in Game 6 was the third in the series scored by Paul Stastny, now a fourth-line center. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour would like his second center, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, an assist in six games, to be a little less under the radar!
Vegas Golden Knights defensemen and goaltender Laurent Brossoit need to be in top form, and the team as a whole will need to avoid penalties.
The Edmonton Oilers posted a monstrous 56.3% power play success rate in the first round against the Los Angeles Kings. It’s not looking good for Vegas, as first-round opponent Winnipeg is second at 41%…not counting McDavid and Draisaitl on their roster!
The Golden Knights have edged the Oilers by two points this season, but Edmonton is going through an extraordinary streak. The Oilers have won their last nine games this season, so they’ve won 13 of their last 15, including the first round.
Vegas crushed Winnipeg in five games, allowing them just eight goals in four games after losing the first decisively. But the Oilers defeated in the first round a formation much more powerful than that of the Jets.
Both teams have unpredictable goaltenders. Brossoit surprised in the first round with a 2.42 ERA and .915 hit ratio, but at 30 he’s a career auxiliary who had played only one playoff game in his lifetime prior to this year.
At 24, rookie Stuart Skinner stole the number one goalie job from Jack Campbell over the winter, but he wasn’t very good against the Kings with a 3.43 GAA and save rate. stops of .890. We even replaced him with Campbell after just one period in Game 4, but head coach Jay Woodcroft has bet on him again in the last two games.
Connor McDavid is one point behind Leon Draisaitl against Los Angeles, 10-11, and the German was 7-3 for the Canadian, but McDavid remains the star player.
The return of Mark Stone had an almost immediate effect on the troops. He had a tough first game against the Jets, but had eight points in the next four games.
The young Evan Bouchard came through in the first round with 10 points in 6 games and a time of use of 23:08. The departure of offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie seemed to give him such a boost.
Chandler Stephenson proves himself once again in the playoffs. He amassed eight points in five games, three more than star center Jack Eichel, who is not bad, on the contrary.