The second round of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs start on Wednesday. After going 4-4 in the first round, my bracket is shot to hell once again this year. Here are some notes from the first round as well as my revised predictions for Round 2.
Round 1 Notes & Stats:
- There were 18 overtime games in the first round (42.9%), a record for any round in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- 28 of the 42 games were decided by one goal (66.7%) while another five were decided by two goals following an empty-net goal (78.6% combined).
- For the first time since 2001, none of the eight series featured a deciding Game 7.
- Many picked Chicago Blackhawks to go to the Stanley Cup Final but they scored a total of 3 goals and got swept in the series by Nashville. (The Predators outscored Chicago 13-3.)
- Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the Maple Leafs last Stanley Cup win (May 2, 1967).
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 24, 2017
Patrice Bergeron played the full season with a sports hernia, and may be facing surgery now that B’s year is over https://t.co/AST1mRjuvh
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 25, 2017
Finally, I was extremely disappointed with the officiating in the Boston vs. Ottawa series and I voiced my thoughts on Twitter, giving valid examples as to why they played a factor in that series. I have seen the Bruins lose on my occasions over the years and never once blamed the referees. This year was different. If the Senators truly were the better team, the officials should have let the teams decide. Instead, poor or missed calls led directly to overtime goals by Ottawa, ultimately handing them the series win. All hockey fans should disappointed. Not because Ottawa won but because the officiating is in such a sad state league-wide. This season saw a drastic decline in the quality of officiating. And the NHL needs to step in because it is ruining a great game.
Round 2 Notes & Stats:
- This will be the third meeting between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin in the playoffs. Crosby won both previous encounters, in 2016 and 2009, and went on to win the Stanley Cup each time.
- The Penguins have won a total of four Stanley Cups. They have knocked out the Capitals on the way to all four of them.
- The New York Rangers have 44 postseason wins since 2012. Only the Blackhawks (48) have more.
- The Anaheim Ducks have 18 playoff wins over the past three years, ranking second only to Chicago in the Western Conference during that span.
- The Blues haven’t reached a Stanley Cup Final since going in the first three years of the team’s existence (1968-70).
C3 St. Louis vs WC2 Nashville – ST. LOUIS in 7
P1 Anaheim vs P2 Edmonton – ANAHEIM in 6
A2 Ottawa vs WC1 New York Rangers – NEW YORK in 6
M1 Washington vs M2 Pittsburgh – WASHINGTON in 7
STANLEY CUP FINAL
Before Round 1 – BOSTON over ST. LOUIS
Before Round 2 – WASHINGTON over ST. LOUIS