NHL: Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, and Boston Bruins take to the ice
The Stanley Cup playoffs are hotting up nicely. After a thrilling first round, the upcoming week sees the second-round action in full flow. In this preview, we will assess three games — Winnipeg Jets v Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders v Boston Bruins, and Las Vegas Golden Knights v Colorado Avalanche. We will also take a cursory glance at the latest match odds.
Winnipeg Jets looking like juggernauts after first round sweep over Edmonton Oilers
At times, the Jets barely had to break a sweat against the Oilers in the first round. The Jets romped to a clean sweep when they wrapped up the series with a thrilling 4-3 victory last week. During the regular season, the Jets finished third and nine points adrift of the Oilers. But the chasm in the Scotia North wasn’t reflected in the playoffs.
Awaiting the Jets will be the Canadiens, who were pushed the distance by the Toronto Maple Leafs. But it seems that the Jets had done their homework before knowing who would meet them in the second round. Prior to the Canadiens’ series victory over the Maple Leafs, Jets head coach Paul Maurice said: “We have a routine for a team that we will play next.”
Montreal Canadiens looking to overcome second round hurdle
The Canadiens will be facing the Jets for the first time in the Stanley Cup playoffs. While the Jets are looking to punch their ticket to the third round for the first time in three years, the Canadiens haven’t won a second-round tie since 2015. And in their regular-season clashes, the Jets were 6-3-0, so they will be relishing the challenge.
New York Islanders split the series with Boston Bruins
Although the Bruins had home iced advantage, that mattered little to the Islanders. After losing Game 1, it would have been a tall order to mount a fightback from 2-0 down. However, the victory on the road sets the Islanders up nicely as they will be at home for Games 3 and 4. Expect the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the next two games!
Barry Trotz reserves special praise for New York Islanders after Game 2 win
Earlier this week, the Islanders split the series with the Bruins in the second round when they clinched a 4-3 overtime victory. It was a thrilling affair, but the Islanders held their nerve to get over the line in Game 2. And Islanders coach Barry Trotz summed up the performance perfectly. He said: “This is sort of a character win for us.”
Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk slapped with $5000 fine for cross-checking offence
It was a disappointing evening for the Bruins in Game 2 as they were pipped in the dying embers of the match. Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk was hit hard in the wallet for cross-checking Islanders defenceman Scott Mayfield. Although DeBrusk didn’t concede a penalty during the play, the incident was reviewed.
An NHL statement confirmed that the money would be donated to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Mayfield appeared to be rather dazed after he was cross-checked by DeBrusk, and it took him a while to get back to his feet. The fine meted out was the maximum penalty for such an offence.
- New York Islanders to beat Boston Bruins in Game 3 @+190 with Casumo
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However, what has been a cause for concern with the Bruins of late is their inability to kill penalties. However, in Game 2, the Islanders grabbed two of their three second-period goals during the power play, so this is something the Bruins will have to pay attention to. Brad Marchand wasn’t reading too much into it, suggesting the Islanders got a “couple of lucky bounces”.
Las Vegas Golden Knights suffer Ryan Reeves’ blow
The Golden Knights will have to cope without Ryan Reaves, who was ejected from Gamed 1 of the Knights’ defeat to the Colorado Avalanche following unprofessional conduct in the third period. Reaves cross-checked Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who retaliated, and then Reaves punched Ryan Graves in the back of the head. Reaves was handed a two-game suspension which could be costly for the Knights.
Meanwhile, the Avalanche — who at the time of writing had taken a 1-0 series lead — has been in excellent form. Sampo Ranta made his debut in the 2021 Playoffs, and at the tender age of 21, he is the fifth player in franchise history to make his debut in the playoffs. He will be the one to watch over the next few games.
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