The Stanley Cup playoffs give us some good curtain-raiser hockey. Of the first eight duels, five will be decided in seven.
We like that. The neglected all sell their skin dearly. Well, almost all of them. Deprived of Juuse Saros, the Nashville Predators had their hands full (and the net full) against Nathan MacKinnon and his gang. In four games, the Avalanche scored 21 goals.
For his part, Cale Makar proved to be the main offensive threat with a harvest of 10 points. Never had an NHL defenseman achieved such a feat after four playoff games. At this rate, it represents a season of 205 points!
Plenty of goals
Let’s talk about goals.
Since the start of this spring meeting, the red light has sparkled 305 times in 46 games. That’s almost seven goals per game – and it’s even more than seven if you don’t count the Flames-Stars confrontation, where the defense is in the spotlight.
Here’s the one that ended the Capitals’ season on Friday night.
— NHL (@NHL) May 14, 2022
By way of comparison, the Montreal Canadiens hit the target 221 times in 82 games during the last campaign. Make the rule of three, you will find that it is little.
Obviously, I allow myself this comparison to show how much the game is focused on the offensive this year, and not to ridicule the Canadian.
It must be said that there is a lack of good elements in front of the nets. Tristan Jarry is injured in Pittsburgh, while Juuse Saros did not play in Smashville and Frederik Andersen either in Carolina. As for Fleury, he disappointed in Minnesota. And what about Shesterkin, the league’s best goaltender… Lost in his last six starts against Pittsburgh, he has allowed on average almost twice as many goals per game as in the regular season.
At least, in the case of Shesterkin, it’s Sunday that it will be played, and in front of his New York supporters. Maybe even without having to face the injured Sidney Crosby. I wouldn’t be surprised if he closed the door for 60 minutes.
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