The 2021 NHL playoffs are in full swing, with all second-round series going or getting started. There have been suspensions, big goals, spectacular saves, and many overtime games.
Right now, the Colorado Avalanche remain the favorite for the Stanley Cup Finals, especially after sweeping the Blues, while the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets are the biggest surprises in round two. There has been no shortage of drama, especially in that Avalanche and Golden Knights series. Here’s what to know about the NHL playoffs so far in round two, and what to look out for the rest of the way.
NHL Playoffs So Far
Boston Bruins vs New York Islanders
The Boston Bruins and New York Islanders have been notable surprises after bouncing the Capitals and Penguins out of the playoffs. After the Bruins’ overtime loss in game two, the Islanders have seized some momentum and evened out the series. The Islanders are 3-0 in overtime victories in the playoffs, and tend to win the game after. Boston will have to halt the momentum shift because New York will take advantage of it.
New York hopes to build off their game two victory but know that the Bruins are experts at rebounding. They have the same core forwards that they had in their 2019 finals run, giving them more of an advantage, though they nevertheless expect a hard-fought series.
Montreal Canadiens vs Winnipeg Jets
The Montreal Canadiens completed an unlikely upset against the favored Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games. They are now facing off against a well-rested Jets team coming off with a 5-3 victory and a lead in the series. Even though it has only been one game, the Canadiens found ways to expose the holes in the Jets’ blue line. It should be an interesting series because they are both good teams with problems on defense.
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Vegas Golden Knights vs Colorado Avalanche
The President’s Trophy winning-Avalanche took a 2-0 series lead against the Vegas Golden Knights after a 3-2 overtime victory on Wednesday night. Colorado has a top line that includes Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen who have outscored opponents 11-1, and they were at again in game two. Colorado’s top line is fast, skilled, and electric on the ice, always finding opportunities.
Meanwhile, the Golden Knights are struggling to create scoring opportunities and contain the Avalanche offense that has been running all over everyone. Additionally, Golden Knight Ryan Reaves is serving a two-game suspension for his antics in game one. Colorado has the advantage in this series, as they are on a whole different level this year.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes
Now that brings us to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes series, where the Lightning has the series lead going into game three. Even though the Lightning may not always play their best, they are hard to beat because of their solid goaltending.
The Hurricanes will need to find more ways to score as they only have two goals this series. They will have to take advantage of any mistakes that the Lightning may make because they will not give them many chances. On paper, the Lightning may have more of an advantage towards winning the series but it will be fun to watch regardless.
There have been some fun games, big surprises, and plenty of intense moments so far. Stay tuned for more updates on the 2021 NHL playoffs. For more sports and entertainment keep visiting Belly Up Sports.