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Round 1 Playoff Results:
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Washington Capitals
What a matchup. Both teams went all in on their chances this year, and it is truly unfortunate that this was a first round series because both teams have the firepower to go a long way. The GM voting gave the edge to Washington – CBJ’s defensive prowess washed out Washington’s elite forwards, but the Caps’ edge in goaltending was ultimately too much for the Jackets to overcome. The Washington Capitals are moving on after a stunning 4-3 series win over the President’s Trophy winners.
Winner: Capitals in 7 (W-L-W-W-L-L-W)
Boston Bruins vs New York Islanders
The Islanders stellar goaltending was tested early and often in this series. They failed to contain possibly the deepest lineup in the playoffs. Boston had the edge in 7 of the 8 categories and was in total control from the start of the series. The 2nd seed Bruins are looking to roll through the East.
Winner: Bruins in 4 (W-W-W-W)
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Carolina Hurricanes
I thought this one would be closer than the voting ended up. The home team Toronto gained a slight edge in 6 categories, and although none were extremely significant, the net result was the Leafs at a 75% favorite going into the series. The Canes were fighting hard on the road and jumped out to an early lead, but the Leafs ultimately took the series in what turned out to be an instant classic.
Winner: Leafs in 7 (L-L-W-W-L-W-W)
Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
The battle Pennsylvania was a tough first round matchup for the Flyers, who had dominated the regular season up until the last month – but the President’s Trophy runner-ups are still looking to make a deep run through the East. Pittsburgh was slightly overmatched in this one, and an early 2-0 series lead was too much for the Pens to come back from. No Flyera just yet.
Winner: Flyers in 6 (W-W-L-W-L-W)
St. Louis Blues vs Winnipeg Jets
A midseason change in upper management sent the Jets into a bit of a re-tool, but their roster was no joke going into their first round matchup versus the Blues. Ultimately, the speedy Blues had an edge on both sides of the puck, and a pretty severe advantage in net. Blues took control from the get-go and were able to take this one in front of the white-out crowd in the Peg.
Winner: Blues in 4 (W-W-W-W)
Dallas Stars vs Edmonton Oilers
Playoff McDavid? Playoff McDavid. This was the tightest matchup in the first round. The edge that Dallas possesses in net was large enough in magnitude to evenly counter a potent Edmonton offense led by the best in the business. GM voting basically yielded a wash – the Stars at home had about 49% odds going into the series. Edmonton took the first game and stole the home-ice advantage, but Dallas roared back and took 4 of the next 5 to capture a series win.
Winner: Stars in 6 (L-W-W-L-W-W)
Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild
The Vegas Knights, looking to build upon their best season in franchise history, were going to have to do it against an up-and-coming Minnesota team that embraced the spoiler role. The GMs voted with a significant favoritism toward the Golden Knights in this one, and they made quick work of the Wild.
Winner: Golden Knights in 4 (W-W-W-W)
Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators
The GM vote gave the Canucks a significant advantage in this #2 v #7 matchup. The offensive firepower for both teams made for an exciting series, but the Canucks looked like a team built for the playoffs. A blowout win in game 1 set the tone for the rest of the series, and the Canucks, led by their scary depth down the middle of the ice, never looked back.
Winner: Canucks in 4 (W-W-W-W)
full scoring breakdown: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hF35TXSEzvSaHA8aHk8WrEUaW0sVAq1OYuHqccO66DY/edit?usp=sharing