A first day of activity in the qualifying round and it made us live a lot of emotions!
The Panthers and the Islanders match-up was the game you could forget yesterday as it wasn't very exciting, finishing with a tie in shot on goal and a low score of 2-1 to the Islanders' advantage. What I was watching mainly in this confrontation was the performance of Bobrovsky, who has everything to prove in this season's playoffs. Despite the loss, he made the key saves and helped his team stay in the game. Varlamov has performed well, but according to the expectations I had towards him.
Rangers vs. Hurricanes... What a good game! Sold by a 3-2 win in favour of Carolina, it is nevertheless my disappointment of the day! Let me explain my point... Seeing that the Rangers had made the choice to start the game with Lundqvist in goal, I thought "Yes", they give the veteran star goalkeeper the chance to lead his team to the Stanley Cup. He was great by stopping 34 of the 37 shots thrown at him. Although NY gived more bodycheck, the attack did not follow that momentum, especially by not scoring in 7 power play. So that's why this exciting match was a disappointment for me... Can't wait to see the next match-up between these two teams.
The Oilers had a whole wake-up call yesterday! Did someone tell them that the playoffs had started? After a period, the Hawks were already leading 4-1. Poor defensive, a sleepy goalkeeper and a confused attack. The Hawks played very well, but the Oilers beat themselves! The Hawks led the game with 42 shots to 29. Will this wake-up call be strong enough to wake up the Oilers' offensive machine or will they collapse as we have seen in the past? That being said, congratulations to the Hawks... they fully deserved this victory!
The Canadiens' game against the Penguins was the surprise of the night for me. As a general analyst and NHL fan, I knew Carey Price could win a few games on his own. The question was whether he was actually going to do it and we got the answer yesterday! I was expecting a Penguins win at the start of this series because they were counting on a healthy, rested team and on paper, they are much more dominant than the Canadians. So led by their two promising young players in the first period, they took the lead and Carey Price held the fort with 39 saves on quality shots to allow his team to win this first game. Good one for Habs fans!
In the last game of the day, the Flames easily defeated the Jets. In fact, the Jets just weren't in it, shooting only 18 time on goal and not scoring in seven power play. I expect Flames to win this series, but with a lot more competition from the Jets than they showed in that first game. So that's why this match-up was a disappointment to me.
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