Race to the Cup


Photo credit: https://snl.no/National_Hockey_League_-_NHL

Liam Wood, Contributor

If you watch or know anything about playoff hockey, you know it is one of the most exciting times of the year as a hockey fan. With players laying it out on the line night in and night out every game being crucial, it makes for an exciting time to be a fan. 

The playoffs are underway as 16 hopeful teams are battling it out to hoist the Stanley cup, each series being best of seven (first to win four games). There are a lot of storylines to look out for in this year’s playoffs. Can the highly-talented Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner finally lead Toronto to a playoff series win, or will the veteran team, Tampa, take down the young guns? Tampa won back-to-back Stanley Cups in the past two years, but has their time diminished? Or do the Colorado Avalanch or Florida Panthers, winners of their respected conferences, have what it takes to meet up in the finals? 

Some of the league’s top players will be showcasing their talents in the playoffs this year, such as Auston Matthews who put up 60 goals and 46 assists and led the league in goals. Connor McDavid, who led the league in points, put up 44 goals and 79 assists. Many speculate that McDavid is the best the NHL has to offer as far as skill-wise.

Another big household name for the NHL is Jonathan Huberdeau who put up 115 points in the regular season tying for second in the league, and he also scored 35 goals and had 85 assists.  Igor Shesterkin for the New York Rangers is a candidate for the league’s MVP who stood tall in between the pipes during the regular season only averaging 2.07 goals, leading the league in that statistic. 

As the playoffs continue, you can look for teams like the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs to represent the east in this year’s Stanley Cup, and in the west look for teams such as the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wilds.