After the Montreal Canadiens swept away the Winnipeg Jets, one has to wonder how the Edmonton Oilers are doing. The Jets swept the Oilers in the First Round, then lost in four to the Habs immediately after.
Winnipeg had a rough end of the season to limp into the postseason and get the third seed, but it seemed their previous woes were behind them following their Oilers sweep. Nope, maybe just the Oilers are bad.
Anyways, goodbye Winnipeg.
The vibe: Deja vu
Energy check: The New York Saints NLL team from the 1990s
Hearing Islanders head coach Barry Trotz talk about how the Islanders were the least penalized team in the league in the regular season had more than a few shades of Craig Berube in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins handled that poorly and lost in seven games. They want to just get to a seventh game after dropping two in a row, including Game 5 at home. Now it’s do or die.
New York Islanders
The vibe: Nassau Coliseum in a clinching game
Energy check: Just accuse guys of cheating it’s fine
Once again the Islanders are finding success without really doing a ton on their own. They’ve played well for sure, but it’s helped that Tuukka Rask has some sort of an issue and the Bruins defensemen who aren’t walking wounded are really good at having the puck deflect off of them at inopportune times.
The vibe: More like a storm warning
Energy check: Blown Away by Carrie Underwood
For the first time this season, the Hurricanes are facing elimination. As noted in previous editions of this column, Carolina has done well when up against adversity. The Lightning aren’t the Predators, though, or any other NHL team for that matter. Unless the vibes get right real fast, winning three in a row against this Lightning squad doesn’t sound like an easy time.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The vibe: Tom Brady
Energy check: Laughing at people complaining about the salary cap
Ah, so, the Lightning are still the Lightning. Taking down the Panthers is one thing, but potentially taking down a Stanley Cup favorite in five games? That’s impressive, and starting to become scary.
Vegas Golden Knights
The vibe: The knight on the ice in the pregame show
Energy check: That time everyone said they have an Imagine Dragons curse from 2018
How about Jonathan Marchessault? These Golden Knights have a plethora of playoff experience, and in the past few games we’ve started to see some of that. They’ve been unwavering in confidence and have backed it up. Facing what would have surely been their playoff exit if they had lost Game 3, they scored twice in 45 seconds to win, and then went on to tie the series.
The vibe: The Minnesota Whitecaps losing the Isobel Cup
Energy check: Never good when the coach starts calling out effort
Head coach Jared Bednar had a lot to say about the Avalanche top players not playing at their best after they lost one (1) playoff game. Since then, they have lost one more. The Avalanche had won six games in a row to open their postseason and are now playing a team that almost won the Presidents’ Trophy. I promise we are all allowed to calm down a tad.
The vibe: As satisfying as the adult swim TikTok trend
Energy check: Onto the Stanley Cup Semifinals!
Just like we all predicted, the Canadiens are one of the last four teams in the NHL standing. Montreal deserves a ton of credit for how well they have done in these playoffs, but the main take away has to be how bad the North Division is. Like, we knew that, but now seeing that illustrated in this last series has been really telling.
The vibe: When you just land at the Winnipeg airport and want to go lay down but can’t leave all that easily because they don’t have any ride share apps and now taxis are around.
Energy check: Atlanta Thrashers
Once again, what do we make of the Oilers? They looked pretty bad against the Jets, and then the Jets looked arguably worse against the Canadiens. Losing Mark Scheifele due to his suspension definitely made it rough, but dang if that series didn’t feel over after Game 1. Just awful vibes for the Jets.