They still clung to a wild-card spot -- buoyed by a hot start -- but it would have been a fight until the end. If the Islanders want to advance past the Flyers, then their best player, Mat Barzal, will need to be their best player. That is a wild card, but that's a pretty good wild card. Maybe this loaded team will benefit from a little early turmoil? The Caps have seen their Stanley Cup odds drop from +1000 to +1500 in the new format, while the Flyers were one of the biggest risers on the board during the layoff, seeing their odds jump from +1600 to +800, tied for the fourth-best overall. If the line is 5.5 and you wish to wager on the over then the total combined goals for the game must be 6 or more for you to cash your ticket. Since the Blue Jackets were one of the teams on the outside looking in, they're grateful for an invite to keep playing, though they were confident in their ability to sneak back in the wild-card race. Simulate the outcome of the upcoming 2020 NHL & NBA playoffs. 1 at times this season as Columbus ranked third in the league in allowing just 2.61 goals per game. Plus, it's anyone's guess how this veteran lineup reacts to the layoff and the compressed postseason. The Blues eventually broke through. In five games against the Capitals, he had two goals and two assists and an Expected Goals For Percentage (xGF%) of 53.41 at 5v5 (per Natural Stat Trick), which put him below the likes of J.G. MORE: 5. Record at the pause: 30-8-72 (.514). Players coming back from injury: Patrick is an unknown for now. 1 Seed: Vegas Golden Knights. Plus, the desire to avenge last year’s conference finals sweep by Boston. But by qualifying for the round-robin, the Stars can earn the top seed in the conference with three wins, leaping more than a dozen points in the standings. The Jets had only a 43.6% chance of making the postseason per Money Puck, despite being squarely on the wild-card bubble. We're also excited to watch 21-year-old Carter Hart in his first postseason action. And will GM Jim Benning's veteran additions with playoff experience -- such as J.T. Were they hurt by the return-to-play seeding (scale of 1 to 10)? 1. Biggest question: Can Ilya Kovalchuk be an X factor? Who they're playing next: In the round-robin against the Blues (2-2-0), Golden Knights (2-0-0) and Stars (0-2-2). 11 New York Rangers (+120), No. The Jets won their only meeting with the Flames. The Caps should feel just fine with this situation. Brandon Dubinsky isn't expected back as he still manages a lingering wrist injury, while Josh Anderson will be sidelined until at least September; Anderson underwent shoulder surgery in March. The ‘grand salami’ is available to wager, where you bet on all teams at once – whether they all combine to score ‘over’ or ‘under’ a certain amount of goals. You can wager on each period line and watch the action happen live. Michaels takes 50 percent off Christmas trees for holiday sale, The best Wi-Fi extenders for boosting your internet connection range, Best Buy's 27 biggest early Black Friday deals of 2020, Thanksgiving meal kits and delivery services for an easy holiday feast, Master Microsoft Excel with this 90-hour training that’s on sale for just $70, Robert F. Smith's yearlong, $59 million Chelsea penthouse build nears finish line, Dog walks 62 miles for 2 weeks to get back home. NHL player props are a fun bet to make on NHL games. 7 New York Islanders (-120) vs. No. Minnesota was 2-1-0 against Vancouver this season. 9 Columbus Blue Jackets (+140), No. The return-to-play format drafts them into the postseason and into a series against an erratic Flames team. Can Boston avenge last year's Game 7 loss? T&C's Apply. Remaining teams – New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets They’re not technically the playoffs, but they’re not the regular season either. Boston typically views its veteran experience as an advantage, but after a long layoff, could it prevent this team from starting off strong? 4. They've helped create the most effective power play (29.5% conversion rate) in the NHL since 1979. Who they're playing next: The Panthers play the New York Islanders, who won the season series 3-0. What will coach David Quinn do? According to Natural Stat Trick, no goalie at 5-on-5 faced more shots per 60 minutes than Shesterkin, and his .931 save percentage in that situation ranked ninth. Considered a defensive-minded team under Trotz, the Islanders dominated the Capitals on the scoreboard in the first round, scoring 3.40 goals per game while also maintaining what they do best — keeping the puck out of their own net (1.67 goals against per game). Jump to a team: But for Elias Pettersson (21), Brock Boeser (22), Jake Virtanen (23) and especially Calder Trophy contender Quinn Hughes (20), this is their first taste of the postseason. What the Hurricanes can do this postseason could really shine a light on how much more love Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho really deserve. Vegas pulled off one of the most stunning moves of the trade deadline, acquiring goalie Robin Lehner from the Blackhawks. On the flip side, Vancouver has allowed 215 SCA, which could hurt it against the highly skilled team from Nevada. But not all went according to plan, and Florida was in danger of missing the playoffs yet again. 4. 3. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Marchand seemed to suggest that in April, when he said at a virtual town hall with season-ticket holders, "Older teams are really going to struggle." Biggest question: Is there still some bark left in this old underdog? Here’s a look at the matchups: Eastern Conference Philadelphia Flyers (1) over ... NHL playoff predictions… The Avalanche's power play is clicking, to say the least. I see the Avalanche giving them all they can handle in an epic seven-game series, but the Golden Knights will advance to their second Cup Final in three years. Players coming back from injury: Key defensemen Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo were monitoring minor injuries at the time of the pause, but both are expected to be a full go come Aug. 1. Expect an update as camp opens. Top 4 seeds – Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers Plus, Jared Bednar just wins. Barring a major collapse, the Caps were solidly looking at their sixth consecutive playoff berth and 13th in the past 14 seasons. We expect to see both back. The NHL restart and playoffs will be played in two regional hubs, both in Canada to circumvent the travel issues and reduce the risk to players, coaches, and staff. Chris Tanev was injured around their last game before the pause. The 21-year-old has missed the entire season managing a migraine disorder. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Grubauer has some of the most dynamic players in the game in front of him — such as 2020 Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon — and other players who can bury the puck at a moment's notice. Biggest question: Can the offensive uptick continue? The Canucks dismantled the defending champion Blues in impressive... Colorado Avalanche (2) vs. Dallas Stars (3). Yeah, the Lightning have been in this position for the past few seasons and haven't been able to get it done (notably floundering in last season's first round). The Coyotes were outside the postseason and very well might have missed the playoffs if the season had been completed. Record at the pause: 35-26-8 (.565). The Capitals eventually broke through. Players coming back from injury: Defenseman Johnny Boychuk and forward Casey Cizikas both suffered nasty lacerations that kept them out of the lineup at the pause (for Boychuk, it was 90 stitches on the eyelids; Cizikas had a lacerated left leg). The qualifying round was wacky; the first round was just good old playoff hockey with lots of action, including crazy last-second goals and big-time saves, and one of the longest overtime games in NHL history. (He had nine the previous season.) Boston's was only 8.14 in the first round against the Hurricanes. But this is a team with nine players over 30 expected to be in the lineup. The Eastern Conference games will be played at Scotiabank Place in Toronto, and the Western Conference matchups will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton. Players coming back from injury: Bobrovsky missed the final four games before the pause with a lower-body injury; he should be fine come August. Since the Lightning don't have the luxury of time, can they expedite the process to make each trade worth it? Pittsburgh won the season series 2-1. A goaltender’s Goals Against Average (GAA) is a key stat to measure the effectiveness of a goaltender. Now they're not only a postseason team after the big Taylor Hall trade, but a qualification-round loss would give them a 1-in-8 chance at Alexis Lafreniere, because the first-rounder they traded to the Devils for Hall was top-three-protected.

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