Puck77

National Hockey League: Who Will Take Home The Hart Trophy?

The NHL Awards Show is coming up, and the finalists have already been announced. There are favorites and there are snubs, and fans have been vocal about who should win, and who deserves a nomination.

 

The Hart trophy is no different, and there have been varying cases for all three finalists. The Hart Trophy, for those who don’t know, is awarded to the player who is judged to be the most valuable to his team. Here are the finalists, and why they should, or could, win.

 

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

Why He Should Win: Kucherov finished the season with 128 points, which, for this era, is unbelievable. He showed dominance in the league that had not been seen since the Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux era in Pittsburgh. He has already claimed the Art Ross trophy for most points in the entire league. A guy so dominant deserves this trophy certainly, but are point totals really enough?

Why He Should Not Win: Kucherov has every reason to win, but let’s look at what awards the players this trophy. “The player judged to be the most valuable to his team.” His own team. This is not league MVP, which Kucherov would claim, hands down.

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Was Kucherov really that vital to his teams performance? Well, yes, but if you take him out, the Lightning will still be a playoff team. They have Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. He’s also not a captain, nor an assistant captain, so you can’t turn to leadership qualities for help. Yes, he led his team in points by a wide margin, and yes, he had a historical season in every sense. But no, Tampa would not blow up if he were not there.

 

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Why He Should Win: Sidney Crosby is the Pittsburgh Penguins. While Phil Kessel was swirling in trade rumors and Evgeni Malkin struggled, Sidney Crosby remained Sidney Crosby. He led the Penguins in points with 100, 18 more than second place Kessel. He led the team in assists with 65, 10 more than second place Kessel. He finished second on the team in goals with 35, behind linemate Jake Guentzel (40) and ahead of third place Kessel (27). He was tied with Kessel for power play goals (12) and had the most time on ice among forwards, averaging 20:59. He is the heart and soul of the Penguins, and their captain.

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Why He Shouldn’t Win: The Penguins had a down year in terms of where they finished as a team, as well as some individually underwhelming production. Crosby did not, as he held strong to his name. However, he’s just like Kucherov in a sense that the Penguins may not be awful if he were to leave them. Crosby is a huge figure in the locker room, but the Penguins still have so much star power with Malkin, Guentzel, Kris Letang, Kessel, Justin Schultz, and Matt Murray. They would still be a far different team, but I still believe they’re good enough to make the playoffs.

 

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Why He Should Win: As the captain of the Oilers, he went on to do McDavid things. He finished second in the league in points with 116, just 12 points behind the otherworldly production of Kucherov. He finished with 41 goals, which is tied with Kucherov for sixth in the league. He also notched 75 assists, second to only Kucherov (87) around the entire league. Edmonton is not a good team, and if you take McDavid off the roster, they’d be worse than the Ottawa Senators. What McDavid does for this team, no one can top it.

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Why He Shouldn’t Win It: While Kucherov was able to lead the Lightning towards a President’s Trophy, and Crosby was able to snag a playoff spot with the Penguins, McDavid was left golfing. He wasn’t good enough to get his team to the playoffs, despite being one of the best players in the league.

 

Deeper Dive

One way to decide whether or not a player was more lucky than successful is by looking at a stat that ultimately quantifies a players luck.

Higher than a 100 PDO means that person was lucky, and likely won’t repeat their season at that clip. Under 100 PDO is unlucky, and likely means that player could have done better. 100 PDO is average, not lucky or unlucky.

Kucherov finished the season with a 102.7, Crosby finished with a 101.9, and McDavid finished with a 100.7. That being said, Kucherov’s historic season was spectacular, but required a lot of luck, and he likely will never reach that total again in his career.

Crosby did not have as spectacular of a year, posting the lowest goal, assist, and point totals among the finalists, but still required some luck to reach triple digits, and if the Penguins struggles continue into next season, Crosby may not reach the 100-point plateau.

Meanwhile, McDavid was just a little over average, not requiring much luck to reach an incredible 116 points, and has a good chance of consistently hitting those marks despite being on a relatively weak roster.

 

In Conclusion

McDavid deserves this trophy through and through, because he produced at a very high rate, and didn’t need a lot of bounces to go his way to reach his mark, showing that he can consistently reach that same production season by season. He’s also the only guy you can look at and say “Without him, his team would really struggle.” He’s also the captain, and the captain of any team is extremely important as is. So while he didn’t produce like Kucherov did, he has the “C” on his sweater, and not as much luck on the ice.

 

Stats via NHL.com

PDO via Hockey-reference

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikos Michals

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Player Evaluation Part 5: Ryan McDonagh

Part 5 of my Tampa Bay Lightning player evaluations is here, and yet again, I will focus on the blue line. Last time, I touched on Victor Hedman, but this time, it’ll be Ryan McDonagh, who had an incredible season, at least from my memory. Will statistics back him up?

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The Basics

Ryan McDonagh played all 82 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, registering 9 goals (0.11 goals per game) and 37 assists (0.45 assists per game) for a total of 46 points (0.56 points per game). He averaged 22:05 time on ice, starting just 46.2 % of his shifts in the offensive zone. His corsi-for% was a bit low, at 49.5%, but that can be attributed to the fact that a majority of his shifts are in the defensive zone. His takeaway to giveaway ratio was 46 to 66, which is a -20 differential, which is worse than what Hedman put up (-18). McDonagh garnered a 103.9 PDO, which means he had quite a bit of luck this season. He was on the ice for 75.5 expected goals for and 65.8 expected goals against, which is a +9.7 differential, which is better than Victor Hedman (+4).

Advanced Analytics

Ryan McDonagh has never been offensively minded, always focusing more on his transitional game. To put that into perspective, he hit a career high in assists and points this season. So, I am predicting his offensive stats will be a bit lackluster. His solid expected goals for and expected goals against differentials paints me a picture of solid defensive numbers, and maybe even good breakout numbers. But his poor giveaway to takeaway ratio makes me believe his entry game may take a hit. Will the visuals back that up? Let’s look at his advanced statistics compared to that of Hedman on a spider graph.

The basic stats back up most of the graph, where McDonagh’s offense appears lackluster. His transition game is excellent, slightly behind Hedman when entering the zone and ahead when breaking out of the defensive zone. What stands out, however, is his defensive game. He does register more breakups per 60 minutes (breakups60), but he allows a lot of entries, more than Hedman. McDonagh’s transition game was stellar, so let’s look first at McDonagh’s breakout performance using CJ Turtoro’s Exits per 60 minutes visual.

McDonagh ranked 4th on the team in exiting the defensive zone, one spot ahead of Hedman. McDonagh excels at what all defenseman should be trying to excel at, and that’s connect on breakout passes to get it out of the zone. He doesn’t often carry it out himself, and tends to dump or clear it high off the glass and out when he doesn’t have another option. He ices the puck a little too much, likely on errant passes, but like Hedman, it isn’t too much of an issue. He does fail quite often, but like Hedman, he’s the defenseman on his pair that is relied on to generate those breakouts, so failures are expected. How about his work entering the offensive zone? Using CJ Turtoro’s Entry per 60 minutes visual, we can find out how well he gets the puck into the offensive zone.

Like Hedman, and most other defenseman, he’s usually not the one entering the offensive zone. You generally want your defenseman to just dump the puck in deep so he doesn’t overcommit offensively, which McDonagh does. He carries it in himself or passes to a teammate when it’s open, but he has a small workload in that facet of the game. The big thing is he doesn’t fail much. He takes his small workload, in terms of entering the attacking zone, and makes the most of it. Where he stood out over Hedman is his defensive zone coverage and using Sean Tierney’s controlling the blueline visual, we can see where McDonagh stands in the defensive end.

McDonagh is the best defenseman when it comes to holding his own in the d-zone. He has a very good possession exit % (Y-axis) and has a good amount of breakups. This tells me that he plays a more aggressive game, stepping up and keeping his gap close to the opposition, forcing them to make plays, which allows him to have more breakups. He does a nice job getting the puck out often, meaning he cleans up after the breakups that he has. Whereas Hedman seemingly forces the opposition wide, allowing them in but taking away space, and then getting the puck out, McDonagh closes the gap, knocks down a pass or steals the puck, and then moves the puck up ice. Either way, both have been effective in the defensive zone.

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In Conclusion

Ryan McDonagh is an aggressive blueliner, in a way that he gives the opposition little room to work with offensively. He’s one of the better transitional defenseman as well, doing a clean and consistent job moving north and south. He isn’t as offensively gifted as Hedman is, and has never really been much of a point producer in the past, but he still generally puts up good numbers. With his transition game, tight defensive play, and reliable offensive work, it’s no wonder people think McDonagh is the second best player on the Lightning roster. Next up, we will go back to the offensive side of things with Anthony Cirelli!

All Stats via hockey-reference. The Spider Charts used Data from CJ Turtoro, created by Kyle Pereira. Entry/Exit Charts via CJ Turtoro. Defensive zone chart via Sean Tierney

Feature image courtesy of Nikos Michals

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Player Evaluation Part 4: Victor Hedman

For part 4 of my Tampa Bay Lightning individual player evaluations, we move to the backend to examine the Norris-winning defender Victor Hedman. 

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The Basics

Victor Hedman played just 70 games last season for the Lightning, recording 12 goals (0.17 goals per game) and 42 assists (0.6 assists per game) for a total of 54 points (0.77 points per game). Hedman averaged 22:46 time on ice, and had a 51.9 Corsi-For%. He started 51.9% of his shifts in the offensive zone last season. He held a takeaway to giveaway ratio of 32 to 50, which is a -18 differential. Hedman also notched a PDO of 1.026, which means he was getting quite a few good bounces his way. When he was on the ice, Tampa Bay had an expected goals for of 57.3 and an expected goals against of 53.3, which is a +4 differential.

Advanced Analytics

Looking at the basic stats, Hedman didn’t really have a stellar year. Granted, point totals isn’t exactly what you look for in a blue-liner, his totals are a bit down compared to recent years, specifically the last two seasons. He wasn’t smart with the puck, with more giveaways than takeaways, and not exactly the best when you look at expected goals and expected goals against. Here’s my spider web based on Hedman’s performance last season.

 

Offensively, Hedman was golden, looking great in terms of his shooting, as seen above. He also looked good when getting the puck into the offensive zone, and breaking out of the defensive zone. But where he really seemingly struggled last season, was in the defensive end, breaking up the oppositions entry attempts. First, let’s take a deeper dive into his breakout tendencies using CJ Turtoro’s Exits per 60 minutes visual.

Hedman was the 5th ranked player on the Lightning when it came to breaking out. For a defenseman, it’s better to see a higher rate of exit passes, which is exactly what you get with Hedman. He very rarely attempts carrying it out himself. If the passing option is not there, he tends to just clear or dump the puck out and force the opposition to regroup in the neutral zone. He did ice the puck a few times, but not often enough to be a problem. But what is extremely concerning is the fails per 60 minutes (fails/60) section of the graph. He fails to get it out a LOT, almost as much as he successfully passes the puck up and out for a teammate. That is not a good sign at all. But is Hedman’s ability to enter the offensive zone better? Let’s find out using CJ Turtoro’s Entries per 60 minutes visual.

The rankings were a bit messed up, but Hedman ranks 15th on the team when it comes to entering the offensive zone. For me, I don’t expect defenseman to lead the rush at all, and it’s evident on this visual, as the majority of the players ranked around Hedman are all defenseman. Regardless, let’s break it down. Ultimately, I want my defenseman to be able to pass it ahead to enter the zone or to gain the red line (aka center ice) and dump it in deep. In Hedman’s case, he never really makes an entry pass, and carries it in himself. However, he mostly just dumps it in, but he never really finds himself in an entry situation, so I don’t worry much at all. So long as he doesn’t make mistakes (which he doesn’t), I’m fine with what he has here. So, how about his defensive abilities? Is he really as bad as the initial visual portrays at breaking up opponents on the rush? Let’s look at Sean Tierney’s “controlling the blueline” visual.

Upon looking at this visual, Hedman does a good job of generating breakouts (Y-axis represents possession exit %). However, he does not breakup the oppositions entries. Basically, the opposition either constantly dumps it in, or Hedman simply backs in and takes away shooting lanes with his big frame, and forces players to the outside. Again, he does not break up plays on the rush, but he still does a nice job getting the puck up and out of the zone, which is still good.

In Conclusion

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The Lightning’s number one defenseman continued his dominance in the offensive zone, following up a Norris Trophy win the the year prior. Despite putting up less points, Hedman still had a very strong and consistent season. He is good at moving the puck up ice, despite all the fails/turnovers that he faced. A lot goes into defending the rush, and if an opponent is constantly dumping it in when you’re on the ice, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to break it up. But the fact that he still has a great Possession Exit% in that last visual tells me that, despite the low breakup numbers, he is still a reliable two-way guy. Next player evaluation will be on Ryan McDonagh!

All Stats via hockey-reference, The Spider Charts used Data from CJ Turtoro, created by Kyle Pereira, Entry/Exit Charts via CJ Turtoro, Defensive zone chart via Sean Tierney.

Feature Image courtesy of Nikos Michals

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning: Potential Line-Up Additions

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a long and, quite simply, brutal off-season ahead of them. Who will be gone, and who will be brought in?

 

Emotionally, Tampa Bay Lightning fans have gone into phases of disappointment, finger-pointing and finally, disbelief after a 62-win regular season and zero post-season victories. Then add to that on the surface of the whole off-season, the expected cap crunch. It’s obviously a very stressful time of the year for the Lightning faithful. 

 

What’s The Plan?

I have already written a piece on each phase of the offseason. I started by covering potential draft options for the Lightning, the re-sign phase, and trades/signings during the free agent period. I also did a piece on Lightning head coach Jon Cooper.

But for this article, I decided to change it up. I went to several different people and asked them what players would make sense for the Lightning to trade for or sign during the free agent period. Keep in mind, I’m not mocking any trades, looking at salary caps, or saying these things should happen. These are simple suggestions that could be very intriguing coming from not just me, but several hockey fans, as well as a few other writers on the Puck77 site.

 

Justin Williams, Carolina Hurricanes

The Lightning may be looking for a change of leadership after the embarrassment of a first-round exit. This does NOT mean that the person who suggested this wants Lightning forward Steven Stamkos out by any means, but Williams is a veteran leader and a captain of a team who has more postseason wins in the second round then the Lightning had this entire postseason.

Although he is 37-years-old, Williams is coming off a 53-point season with a young Carolina Hurricanes team, and he currently sits at five points in 10 post-season games. A clutch playoff performer and incredible locker room leader, Williams would be a great addition, although extremely unlikely.

 

Ryan Reaves, Vegas Golden Knights

The biggest element to playoff hockey is its intensity. It’s easy to say physicality in the playoffs may be one of the most compelling elements to success, as the Lightning were dominated in the physical aspect of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. When a guy like “Muffin Man” Ryan Reaves is on the ice, I don’t think many people can out-hit you.

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Although not much of a producer (he’s never had a season with over 20 points), Reaves adds something to a teams game that is often overlooked. He is praised as a great teammate and locker room presence, and is a cheap addition to the bottom-six.  Something that could definitely happen, especially if Adam Erne does not re-sign with Tampa this off-season.

 

Brian Boyle, Nashville Predators

I’m not kidding you when I say Brian Boyle was the most suggested add for the Lightning when I asked around. It makes sense too, as Boyle may not be too expensive and has offensive upside, especially if paired with guys like J.T. Miller and Mathieu Joseph. 

A member of the Lightning previously (2014-17), he knows Cooper’s system and he has played with some of the guys on the team in the past, like Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson. With his prior stint on the Lightning, his offensive upside and his physical presence, this is a move that is certainly realistic and something the Lightning should pursue.

 

Connor Brown, Toronto Maple Leafs

This is another suggestion that intrigues me. Connor Brown is young (25) and often underused by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not to mention, the salary situation that the Leafs are in could make Brown expendable.

He has decent offensive upside for a bottom-nine role (three consecutive seasons with 27+ points, including a 20-goal, 36-point campaign in 2016-17). He’s also a physical presence on the ice, and has far more takeaways (120) than giveaways (68) in his career. He would be another great fit for the Lightning, and realistic based on Toronto’s situation. Again, highly unlikely, but still something to keep an eye on.

 

Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets

The first defenseman that was suggested, Jacob Trouba is a solid blueliner, and has been for a few years with the Winnipeg Jets. He is slated to be a free agent after recording 50 points this past season. As a defenseman that’s super impressive.

Add him to the list of Lightning defenders Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev and Ryan McDonagh as high-end offensive blueliners for the Lightning, and you have one incredible d-core. Add in Erik Cernak as a solid transitional and defensively responsible blueliner, and one of Braydon Coburn, Jan Rutta and Dan Girardi as a stay-at-home type, and you have yourself arguably the deepest and most talented defense in the entire NHL.

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This is just a pipe dream however, as the cap situation may be too much to work around, and Trouba could be looking for top-two money and minutes if he leaves the Jets. Something he most likely won’t get with Tampa.

 

Jordie Benn, Montreal Canadians

Jordie Benn has been a solid bottom-pair defenseman basically his entire career, and would be a great fit in the Lightning organization. If Tampa lets Coburn and Girardi walk away this offseason, Benn would be a nice addition.

He blocks a ton of shots (128 this season), and plays a physical brand of hockey. He does give the puck up often, which was the downfall for Tampa this season, but again, his physicality and blocking is important and deserves a look.

 

Patrick Nemeth, Dallas Stars

Not as offensive as Benn (10 points to Benn’s 20 this season), Patrik Nemeth does block more shots (131 blocks) and has more hits. He also turns the puck over less, although Benn does have more takeaways. What this tells me is Nemeth is purely a stay-at-home, shot blocking, physically inclined defenseman, who tries to play it safe with the puck rather than drive the offense. If he’s paired with either Hedman or Sergachev, he could be a solid addition. Again, however, it’s not very likely, but something to look for.

 

Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks

Erik Karlsson was considered the best of the best on the blue line in the National Hockey League and is still considered a premier defenseman. However, an injury ravaged season, as well as a new system and new players to learn to play with and gain chemistry with, caused the elite Swedish blueliner to take a step back.

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This opens the eyes of several NHL franchises as he could take a cheaper deal than what he would have had he been available last off-season. This is still a longshot for the Lightning to reel in, as they have their own agenda and free agents (Brayden Point) to deal with, making this a very difficult signing. 

 

Matt Duchene, Columbus Blue Jackets

Matt Duchene has been tearing it apart the playoffs. He ripped up the Lightning in round one, and continued his strong play into round two against the Boston Bruins. He is also a leader on and off the ice, and if he does come to Tampa Bay, he could take them to that next step in the playoffs, as he appears to be clutch in the big moments.

Again, a long shot, but it would be an incredible acquisition if they traded a few players on semi-hefty deals (Killorn, Johnson, Palat) and bought out one big contract (Ryan Callahan) to free up space for both Duchene and upcoming restricted free agent Point. I don’t expect it to happen at all, but what a piece to bring in.

 

Ryan Dzingal, Columbus Blue Jackets

Now this is something that could happen.

Dzingel has taken steps to become a picture-perfect middle-six forward, and he may not cost much more than $4.5M on a contract. If they move Palat, Johnson or Killorn and buyout Callahan, they could re-sign Point and bring in Dzingel. He could play a role similar to that of Miller, fluctuating between the first, second, and third lines, and be able to produce in all of those spots. Could strengthen an already solid power play unit.

 

Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs

This is realistic in a sense that he will likely be available. He is also a leader on and off the ice, and defense is a growing need in Tampa with the likes of Anton Stralman, Girardi and Coburn likely out-of-town come the summer.

But the Lightning already have a punishing top-four defense, with Hedman, McDonagh, Sergachev and Cernak there. Adding Gardiner isn’t necessary, but it would add incredible depth for the Bolts on the backend. It is highly unlikely, however.

 

Warren Foegele, Carolina Hurricanes

This was an interesting suggestion. The recently turned 23-year-old Foegele is coming of his first season of NHL play. In 77 games, he only racked up 15 points (10 goals, five assists), but his possession statistics is where he really showed his value.

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He had a 53.8 Corsi For %, which is outstanding, and a positive takeaway to giveaway ratio of 37-31. But he has been incredible in the playoffs, with 8 points in 10 games and helping pave the way for the Hurricanes success. He’s also racked up 21 hits in the postseason, showing he can play physical if need be.

He’s a bottom-six forward, with middle-to-top-six potential. Because of his potential and his current status as a bottom-six guy, he may not be too expensive either. With big contracts on the horizon, the Hurricanes wouldn’t be dumb enough to take a contract like Killorn’s one for one, so it’d have to be more appealing in some way. Maybe salary retainment or additional picks can do the trick, but who knows if the Hurricanes would send him packing, especially with how well he’s done in the postseason. So that makes a move to Tampa very unlikely for Foegele. But this is something I would love to happen, given his early career postseason success.

 

All stats via hockey-reference

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikos Michals

Columbus Blue Jackets Send The Tampa Bay Lightning Into The History Books

After Game 4, Columbus Blue Jackets have swept the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Presidents Trophy was first introduced following the 1985-86 season. Since its inception, no team has won the award and been swept in the opening round. That all changed on Tuesday night. The Columbus Blue Jackets earned their first series victory in team history.

Game Summary

1st Period

The Blue Jackets got off to a very fast start thanks to an early slashing penalty by Ryan McDonagh. They got the opening tally on a goal by Alexandre Texier from Seth Jones and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Nationwide Arena was rocking and the momentum sprung the Jackets to another goal just 1:22 later. This came off the stick of Dubois from Oliver Bjorkstrand and Adam Clendening.

Tampa showed signs of life and was able to cut the lead to 1 with a goal at 8:44 by Steven Stamkos from Nikita Kucherov and Anthony Cirelli.

Columbus looked to make it 3-1 on a goal by Cam Atkinson, but after a Tampa challenge for offside the score remained 2-1 through 20 minutes. The Lightning carried the momentum into the break.

2nd Period

In the period of the “long change,” it is imperative to be clean on and off the bench. This was magnified when Tampa made a slow change that led to a goal by Seth Jones from Atkinson and Matt Duchene.

When the Lightning were able to get their cycle going, Columbus showed flaw. This was noticeable when Braydon Coburn unloaded a shot from the blue line that was deflected in front by Cedric Paquette. Jan Ruuta got the secondary assist, and we had a one-goal game once again. Tampa continued to press and got the eventual tying goal from Brayden Point from Stamkos and Kucherov. The team was showing flashes of what led them to a record tying 62 regular season wins. That momentum was short-lived, as a delayed penalty led to a goal by Bjorkstrand from Scott Harrington and Dubois.

The Columbus Blue Jackets were able to re-establish the one-goal lead heading into the 2nd intermission.

3rd Period

After the Lightning pressed and pressed, Sergei Bobrovsky stood tall to the task. He made 13 saves in the 3rd period, and not a single one looked routine. Jon Cooper took an aggressive approach and pulled Andrei Vasilevskiy with over two minutes remaining and the Bolts down by one. The risk was not worth the reward as Artemi Panarin put home the first empty netter to make it a 5-3 lead. Texier netted the 2nd empty netter from Zach Werenski and Nick Foligno. The exclamation point was added when Duchene potted the third empty net goal from David Savard and Harrington.

My Team Hero

Nationwide Arena

There is so many players that you could put in this section, but the biggest stars of the night was the crowd at Nationwide Arena. When I was watching the final ten minutes of the 3rd period, there was not a single person using the seat that they paid so much money to procure. This is a fan base that has waited so long to enjoy the moment, and after 19 years of trying, they finally get to taste a playoff victory.

My Team Villain

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Ryan McDonagh

Beyond taking the early penalty and giving all the momentum to Columbus in the opening minute of the game, McDonagh was abysmal all night. He led the Lightning with more than 24 minutes of ice time and finished with -4. Of course, he was on the ice for the empty net goals, so that is a misleading stat. He did, however, miss Dubois on the back-door cut that led to the second goal of the game. He also had a team high 5 giveaways. All in all, quite a night to forget for McDonagh.

Three Stars of the Game

  1. Alexandre Texier– 2G
  2. Pierre-Luc Dubois– 1G, 2A
  3. Sergei Bobrovsky– 30-33 SVS. 13SVS in the 3rd period.

What’s Next

Tampa will regroup and try to figure out what went wrong after a historic regular season.

Columbus will begin preparations for the winner of the Toronto and Boston series. They were 1-1-1 against the Bruins and 1-2-0 against the Maple Leafs.

stats from hockey-reference.com, NHL.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals