If you’re excited about the ongoing NHL playoffs as we move closer to each conference finals matchup and you want to know what likely lies ahead for each team still standing in the playoffs, then let’s get started with this look at what’s gone down so far and what the postseason future holds for each title hopeful so you can set down your bets against their NHL Playoffs odds.
2020 NHL Highlights of the Playoffs – What to Expect From Each NHL Playoff Series
Can the once, red-hot and top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers dig out of their 3-1 deficit against the suddenly dangerous New York Islanders after suffering consecutive defeats on Saturday and Sunday? Are the Boston Bruins effectively done after suffering three straight losses against prohibitive favorite Tampa Bay?
Out West, are the streaking Vegas Golden Knights the pick to come out of the conference after going up 3-1 on the Vancouver Canucks? Last, but not least, can No. 2 Colorado overcome their own 3-1 deficit against a Dallas Stars team that has scored an identical five goals in each of their three victories?
No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 7 New York Islanders
There’s no other way to say it. Philadelphia might be the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but the Flyers are in huge trouble against the seventh-seed Islanders, who look like anything but a seven seed. New York recorded an emphatic 4-0 win in Game 1, before narrowly falling 4-3 in overtime in Game 2. The Isles got the two-goal win in their 3-1 game 3 win on Saturday and took complete control of their second round matchup by recording a hard-fought 3-2 win on Sunday. Maybe it’s me, but there’s no way I would have sat starting goalie Carter Hart in Game 4, but Philly head coach Alain Vigneault did and now the Flyers are almost finished. The Islanders swept the regular season series and have won six of seven meetings this season alone while putting three goals or more on the board in every meeting. Philly’s potent offense is fizzling right now while getting outscored 6-3 over the weekend. Yeah…New York advance, if not in Game 5, then definitely in Game 6.
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins
Boston scratched out a hard-fought 3-2 win in Game 1, but since then, it’s been all Tampa Bay with the Lightning winning three straight to take a commanding series lead. First, Tampa Bay picked up a confidence-boosting 4-3 overtime win in Game 2. The Lightning backed that up with an emphatic 7-1 rout on Wednesday and took a 3-1 lead by getting a 3-1 win on Saturday. Boston has been limited to an identical one goal in each of the last two games after scoring an identical three goals in Games 1 and 2 dating back to the regular season. Tampa Bay has won five of six while taking eight of the last 10 meetings overall dating back to last season. The Lightning have gone a blistering 14-3 in the last 17 meetings and will end this second round series against a Bruins team that looks completely defeated in Game 5.
No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 7 Vancouver Canucks
Top-seeded Vegas is up on seventh place Vancouver 3-1 in their second round series and they’ve gotten there in pretty emphatic fashion. The red-hot Golden Knights jumped all over the Canucks to win the series opener 5-0. After giving up five goals in their 5-2 Game 2 loss on Tuesday, Vegas picked up a 3-0 shutout win on Saturday and took a commanding series lead by backing that up with a 5-3 win on Sunday. In nine playoff games, the Golden Knights have scored at least four goals five times, while putting five goals on the board twice. Defensively, Vegas has given up one goal twice while pitching two shutouts. The Golden Knights are a dominating 11-3 in the last 14 meetings and will finish off the Canucks in one of the next two games, though my bet is on this one finishing in Game 6.
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars
Colorado might be the higher seed in their second round series against Dallas, but they sure haven’t looked like it and now sit on the brink of elimination as they enter Monday night’s game 5 matchup down 3-1 against the streaking Stars. The Avs got smacked around in their series-opening, 5-3, Game 1 loss and ensuing 5-2 Game 2 loss. Colorado was fantastic offensively in picking up a much-needed 6-4 win in Game 3, but they gave up five more goals in their 5-4 Game 4 loss on Sunday. The Stars have won six of their last seven playoff games dating back to Game 4 of their first round series against Calgary and have the look of a legitimate Stanley Cup challenger right now. Dallas is 7-2 in the last nine meetings, but I think Colorado is good for one more win – out of sheer desperation, if nothing else. Still, the Stars will finish off the Avalanche in Game 6 of this second round series to advance to the Western Conference finals.