No sense burying the lede, let’s go right to yesterday’s scoreboard.
Qualifying Round Scoreboard
Updates through games played Aug. 7, 2020
For anyone who has ever experienced the roller coaster of the opening rounds of March Madness, yesterday’s qualifying round game may have felt familiar. So far in this modified 24-team NHL postseason, five teams outside of the top 16 have advanced including those ranked 22nd, 23rd and 24th.
Islanders 5 – Panthers 1: Islanders win series 3-1. In what was probably the most normal game of the day, Anthony Beauvillier put the Isles up early and from there they basically cruised past the Panthers to clinch their series. Recaps: Lighthouse Hockey, Litter Box Cats
Coyotes 4 – Predators 3 (OT): Coyotes win series 3-1. The Coyotes were 32 seconds away from punching their ticket to the next round when Filip Forsberg scored a clutch goal to send the game to overtime. But it only delayed the inevitable; Brad Richardson scored 5 minutes into overtime to give the Coyotes the win. Recaps: Five For Howling, On The Forecheck
Canadiens 2 – Penguins 0: Canadiens win series 3-1. The number one rule of March Madness bracketology is to always pick at least one 12 seed to upset a 5 seed, but I don’t know many people expected the Habs to take this series. The Penguins finally switched goalies but forgot they also needed to solve Carey Price. Recaps: Eyes On The Prize, Pensburgh
Blackhawks 3 – Oilers 2: Blackhawks win series 3-1. If you didn’t pick the other 5-12 upset, this one would have been just as unlikely. This one was closely contested, Dominik Kubalik scored halfway through the third to seal the win for the Blackhawks. Recaps: Second City Hockey, Copper & Blue
Leafs 4 – Blue Jackets 3 (OT): Series tied 2-2. I have no words to describe this. Apparently John Tortorella didn’t either, clocking in with a 47-second post-game presser. IT WAS 3-0 with 4 minutes remaining in the third and somehow the Leafs reverse-Leafed themselves and lived to see another day. Recaps: Pension Plan Puppets, The Cannon
Canucks 5 - Wild 4 (OT): Canucks win series 3-1. In Friday’s nightcap, former Hurricanes Eric Staal and Brandon Sutter scored in a back-and-forth battle that was deadlocked at the end of regulation, and Christopher Tanev scored his first career postseason goal 11 seconds into overtime to send the Canucks back to the playoffs. Recaps: Nucks Misconduct, Hockey Wilderness
Saturday’s Schedule (all times ET)
- Western Conference Round Robin, Golden Knights (2-0-0) vs. Avalanche (2-0-0) 3 p.m.
- Eastern Conference Round Robin, Flyers (2-0-0) vs. Lightning (2-0-0) 8 p.m.
Sunday’s Schedule (all times ET)
- Eastern Conference Round Robin, Bruins (0-2-0) vs. Capitals (0-1-1) 12 p.m.*
- Western Conference Round Robin, Stars (0-2-0) vs. Blues (0-2-0) 3 p.m.
- Eastern Conference Game 5, Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs 8 p.m.
* The Hurricanes will know their Round 1 opponent mid-afternoon on Sunday. As the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference, they’ll take on the loser (4th seed) of the Bruins/Capitals game.
Yesterday’s News Today
- Edmundson, Gardiner on preparing for the playoffs
- Rod Brind’Amour: ‘ We know we’re getting a grade-A team.’
- CC Podcast: Hurricanes Sweep Rangers, Get Hamilton Back
- The Hurricanes Are Defying Conventional Goaltending Wisdom, Again
Reading, Watching and Listening Assignments
- It took a long time for James Reimer to recover from the Maple Leafs’ 2013 Game 7 collapse in Boston, but he exorcised a few ghosts of playoffs past on Tuesday night. [North State Journal]
- In case you missed reading it in yesterday’s Storm Advisory comments, Flyingonmybroomstick recalled some very insightful highlights of a Czech interview with Petr Mrazek and they’re worth a repeat. [link]
There is a new Czech interview with Petr today. I will just say the main stuff that I think will be the most interesting.
1. Petr said he thought starting the season again and having the teams all in two cities wouldn’t work, but he says he was wrong. He thinks it is working out really well and he’s happy the NHL decided to do this.
2. Petr wanted his sports psychologist to come into the “bubble” with him, but since they are limited to 52 people for each team in the bubble, this was not possible. So instead they talk on the phone often.
3. The thing he worked with his psychologist most on to get ready for this was not having a crowd. Petr said they had to talk about how he relies on the energy from fans in the building (it sounds like home or away, it’s just having that energy from fans in a building), and his psychologist went over with him how he has to just forget about that because it won’t be there and focus on the game and how many people are watching on their TV at home and cheering. Petr said this really helped prepare him and he felt totally fine in his two games without any crowd. He said he didn’t even notice it because they had prepared him mentally for it.
4. He thinks that the conditioning the team has and how the coach Rod focuses on it made a difference already. Petr said he felt like part of the reason the Canes were able to be so good in the 3rd periods of the games and finish them is because they weren’t tired yet but the Rangers were slowing down. Petr said the coach makes it so it’s impossible to not be in shape because they see him and know they can’t disappoint him.
5. He feels good and is ready for the next round.
- It just so happens that after this Stanley Cup tournament, Rod Brind’Amour will entering the final year of his contract. Will Tom Dundon do the right thing, and what is a fair deal? [The Athletic $]
- The Williams family checked in on Dad and the boys yesterday.
The Williams checked in on the boys at practice today ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Oi6URCTYjR— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) August 8, 2020
- After years in the making, the Canes finally have a new practice facility. The Wake Competition Center is complete but due to a pandemic, the first skate looked a bit different than expected. [ABC11]
- Which players have impressed the most in the qualification round? Steven Ellis and Matt Larkin break down some of the best players early in the playoffs, and you may note a couple of familiar names. [TSN]
- The NHL relaxed its strict dress code this summer, but many teams are still handcuffing players from personal branding and marketing opportunities. Kris Versteeg discussed the NHL’s personality conundrum and his favorite and lamest looks so far. [ESPN]
- The Seattle Kraken have made NHL history by hiring the league’s first Black team broadcaster, Cincinnati Cyclones play-by-play announcer Everett Fitzhugh. [The Athletic $]
- Cut, dig, slide, glide: The intricate science of the skate blade, and why it matters. [N&O]
- Finally... what could have been. If only an actual playoff team had shown interest in him this past off-season.