We saw three games yesterday and they were just as fun as the NHL Playoffs have been in general this year, which is a lot. The Tampa Bay Lightning played the New York Islanders in Brooklyn; the St. Louis Blues played the Dallas Stars in Missouri and the Nashville Predators beat the visiting San Jose Sharks. The games were heated, the teams all came out to play and we saw quite a few major storylines.
These are the lessons we learned from yesterday’s NHL matchups.
The game played in Brooklyn was the most heated one, with players from both teams going at each other’s throats and making sure no one gets it easy. The perfect example of this was the Thomas Hockey hit which Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin somehow managed to survive.
And while everyone thought Drouin was all but killed in this collision, he actually got back in the game and set up the goal which took the game to overtime. In overtime, it was his Lightning that won. We learned that Drouin is not only one of the biggest revelations this postseason, but also one super tough guy.
This same game also taught us that the New York team really struggled to hold on to their leads, as they allowed the Tampa Bay team to come back time and time again until they finally won the game in overtime.
We also learned that the Dallas Stars are having plenty of problems at the goalie position. Their goaltenders have not been great this entire playoff, but their woes became truly epic in the second round. In Game 2, Kari Lehtonen allowed 3 goals on 5 shots in the first period alone. In game 3, their second goalie Antii Niemi conceded 3 goals on 12 shots. Yesterday, it was Niemi who started but who also got substituted midway into the game. Nothing helped as the Dallas team conceded six goals altogether.
Another thing we learned is that Shea Weber is one of the best players in the game and a huge part of the Nashville Predators team. Yesterday’s game was a must-win for them and with the game tied at 1-1, it was Weber who took it on himself to give his team the lead. His slap shot was more of a weapon than a mere hockey shot. This was the 13th career playoff goal for the veteran.