Both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals have begun! The Eastern Conference teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders, have moved three provinces over from the comfort of the Toronto bubble to Edmonton. Each series has one game down, with the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning striking first. The two series after the first game couldn’t be any different.
The Stars (and not the Tsars as I originally typed) scored the game winning goal early in the first, at 2:36 from defenseman John Klingsberg. Anton Khudobin seems to have the hot glove and must be loving this playoff run. His teammates must also love him because not only is he pure joy personified, he also likes to be helpful.
my grown son anton khdobin pic.twitter.com/Qej1LTCgnf
— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 16, 2019
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 7, 2020
I chalk that helpfulness up to be a Taurean trait as I also like to be helpful; Dobby and I have birthdays a day apart.
Anyway, he stopped all the shots (25) and he’ll likely be in net again tonight.
As for the NYI – TBL series, that first game was a doozy. It started off alright with each team swapping a goal. Then, it got ugly. Any self-respecting hockey fan turned off that game after the first period when the Isles went down 3-1. Thomas Greiss left the game after 10:46, allowing 3 goals on 9 shots. Semyon Varlamov wasn’t much better, allowing the 5 goals on 25 shots. Well, yeah, .800 > .667 but really the Lightning were slaughtering the Isles. Also, producing only 2 goals for (Jordan Eberle, Nick Leddy) doesn’t help your goalie, guys.
While I want the Lightning to fail and return home sad and beaten, I’m not sure that’s in the cards. The Isles need to find their physical game again. The Stars – Golden Knights series may turn out to be the more interesting one to watch even if the score is low. either way, I have only 1 of the 4 teams in my bracket at this point so let chaos reign!