NHL playoff p are the Lightning still great or just good?

Tuesday, May 3, 2022
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NHL Playoffs - Are the Lightning Still Great Or Just Good?

After winning two Stanley Cups in a row‚ are the Tampa Bay Lightning still great or are they just good? There are many factors to consider when evaluating these teams‚ but two factors stand out over the other. While the Lightning have been the best team in the league for two straight seasons‚ the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs have also set new team records this season. Which of these teams will prevail?

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a strong regular season‚ with a balance of veteran and young players still in their prime. However‚ the team has failed to win a playoff series since 2004. However‚ the Leafs have a solid defense and a deep group of forwards. Here are a few things to watch for: Last season‚ the Toronto Maple Leafs had one of their best seasons‚ finishing fourth in the league with 54 wins and 115 points. This season‚ they are defending their Stanley Cup‚ and their success will be measured until they reach game number 83. This year‚ they have qualified for the postseason five straight years‚ but they have failed to win a single series since then. The Leafs were heavy favorites to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round‚ but lost their next five games to Montreal‚ Boston‚ and Columbus. The Tampa Bay Lightning will be a serious challenge to the Toronto Leafs‚ but if they can beat them‚ it will erase any self-doubt they may have. The Lightning‚ who have won two straight series‚ will be the next team in the series‚ and defeating them would erase any self-doubt that the team has about its playoff chances. Despite their recent struggles‚ the Toronto Maple Leafs are a team with talent in every facet of the game. Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews are dynamic offensive tandems‚ but the team has solid depth on defense as well. In addition‚ veteran leadership and playoff experience are two other important ingredients to Toronto's success. The team has a strong goaltender and good defense. While they could be good‚ they may not have the ability to overcome the tough Hurricanes defense.

Tampa Bay Lightning

With a solid core and some new faces‚ is the Tampa Bay Lightning still great? The past two seasons have shown the Lightning's patience and ability to weather storms while winning games. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been named the NHL MVP and has been outstanding. In addition‚ the team has a young core and a veteran leader who has shown the ability to flip a switch when necessary. Despite an underdog status in the NHL playoffs‚ the Tampa Bay Lightning have managed to win three elimination games in a row. In 2015‚ they beat the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the conference final. In 2016 and 2018‚ they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins‚ 2-1. In all three games‚ the Lightning held a 3-2 series lead and were led by a different goalie. Although the team has experienced bumpier stretches since the bubble tournament two years ago‚ there are reasons to be optimistic. Tampa Bay has depth in the middle of the ice‚ electric scoring potential in Nikita Kucherov‚ and an excellent defenseman in Victor Hedman. The lineup remains intimidating. A team's success depends on its ability to take care of its players. This means the Lightning will need a strong goaltending pair to win the playoffs. After their deep postseason run‚ is the Tampa Bay Lightning destined for their third straight Stanley Cup? Their current roster isn't guaranteed to win the Stanley Cup a third time. In fact‚ the team looks exhausted‚ which is not uncommon. Hockey is a demanding sport‚ but playing 20-plus games at playoff intensity is incredibly taxing. In addition‚ the Lightning have been plagued by injuries throughout the season.

Carolina Hurricanes

Is the Carolina Hurricanes' power play really a factor in the team's postseason run? Carolina's power play ended its regular season on a rough note. They were near 0-for-50 before their final two games. Either they're overdue for some goals or their top unit is completely disorganized. But no matter what the case is‚ the Hurricanes' top penalty unit can't afford to sleep on them. The Carolina Hurricanes' firepower is solid‚ but they haven't been able to finish off chances well. While they've been the league's best team this season‚ they have been missing the playoffs more often than they'd like because other teams have finished better. In their three meetings with the Toronto Maple Leafs‚ Carolina has lost two of three. Another problem is the depth of their scoring‚ which is good at times but bad at others. The Carolina Hurricanes' top players can get into goal-scoring ruts‚ which affects other teams' chances. The Carolina Hurricanes' top five scorers are 27 years old or younger. The Washington Capitals‚ on the other hand‚ have players who are 30 or older. If the Hurricanes can do that‚ the Caps are in trouble. If the Carolina Hurricanes can win that series‚ the Capitals will have a very tough time reclaiming it. That's not to say that the Hurricanes can't win. The Hurricanes have a lot of talent at the top of the lineup. The top defenseman is Jaccob Slavin‚ who will likely receive Norris votes in the near future. They also have a solid group of young and veteran defensemen‚ which should make the Boston Bruins' top-six a challenge. They have four good forward lines‚ including Marc-Andre Fleury‚ and three solid defensive pairings. But the Carolina Hurricanes aren't perfect and their defensemen have to play their best.

Edmonton Oilers

Are the Edmonton Oilers still great‚ or are they just good in the NHL playoffs? Connor McDavid is one of the top players in the NHL‚ with 109 points in 56 games‚ and he's been at the top of the league in points and goals. He's been in a great playoff run so far‚ and it could all come down to whether he continues his recent hot streak. Despite their uneven postseason run‚ the Edmonton Oilers have had major expectations coming into the season. With the pressure on them to live up to their expectations‚ they're under the spotlight. They've won a record that might just be the best in their franchise's history‚ and the playoffs are the ideal place for that. With the pressure on‚ however‚ comes the possibility of the Oilers falling short of their expectations. The Los Angeles Kings‚ who arrived in the postseason a full season earlier than the Oilers‚ aren't going to be easy opponents. The Edmonton Oilers have had their ups and downs‚ but they have finally found their stride. While they may have peaked just in time‚ they've also found some success in recent months. They finished second in the Pacific Division‚ and will rely heavily on McDavid and Draisaitl to score goals‚ and will hope for some secondary scoring help from the rest of the team. The Oilers will likely face the Los Angeles Kings in the first round‚ and this will be a huge test for their players. The Oilers have had a good regular season‚ but this is the first time since they last made the playoffs that they've advanced so far. They've been playing well without Connor McDavid for most of the season‚ and he's been at his best when the Oilers needed him most. Connor McDavid has put up great numbers‚ but he's not quite the same player he was during the regular season. But McDavid's faceoffs have been a problem in the playoffs‚ and he ranks 21st in the NHL.

Los Angeles Kings

The Tampa Bay Lightning have beaten the LA Kings 10 times in the last 13 meetings. The Lightning have won 10 straight games against the Kings since their 3-1 loss to them on Dec. 6‚ 2015. They also tied the Philadelphia Flyers for the longest active winning streak. The Kings are now one game back in the series. This game will determine who advances to the second round of the playoffs. Throughout the playoffs‚ both teams are favored to advance to the second round. The Tampa Bay Lightning have won the Stanley Cup twice in the last two seasons‚ and their team has shown remarkable resiliency during their toughest moments. While some players struggled in the first round of the playoffs‚ they proved their worth by pulling through and ultimately winning. They also have a goalie who has been named the MVP of the regular season in Andrei Vasilevskiy‚ who has the ability to flip a switch in key moments. The Kings' power play started out neatly but fell apart during the second half. The Lightning quickly got out of LA's zone and made the Kings panic. The third power play was a doozy for the Kings. The Kings were unable to capitalize on their opportunity and let the Lightning score. When the opponent goes to the box‚ momentum is the true advantage. But the Kings' power play didn't work out the way they thought it would. The Lightning's goalie‚ Andrei Vasilevskiy‚ had a stellar night. He made 27 saves and tied Marc-Andre Fleury's NHL playoff record. In the first round of the playoffs‚ Vasilevskiy was 62-28-6 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. After this series‚ the Lightning are the favorite to win the Stanley Cup‚ and the Kings have a great chance of winning.