The Journey to the Cup for the NHL continues as many teams have finished their seasons early, but only a select few still remain in each division. In this article I will explain the teams that got knocked out, and the teams that remain.
The first bracket had the Los Angeles Kings vs. the San Jose Sharks, and the Anaheim Ducks vs. the Nashville Predators. The Sharks beat the Kings (4-1 series win), powered by captain Joe Pavelski, and veteran Joe Thornton. The Ducks vs. Predators was a little different, as the series was neck and neck the whole time, but the Predators took a hold of the series with a win in game seven. The Sharks went onto play Nashville in the quarterfinals and ended up winning, moving them onto the semifinals.
The second bracket included the Detroit Red Wings vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers vs. the New York Islanders. Tampa Bay beat the Wings with a 4-1 series win, which also concluded the career of one of the best hockey players of his time, Pavel Datsyuk. On the other hand the Islanders and Florida had a close playoff series with the victory coming from New York, thanks to captain John Tavares. Tampa and the Islanders played with the series going in favor of Tampa (4-1) sending them onto the semifinals.
The third bracket had the Washington Capitals vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the New York Rangers. The Capitals beat the Flyers by a 4-2 series thanks to captain Alex Ovechkin, and linemate Nickolas Backstrom. Pittsburgh beat the Rangers by a commanding 4-1 series victory. Pittsburgh ended up beating the Capitals in a game 7 (4-3 series) pushing them onto the semifinals.
The fourth bracket had the Dallas Stars vs. the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks vs. the St. Louis Blues. The Stars beat the Wild in a 4-2 series, thanks to forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman John Klingberg. The Blues also upset the favored Chicago Blackhawks in a game seven victory (4-3 series win). The Blues also went on to defeat the first place Dallas stars in a game seven blowout and the game winning goal coming from Paul Stastney. The blues went on to the semifinals.
The teams are all in the semi finals, but will continue into June until a winner is crowned. The race for the cup has been a close battle with many upsets and many close series where one goal has decided a team’s fate.