The Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers both took care of business on home ice to start the NHL’s Conference Finals, each taking a commanding 2-0 lead into their respective Game 3s.
After a high-scoring 8-6 win in Game 1, the Avalanche slowed the game down in Game 2 and shut the Edmonton Oilers out 4-0… without their starting goaltender.
The Rangers, meanwhile, were able to crack the code to Andrei Vasilevskiy and defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 on Friday.
That marked the first time in 17 games that Andrei Vasilevskiy lost back-to-back games in the playoffs, dating back to the start of Tampa Bay’s run for the first of its back-to-back Cups.
As each series heads to Game 3, with Colorado starting things off in Edmonton tonight, here are some storylines to watch for:
Oilers V. Avalanche
— In what was pegged to be an offensive series from the start, Colorado played near-perfect defense to shut down McDavid & Co. in Game 2.
— ‘La Bamba’ became the Oilers‘ unlikely rallying song as a homage to longtime locker room attendant Joey Moss.
Rangers V. Lightning
The Rangers’ ‘kid line‘ of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, and Kappo Kakko is quickly adjusting to the playoff atmosphere. The three of them have combined for seven points through the first two games of the series.
— This series was heralded as a battle between Andrei Vasilevskiy and Igor Shesterkin, but through two games, everything has been coming up Igor so far.
— After cruising past the Florida Panthers without him in Round 2, the Lightning are severely missing Brayden Point’s presence in the Conference Finals.
Yesterday, we handed out our awards for the 2021-22 season.
After a few long months from my predictions column I penned back in October, we got to see what I got right and what I got wrong.
But mostly what I got wrong…
GR and I have a lot of offseason content planned for you guys, so be sure to subscribe to FHN+ to make sure you get all of it.
— Anton Lundell learned a lot in his rookie campaign after taking a larger role than was previously expected.
— The Panthers only have about $4 million under the salary cap so GM Bill Zito will be busy this offseason.
The Marlins channeled their inner Dolphins yet again, dropping Friday’s game to the Giants by a score of 15-6.
The Miami Hurricanes‘ baseball regional opener, meanwhile, was postponed to Saturday morning due to a tropical storm.
Now, Miami is scheduled to play at 5 p.m. today. Good luck with that.
— The real Dolphins started veteran minicamp this week. Here are some storylines coming from Miami Gardens:
— Veteran tackle Terron Armstead is not practicing at mini camp due to an injury. Have his injury issues followed him to Miami?
— Melvin Ingram fulfilled a dream of his dad’s by signing with the Dolphins this offseason.
— Coach Mike McDaniel has been taking a positive approach while integrating Tua Tagovailoa into the offense. Will it pay off?
National Hockey Now
— Boston Hockey Now:: The Boston Bruins appear to be headed for a rough start to the 2022-23 season even if Patrice Bergeron decides to return. Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand will be out for the first two months of the season.
— Calgary Hockey Now: Jack Adams Award-winner Darryl Sutter helped the Calgary Flames to their third 50-win season in franchise history, but he says there is ‘unfinished business’ after they were sent home in the second round by the rival Edmonton Oilers.
— NY Islanders Hockey Now: In what was a down season for the New York Islanders, Brock Nelson broke out to the tune of a 37-goal season.
— Detroit Hockey Now: With veteran coaches waiting to make a decision, the Detroit Red Wings are being patient with their approach to hiring their next head coach.