The NHL conference finals are set after the Dallas Stars shutdown the visiting Seattle Kraken 2-1 in Game 7 on Monday night.
Dallas coach Pete DeBoer, now an NHL-best 7-0 in Game 7s, joins old pal Paul Maurice in the NHL Final Four as three of the teams in the conference finals are led by new coaches.
All four teams also hail from so-called ‘non-traditional’ markets with Las Vegas being the northernmost city remaining.
DeBoer, fired by the Vegas Golden Knights after missing the playoffs last season, will get his chance at a measure of revenge when the Stars take on the Golden Knights and former Boston coach Bruce Cassidy.
“There’s a lot to unpack there,” DeBoer said Monday night. “We’ll just enjoy this tonight.”
Maurice and the Panthers will open up against Rod Brind’Amour and the host Hurricanes on Thursday night at 8.
Monday night, Dallas got goals from Roope Hintz and Wyatt Johnston to move on to the non-traditional market Fina Four.
While DeBoer did not reach the playoffs in his three seasons with the Panthers, he has had a lot of postseason success since.
He has taken four different teams to the playoffs and has won Game 7s with all of them — including with New Jersey against the Panthers a year after he was fired by them.
Only Darryl Sutter and Scott Bowman have won Game 7s with four different teams. Nice company.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Eric Staal said he will find some good places for his teammates to eat, but adds he is over any talk of there being a reunion of sorts in Raleigh when he returns on Wednesday with the Panthers.
Did you know Staal used to play for the Hurricanes? Did you know Maurice used to coach them?
No one has really mentioned it.
— Ryan Lomberg said seeing the Panthers win made it a touch easier being out of the lineup. But he is raring to go. On Monday, they took off the yellow no-contact jersey. Warm up the Lombo.
— OK, you can stop asking when the Panthers and Hurricanes are going to play. The NHL finally announced the schedules for the conference finals.
— The Panthers went all-in to get Sergei Bobrovsky back in 2019 and after some ups-and-downs, Bobrovsky is delivering at the right time.
— Overtime has been winning time for the Panthers in this postseason as Florida has looked calm, cool and collected as they have gone 4-0 in the extra session — with all of those wins on the road.
— Even the toughest critic has to be happy to see Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad being able to finally be part of a deep playoff run with the Florida Panthers.
— Maurice has deep ties to the Carolina Hurricanes organization going back to his days with the Hartford Whalers. He will see a lot of friends this week, including all the coaches behind the Carolina bench.
— If you live outside the Carolinas, the Hurricanes are not going to sell playoff tickets to you. What goes around, comes around.
— A lot of video is up on the FHN YouTube Channel including Game 5 postgame reaction from Paul Maurice, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matthew Tkachuk, Nick Cousins and Sasha Barkov.
Maurice, Cousins, Tkachuk and Barkov spoke following practice on Monday at FLArena.
To see all the videos, you can click the embedded videos below or head directly to the FHN YouTube Channel RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place.
If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.
NHL NEWS/NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Vegas Golden Knights are the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup and it’s not just because they hail from the gaming capital of the world.
These Knights just may be due.
— Would the Panthers winning make Boston Bruins fans feel a little better about things?
— If the Pittsburgh Penguins were hoping Kyle Dubas would be their new GM, well, it looks like that’s off the table.
— The Toronto Maple Leafs met the media on Monday. As Pete said, lots to unpack here…
— Ilya Samsonov sustained a neck injury in Game 3 against the Panthers.
— How about William Nylander to the Colorado Avalanche?
— Checking out the potential new owners of the Senators.
— Four things the Philadelphia Flyers have to do this offseason.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
PANTHERS (WC2) AT CAROLINA HURRICANES (MET1)
- When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
- Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 95.6 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Series Schedule — Game 1: Thursday at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 2:Saturday at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 3: Monday at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Wednesday, May 24 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*: Friday, May 26 at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Sunday, May 28 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Tuesday, May 30 at Carolina, 8 (TNT). *If Necessary
- Season Series: (Carolina won 2-1): Florida 3, Carolina 2 (Nov.9); Carolina 4, Florida 0 (Dec. 30); Carolina 6, Florida 4 (April 13)
- All-Time Regular Season Series: Carolina/Hartford leads 71-46-10, 11 ties
- Postseason History: First Meeting
- How They Got Here — Carolina: d. New York Islanders in 6; d. New Jersey Devils in 5. Florida: d. Boston Bruins in 7; d. Toronto Maple Leafs in 5.