In the second round of the Stanley Cup play-offs, all three of the four series were spread over seven games, but each team that blew a 3-1 series lead was able to hang on and move on.
The Dallas Stars, the Vegas Golden Knights and the New York Islands won their respective wins or game home games after taking a break from the Tampa Bay Lighting after losing to the Boston Bruins.
The snowfall has now ended which means Nathan McKinnon’s extraordinary efforts were not all. Other Conn Smith rivals, such as Elias Peterson and Carter Hart, are no longer running.
We’ve landed in the final four teams, so take a look here at the players who have been the most brilliant next season.
1. Miro Highscann, D, Dallas Stars
McKinnon is now out of the picture, with Highscann leading the way to the conference finals. The Sofmor Blueliners have 21 points from 16 games and they have already set a franchise record for most playoff points for a Star Defender.
Intermediate stars head coach Rick Bounes said: “Miro’s value to our team is not only the points he makes, but also the quality of the minutes he gives us and the ability to get us out of trouble.” “Sometimes, it’s really neglected about his game.”
2. Braden Point, C, Tampa Bay Lightning
He didn’t score in overtime against the Broncos as he did twice against Columbus but he did manage to score eight points in five games against Boston and is all active ahead in the post-two scoring. He also does not neglect his defensive zone responsibilities.
“His emergence lets you do more with just your lineup and having a top-level centriman who can also score and check is quite a luxury,” he says of the point.
3. Andrei Vasilevsky, G., Tampa Bay Lightning
He led all netminders to play-off victories and his team’s last three games against the Bruins, with the Russian netminder blocking 97 of the 101 shots he faced.
4. Mark Stone, RW, Vegas Golden Nights
He was jumped by teammate Shea Theodore for his team’s score lead but his two-way play continues to impress. He has made life really hard for opponents with or without snatching. His improved figures were predictably strong and he led the rest of the Western Conference Skater with a 2.84 tipway in 60 minutes.
5. Victor Headman, D, Tampa Bay Electric
The four-time Norris finalist finished the regular-season with the third-highest point in the defense, and his production has increased since the end of the season. Headman scored four goals, including a Game 5 double-OT winner, and added a pair of assists against the Bruins. More important than his offense is the impressive, consistent defensive presence he appears on the ice every time.
6. Shea Theodore, D, Vegas Golden Nights
When you look back at the expanded draft conditions that enabled Vegas to acquire Theodore from Anaheim, you nodded in surprise. Theodore Hawke has developed into one of the best young defenders and he started his game against the Canucks by leading his team to nine points.
“When you think of defending, you think of the front of your net or the people around you,” said Pete Deborah, head coach of the Golden Knights. “He came back from the offensive zone, and then once he reached his own end of the rink he competed. He’s not a big man, but he’s not afraid to go back to the hips first and get physically involved in the corner, which isn’t always a feature of a skate like him. ”
Honorable mention: Semion Varlamov, Joe Pavelsky, Robin Lehner, Matthew Barzal, Josh Bailey, Nikita Kucherov, Denis Gurianov