Ramblings: Play-Ins Begin! #12 Seeds Montreal and Chicago Win, Kubalik Crushes Oilers, Scheifele and Laine Injured (Aug 2)

Ian Gooding

2020-08-02

It was hockey hockey hockey all day long on Saturday. You may have found it impossible to watch the entire quintupleheader, as other commitments and the nice weather of August might have gotten in the way. But at least when you were ready to watch hockey, there was probably a game on. Let's dive into the highlights of this day – a day you've no doubt been awaiting for months.

Carolina 3, NY Rangers 2

The day began with the news that Igor Shesterkin was unfit to play, which made the Rangers' goaltending decision a little easier. Many who picked the Rangers might have been tempted to switch their pick to the Hurricanes with Henrik Lundqvist starting in net. Grant Campbell, the Wild West writer, made some solid counterpoints to that argument earlier in the week. One, Lundqvist has historically been strong in the playoffs, except for one season. Also, Lundqvist was 3-0-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .947 save percentage against the Hurricanes this season, if you believe in matchups.

During those three starts against Carolina, Lundqvist had to stop 47, 43, and 42 shots. The way that the Canes can carry the play, it should be no surprise that Lundqvist was fairly busy again, facing 37 shots but eventually losing 3-2. For what it's worth, Rangers coach David Quinn was unsure whether Shesterkin would be ready for Game 2.

This game had its share of aggression with lots of hits. Mr. Game 7 Justin Williams even tried to be Mr. Game 1 of the play-in round, but it looks like Ryan Strome gets the better of him in the first tilt of the postseason.

Dougie Hamilton did not suit up for the Hurricanes, which meant that Sami Vatanen was on first-unit power-play duties. Vatanen took advantage, recording a power-play as