Ramblings: Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin; Strong Finishes from Olofsson, Drysdale, Petry, Driedger, and More – May 3

Michael Clifford

2022-05-03

One bit of NHL news that came out Monday was that the Winnipeg Jets would not be bringing back the interim coaching staff that took over for Paul Maurice. At least, they weren't extended immediately. Dave Lowry will be part of the coaching search, but my guess is if they wanted him to be the guy for the next few years, he'd have a contract in hand.

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Antti Raanta got the start for Carolina with Frederik Andersen injured, and his first-ever playoff start went as smooth as imaginable. He saved 35 of 36 – notably a tough stretch save on Jake DeBrusk in the first period that could have given Boston an early lead – and the Hurricanes took a 1-0 series lead with a 5-1 win. Vincent Trocheck had a pair of points in the third period to give him a goal and an assist on the evening.

Seth Jarvis also had a goal and an assist, scoring the first goal of the game about 36 minutes in, and assisting on the empty-netter from Andrei Svechnikov.

Boston didn't really play poorly, sometimes you just have to give it up for the goalie. A couple key turnovers didn't help the Bruins, either.

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It was a tale of two important items in the Toronto-Tampa Bay game that led to the Leafs earning a dominant 5-0 win. First, a completely hapless Lightning power play – they had five opportunities including a full 5-minute man advantage thanks to an awful hit from Kyle Clifford – and looked even just average on only their last one. Credit to Toronto's penalty kill, as they were relentless with their pressure, but Tampa will be home shortly if they let 10+ minutes of PP time per game slide while barely looking dangerous.

The second key item was Toronto's top line. Auston Matthews had two goals and an assist while Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists for huge nights. The combination of that Toronto top line rolling over Tampa's with the Leafs PK looking elite made this one a laugher by the end of it.

Ondrej Kase had a pair of assists and three shots as he was inserted in the lineup with Michael Bunting still injured. A good start to the postseason for him.

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The NHL playoffs have begun but now is a good time to start reflecting on the 2021-22 regular season. Playoff fantasy rosters are generally locked and news items