NHL playoffs recap


Clyde Caplan

Clyde Caplan | Flickr

Jeremy Dobin

The 2023 NHL Playoffs are off and skating. Through one week of games, there have been big hits, electrifying goals and overtime thrillers.

The fans have brought their passion, and teams have either fed off the energy of the home crowd or played the role of spoiler by breaking the hearts of thousands of dedicated fans.

Every series is up for grabs as there is no team that has yet to win at least one game in a best-of-seven series.

The Boston Bruins lead the Florida Panthers 3-1; the Colorado Avalanche are up 2-1 on the Seattle Kraken; the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild are tied 2-2; the Toronto Maple Leafs lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1; the Vegas Golden Knights lead the Winnipeg Jets 2-1; the Carolina Hurricanes lead the New York Islanders 3-1; the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings are tied 2-2; and the New York Rangers are up 2-1 over the New Jersey Devils.

Leafs Winger Mitchell Marner leads all playoff skaters with eight points,

There have already been memorable games through the first week of these playoffs. In Game 1, The Kings tied the game by scoring with under 20 seconds left in regulation and went on to beat the Oilers in overtime.

Also, in Game 1, the Stars and the Wild needed two overtimes to decide a winner. Ryan Hartman sealed the deal for the Wild with his game winning goal.

During an action-packed playoff weekend, three different games went to overtime in game 3: The Leafs beat the Lightning, the Devils beat the Rangers and the Knights defeated the Jets in double overtime.

Unlike in the regular season, playoff games can only be decided in overtime. If no team scores when time expires in overtime, overtime continues after a break. In the regular season, games end in a shootout when neither team scores during overtime. The continuous overtime until there is a winner adds to the thrill of the NHL playoffs.

Players’ emotions are always heightened during playoff hockey. Teams play with more physicality which often leads to spirited player fights. In a rare occurrence, Bruins’ goalie Linus Ullmark threw down his gloves to fight Panthers’ superstar forward Matthew Tkachuk. It is rare for goaltenders to partake in a brawl on the ice. That is what happens in playoff hockey.

The excitement of the playoffs is just getting started. There is plenty of hockey left as the quest for the Stanley Cup continues.