Welcome to Lighting the Lamp, a year-round NHL column. This week, we take a look at the lucky winner of the NHL Draft Lottery and break down the first games of the Stanley Cup semifinals.
Welcome to hockey, casual viewers who happened to tune into that insane Game 2 between the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night. It’s not always like this…but a lot of the time, it is.
Here’s a funny story for you. On Saturday night, I went to a Celtics-Bucks Game 7 watch party with a lot of people from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, whom, to be fair to them, did not grow up with an NHL team.
At one point during the party, I whipped out my laptop to edit and post our reactions to the NHL Draft Lottery results on the site. (Shameless plug: check them out on our NHL Draft hub!)
“Are you writing about the Celtics?” one of the guys asked me.
“No, I’m editing takeaways from the NHL Draft Lottery,” I explained.
And this room of 30-something men, some of the biggest sports fans I know, responded, “What’s that?”
With that, my friends, let’s get into this week’s Lighting the Lamp.
NHL power rankings
Best vessels from which to drink a playoff beer
10. A Solo cup
9. The can
8. A glass
7. A frosted glass
6. A half-yard glass
5. A yard glass
4. A boot
3. A beer helmet
1. The Stanley Cup
Lamp Lighters: The week’s best goals
Here’s the Nashville Predators’ Kevin Fiala with the walk-off winner in 2OT:
And this, a 1-2 special by the Predators. This is how we get more people to watch hockey:
Meanwhile, the Pens were robbed:
Logan Couture was very excited to even up the Sharks’ series with the Golden Knights in double overtime on Saturday:
This, by Bruins Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand, was really, really pretty:
Coast to Coast: What you might have missed around the league
- In case you didn’t get the reference in the power rankings, above, Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan showed up and showed out at the Preds’ game against the Jets on Sunday, chugging beer from the mouth of a dead catfish. For once, Marcus Mariota wasn’t the center of attention.
- The top three winners of the NHL Draft Lottery are, in order, the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens. Here are the full results of the lottery for picks Nos. 1-15.
- Bryce Harper is really, really, really embracing the Vegas Golden Knights.
1. As enraged as Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was when the blade popped off his skate seconds before he surrendered a goal to Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, the refs were, by the letter of the law, correct in not stopping the game because of it:
However, given the new skates with removable blades preferred by the majority of the league, the rule as applied in this situation flies in the face of common sense. It’s one thing to refuse to stop the game for a player to “adjust” his equipment; it’s quite another when a goaltender literally can’t move in the crease due to a bum skate. At that point, Rask may as well have ripped off his mask to get play stopped, since that’s the one instance in which the referees may stop play.
2. Disclaimer: I spent much of my childhood in San Jose and sharks are my favorite animal, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the Sharks. That being said, how fun would it have been if the Golden Knights literally had never lost another game en route to winning the Stanley Cup in their first year? That dream died on Saturday, but these Sharks are going to have a heck of a time putting the Knights away.
3. There’s no way the Buffalo Sabres pass on defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft, but man, would Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov give their offense a much-needed boost.
4. In this year’s Stanley Cup semifinals, we see the league’s top four teams, Nashville (117 points) and Winnipeg (114 points) in the West and Tampa Bay (113 points) and Boston (112 points) in the East, meet up. Sure, these series have already proven to be appointment television, but how is it good for the league for two of those teams to be out of the postseason after the second round?
5. As expected, the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid was not named a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the “player adjudged to be most valuable to his team.” Disappointing, sure, but it’s not a snub by the PHWA.
Tweet of the week
Yer a wizard, Tuukka!