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Evan’s NHL Daily: Game Five Time Set, Stars Bite Back



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The NHL doesn’t like announcing all the start times for playoff games right at the beginning of a round. They want some wiggle room just in case TV slots open up, so that’s why Game Five between the Avalanche and Jets was still TBD until yesterday. It now has a start time after the Islanders managed to stay alive, and the people that value sleep aren’t going to enjoy it.

They almost blew it, but the Dallas Stars dominated the Golden Knights and were rewarded with an overtime win to get back into the series.

All that and more in this Sunday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

Has Mikko Rantanen gotten off to a hot start this series? Definitely not, but he did win some key face-offs to help the Colorado powerplay in Game Three.

The addition of Toby Petersen to the Avalanche staff really shows its value on days like Saturday.



Game Five Start Time

I don’t really root for teams in the NHL playoffs anymore, as I try to stay as unbiased as possible. That being said, I might have been rooting for the Hurricanes to pull off the sweep over the Islanders.

That didn’t work.

Matt Barzal scored the overtime winner, keeping the Islanders season alive. That means their Game Five on Tuesday will be the early one, starting at 5:30 PM MST. The NHL was waiting on that game to give a start time for the Avalanche/Jets, and with another Eastern Conference game taking place that day, Colorado will get a later start.

7:30 PM MST to be exact.

That’s not that bad, but for those of us going to Winnipeg, it’s actually 8:30 local time. If it’s anything like Game Two, it will be 8:50. Since we have to drive back to Fargo the next day for our flight, that means another night of very little sleep. The NHL makes the final call, but I’m sure folks in Winnipeg aren’t too happy about a late start like that on a Tuesday.

Eagles Do Or Die

The Avalanche aren’t the only Colorado team playing a playoff game on Sunday. The Colorado Eagles will play Game Three against Abbotsford at 3:05 PM MST, and the winner of that game will move on. It’s a best-of-three series in the AHL for round one, so there isn’t much room for error.

Chris Wagner won Game Two in overtime for the Eagles, with Nikolai Kovalenko, Cal Burke, Spencer Smallman, and Tanner Kero scoring in regulation. If the Eagles lose, I imagine the Avalanche call up a few guys to the NHL squad to become Black Aces. Kovalenko, Wagner, Tufte, Foudy, Malinski, Hunt, and Prosvetov would be my guesses.

Stars Bite Back

It would have been cruel for the Dallas Stars to lose on Saturday night, because they deserved to win, but Logan Thompson really made them earn it. Luckily for Dallas, they have one of the better young players in the NHL, and he came through in overtime.

Wyatt Johnston scored near the end of the first OT to get the Stars back into the series. Very pretty goal, and just a few moments after he was stopped on a different opportunity.

The fact it got to overtime was a miracle in itself. Vegas gave up four breakaways in the first two periods, and at one point were being outshot 30-10. Thompson was the only reason it was close, and two quick goals in the second got the Golden Knights back in it. That wasn’t enough, and now the Stars will look to even the series up on Monday.

Leafs Crumbling

It wouldn’t be the NHL playoffs without a meltdown in Toronto.

Toronto looked lifeless for two periods on Sunday, and are now on the brink of elimination, having been shut down by Jeremy Swayman. He didn’t have to do a whole lot in the win, as the Bruins were far and away the better team. All the focus was on the Toronto bench, who didn’t seem to know how to handle the situation.

This series is probably over, especially since Auston Matthews seems to be fighting some sort of illness. If they lose in round one, the Leafs have to make major changes, right?

National Hockey Now

Who knows what the Sharks will do, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic doesn’t think he’s going to get bought out.

The Lightning avoided a sweep on Sunday, beating the Panthers and forcing a Game Five. I’m sure the NHL appreciated that.

A great tribute to the legend, Bob Cole.

Surprise! An NHL team is baffled by reffing inconsistency in the playoffs. This time, it’s the Predators.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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