NHL Playoffs Round Two: Avalanche vs. Sharks

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The Stanley Cup playoffs are well underway and we here at theBRKDWN sports are analyzing and previewing each second-round matchup. In this article, I will be dissecting and predicting a team to advance to the third round of the playoffs, so let’s begin.

Headlines

Colorado Avalanche win the series against the Calgary Flames 4-1

The eighth-seeded Colorado Avalanche sure messed up people’s NHL Playoff Brackets this postseason. Colorado upset the top-seeded Western conference leader Calgary Flames in 5 games. Calgary started the series off with a 4-0 shutout win and it looked like it would be a short series victory for the Flames. Colorado however, bounced back winning 3-2 in OT on a wicked wrister from Nathan MacKinnon. From this point on in the series, Colorado’s big guns Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog dominated the rest of the series. Colorado carried that momentum back home in Game 3 thumping the Calgary Flames 6-2 taking a 2-1 series lead. In Game 4, Calgary was up 2-0 until Colorado tied it late in the third period and Mikko Rantanen one-timed the OT winner to put Calgary on the brink. Colorado put the nail in the coffin in Game 5 winning 5-1 in Calgary extinguishing the Flames.

San Jose Sharks win the series against the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3

One of the three first round series to go the distance, Sharks and Vegas had plenty of drama. San Jose opened the series with a convincing 5-2 win on home ice but Vegas would flip the script as the line of Paul Stastny, Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty dominating through Games 2-4. Vegas won Game 2 5-3, Game 3 6-3, and Game 4 5-0 with that line doing the heavy lifting. The Sharks looked dead in the water going into Game 5 but rebounded on home ice winning 5-2. Game 6 went into 2OT where Tomas Hertl scored on a shorthanded rush up the ice to knot the series at 3-3. Vegas was up 3-0 halfway through the third period in Game 7 where a brutal cross-checking major call changed the whole game as the San Jose scored 4 PPG in 4 mins. Vegas would tie it at 4-4 in the last minute of the third. Barclays Goodrow scored the Game 7 OT winner sending the Sharks into the second round and completing the series comeback.  

Second-round games start on Thursday night April 25th and theBRKDWN sports will be all over it.

Schedule

Game 1 Fri., April 26, Colorado @ San Jose, 10:00 p.m. ET

Game 2 Sun., April 28, Colorado @ San Jose, 7:30 p.m. ET

Game 3 Tues., April 30, San Jose @ Colorado, 10:00 p.m. ET

Game 4 Thurs., May 2, San Jose @ Colorado, 10:00 p.m. ET

Game 5* Sat., May 4, Colorado @ San Jose, TBD, TBD

Game 6* Mon., May 6, San Jose @ Colorado, TBD, TBD

Game 7* Wed., May 8, Colorado @ San Jose, TBD, TBD

*If necessary

Season Series Winners

San Jose swept the season series 3-0.

January 2nd, 2019: Sharks 5 Avalanche 4

March 1st, 2019: Sharks 4 Avalanche 3

April 6th, 2019: Sharks 5 Avalanche 2

theBRKDWN

Colorado Avalanche going into the Second Round

The Avalanche rolled over the Calgary Flames in the first round and were the faster and more determined team over the course of the series. Nathan MacKinnon in particular, looked like a man-possessed. The edge-work and speed of his skating combined with lightning quick hands caused massive problems for the Calgary defence core and it will be a tough task for San Jose’s defence core to deal with as well. Colorado is going to need more from their depth forwards if they are going to come out on top in this series and Philipp Grubauer is going to have to continue to be on his ‘A’ game against a dangerous Sharks team. The Avalanche need to continue their speed game and use their high-end skilled players to continue producing and they will have a great chance to advance to the third round.

San Jose Sharks going into the Second Round

San Jose is coming off an emotional and hard fought seven game series against the Vegas Golden Knights. While Martin Jones looked like a massive weakness for the Sharks through the first four games, he bounced back in a big way through the rest of the series and stole Game 6 in Vegas. Captain Joe Pavelski was injured in Game 7 and his status for the second round is up in the air. San Jose has an edge when it comes to team depth as the likes of Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Evander Kane, Joe Thornton, Brent Burns, and Erik Karlsson will look to expose the lack of depth on Colorado’s roster. Martin Jones needs to play like he did in Games 5-7 in order for San Jose to be successful and advance to the third round for the first time since 2016.

Series Prediction

Colorado may have the edge when it comes to top-end skill and speed, but San Jose’s depth may be to much for the Avalanche to overcome. San Jose takes this series in six games.

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