The regular season has to come to an end for most teams that means the start of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs is here. which means the Last Word on Hockey Show was back on the MAD Radio Network. Your host Jim Biringer from lastwordonhockey.com was back alongside Coach Jay and March Weiss. The boys break down the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and preview every series in each of the divisions. They also touch on the meaningless series between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames.
The Last Word on Hockey Show: 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Jim welcomes everyone to the show and they dive into the first match-up between the Bruins and Capitals. While Jim stands alone with Washington winning Game 1 (which they did in overtime), they all agree this will be a hard-hitting series that will go the distance. As Coach Jay points out the Bruins have the experience in between the pipes, but he also notes that the Capitals goalie situation is up in the air with Samsonov on the COVID-19 list, Vitek Vanecek hurt, and Craig Anderson. Not to mention so many questions surrounding Evengy Kuznetsov and the big storyline of Zdeno Chara versus his old team. Bruins depth scoring will be key in the series as Jim notes.
The boys then touch on the Islanders and Penguins series as well. Again no Semyon Varlamov to start for the Islanders so they will rely on Ilya Sorokin. But on the other side, Tristan Jary played in one playoff game. History is with the Islanders as Jim notes, but the Penguins have been playing so well since they made the front office change. Marc asks can Pittsburgh continue to have success against this tough defensive structure.
The boys then move to the North Division touching on the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. It is the first time since 1979 these two teams meet in the playoffs. It all depends on which Montreal team shows up according to Jim. Coach Jay looks at the goaltending battle and who will start for Toronto. As well as what is in store for Montreal. Marc likes Montreal and talks about how Cole Caufield may not be in the lineup for Game 1 on Thursday.
Then it was off to Edmonton and Winnipeg, Jim feels the Oilers could be primed for the picking with Winnipeg getting healthy. Connor Hellebuyck is clearly the better goalie in the series. All agree both defences are suspect. But the Oilers have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The question for the guys is can two guys carry them deep in the playoffs?
Then it’s off to the Central Divsion. The boys look at the Battle of Florida. This series will be fun to watch. The Panthers are the underdogs as all agree the Cup Champs should win this series. But Florida has the talent and the goalie depth to match Tampa Bay. But Jim notes that with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov coming back Tampa Bay is a different team. Marc sees an upset in Carolina and Nashville. He feels the Predators are playing really well entering the playoffs. And Jim adds with two wins over their opponent to end the regular season, momentum is on the Predators side. However, Coach Jay chimes in and said Carolina plays like their coach and they are always tough to play this time of year.
Out West, the boys all agree that Vegas and Colorado are primed to meet in the second round. Both neither of their first-round opponents in Minnesota and St. Louis will go quietly. Coach Jay says it all on Philipp Grubauer for Colorado because they have the offence and defence to win it all. Marc feels Colorado could get upset by the Blues, who are starting to play like the 2019 team.
The boys also touch on the Canucks and Flames series, plus give predictions for the Stanley Cup Final.
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