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Canadian Teams Have Strong Showing in First Games of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Hockey

Last weekend, six Canadian teams entered the Stanley Cup playoffs, and today, six teams remain. It’s a Christmas-in-August miracle.

August 06, 2020
ANDRE RINGUETTE/FREESTYLE PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES
ANDRE RINGUETTE/FREESTYLE PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: Last weekend, six Canadian teams entered the Stanley Cup playoffs, and today, six teams remain. It’s a Christmas-in-August miracle.

Tell me more: The qualifying round of the playoffs has given us everything we’d hoped for and more: exciting matchups, jaw-dropping goals, jaw-breaking hits and something to do from noon to midnight every day. And while it’s been only six days, the Canadian teams have looked refreshingly strong in their first few games.

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs tied up the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday with a convincing 3–0 win. Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens, as the lowest seeded team, have been surprisingly spunky against the Cup-favorite Pittsburgh Penguins, leading the series 2-1.
  • In the Western Conference, the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets are duking it out to be the first Canadian team through to the first round, the Vancouver Canucks are tied with the Minnesota Wild, and Edmonton Oiler Connor McDavid continues to prove he’s the best player on the ice right now (sorry, Sidney Crosby!).

The big story: Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a fair share of injuries. Toronto’s Jake Muzzin was taken off the ice on a stretcher after an awkward collision during Tuesday’s game. Muzzin was taken to the hospital with an unnamed injury, and though he’s since been discharged, he’ll remain in quarantine for at least the remainder of the series.

  • The Jets were down two star players for Tuesday’s Game 3, after suffering injuries in Game 1. Mark Scheifele (pronounced SHY-FLEE) went out early in the game with a leg injury, and Patrik Laine (pronounced LIE-NAY) suffered a hand injury in the third period. Ouch.

What’s next?: Three Canadian games tonight. The Canucks treat us to an early game at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Maple Leafs face off at 8 p.m. ET and then the all-Canadian matchup, in which the Flames could take the series over the Jets, kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Any other hockey news?: Hockey Canada’s board of governors is made up of 10 white dudes (real shocker), but not for much longer. When board elections take place in November, the governing body will now mandate that at least two of those spots be filled by women. Damn right.

  • The organization is hoping to recruit “a more diverse group of board nominees, including visible minorities.” In its history, Hockey Canada has only ever had one female board member, Karen Phibbs, so get your applications in now, gals!