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GDB +4.0: Motivation to Avoid Elimination (4:45pm MT, SNW)

The 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs are unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. The qualifying round isn’t technically the playoffs, but the stats will be and the feeling of agony and elation after winning a playoff series will be the exact same. Tonight, six teams face elimination on the same day. The Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, @Pittsburgh…

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Game Notes Oilers @ Hawks: Goalie Decisions

This has been an unusual series. No goalie has won a game with a .900 sv%. Usually a sub .900Sv% is a recipe for a loss, but not for the Oilers or Hawks and goaltending has not been the main reason a team has won or lost a game in my eyes. Each team has…

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GDB +3.0: Will Matchups Change? (8:30pm MT, SNW)

The Chicago Blackhawks earned a split in the first two games, gained home ice advantage, and now they play a pivotal game three in front of their raucous fans in the famed Madhouse on Madison. Nope. Not in 2020. The only changes tonight are the teams switch benches and the Blackhawks get last change. In…

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Game Notes Oilers @ Blackhawks: Attack Mode

Dave Tippett challenged his team to play with more drive, passion and competitiveness prior to game two, and they responded. Captain Connor McDavid won the opening faceoff and then scored 19 seconds later. That set the tone for the Oilers. They weren’t going to feel their way into game two. They need to play with…

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Offence, Offence and more Offence

The Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks have combined for 19 goals in their two qualifying round games. The other three qualifying series in the Western Conference have a total of 20 goals combined in their four games. Winnipeg/Calgary have 10 goals in two games, while Vancouver/Minnesota had three in their first game and Arizona/Nashville scored…

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Game Notes: Hawks @ Oilers Game One

My excitement for hockey is likely why the past three weeks seemed to last much longer than the previous four months while we waited for the NHL season to resume. The players have been in training camps for three weeks and this afternoon they finally get to play a meaningful game. The players are stoked….

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It Is Playoff Eve, Which Means Playoff Predictions

‘Twas the night before playoffs, when all through the land Not a player was stirring, not even Marchand; The big screens were hung in the arena with care, In hopes that Lord Stanley soon would be theirs; The coaches were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of good defence danced in their heads;…

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Game One Could Decide Series

We haven’t seen a best-of-five series in the first round in the NHL since 1986. For seven years, 1980-1986, the NHL’s first round was a best of five. The best-of-five first round series was added when the league expanded to 21 teams. In previous years there were no best-of-fives. However, between 1975 and 1979, when…

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Watching an NHL Game in an Empty Arena

I arrived at Rogers Place at 7:30 p.m. last night. My usual parking spot, courtesy of Grand Villa Casino, wasn’t open as the building is locked down, so I parked on the back side (north side) of the arena. Parking was only $2. There were four other cars parked close to me. Right away it…

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GDB -1.0: First ever pre-playoff game (8:30pm MT, SNW)

Let’s hope we never have to watch another pre-playoff game in our lifetime. A global pandemic put the NHL in this unique situation, and while it will be something we all remember in the future, I hope we don’t have to experience it again. That being said, the intrigue for tonight’s Battle of Alberta is…

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Game Notes: Flames @ Oilers

Crawling into bed with freshly clean sheets, a long hug from a loved one, that first, perfect bite of barbequed steak…we always hear it’s the little things in life that make a big difference and today that rings very true. I love sports, especially hockey, and the return of the NHL is one of those…