The Stanley Cup is up for grabs and this year's playoffs are announcing wacky.
The Calgary Flames were eliminated by the Colorado Avalanche after losing 5-1 in the fifth game on Friday night, meaning the seeds of both conferences were eliminated in the first round. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the No. 1 seed of the Eastern Conference, was swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier in the week.
This is the first time in the history of the NHL that the two seeded conference are eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the NBA, teams with the best record of each conference were never eliminated in the first round; however, this has happened five times in the MLB during the wild-card era (2000, 2002, 2008, 2011, and 2014), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Lightning, which broke the NHL record with 62 regular-season wins, and the Flames only got one win on their first-round exit.
The Avalanche has won four straight games to win a 4-1 playoff win over the Flames. This is Colorado's first playoff victory since 2008. The Avalanche, which earned the 17th NHL record in the regular season, will face the winner of the Vegas Series San Jose, which the Knights of the Gold lead 3-2.
The Flames earned the second-best NHL offense, averaging 3.52 goals per game. However, after defeating the Avalanche 4-0 in the first game, Calgary scored just seven goals in four losses.
Calgary goaltender Mike Smith, who played his first playoff game in seven years, had a difficult time in the series, especially when his team left him dry allowing 56 shots in the third. match, a 6-2 win in Colorado.
Calgary coach Bill Peters decided to attack veteran winger James Neal in the fifth game. Neal, 31, signed a $ 28.75 million five-year free-trade deal after a long playoff run with the Vegas Golden Knights last spring. . Neal has underperformed this season, scoring seven career goals.
Avalanche won the second game in overtime, thanks to Nathan MacKinnon's goal. Colorado had a boost in Game 3 with the arrival of Cale Makar, a recently named college player, winner of the Hobey Baker Award 2019. The team at the University of Massachusetts, Makar, has lost Saturday night under the NCAA. Sunday, he signed his contract with the NHL. On Monday, he made his NHL debut and scored a goal. Makar is from Calgary and his parents are Flames season ticket holders.