The second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs is finally complete. Unlike the previous round, where there were five Game 7s, there was only one in the second round. It was probably easy to figure out who it was. But if you did not it was Carolina and New York as it was another homer series. But now the Eastern and Western Conference Final matchups. The Tampa Bay Lightning were the first team to book their ticket to the Conference Final. Followed by the Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche. Rounding out the Conference Finals out is the New York Rangers.
There is a lot to get to, so let’s dive into the Western and Eastern Conference Final preview for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Final Preview
Western Conference Final
Edmonton Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche
After the Edmonton Oilers advanced to the Western Conference Final defeating the Calgary Flames in five games, everyone was hoping the Colorado Avalanche could close out the series in Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues. Well, the Avalanche did just that as the hockey world will get Connor McDavid vs. Nathan MacKinnon. Now it is not just about McDavid vs. MacKinnon, but those are the two players everyone wants to see in this series.
I mean why not just look at what those two players did in the second round in their respective series. MacKinnon had a highlight reel hat trick goal in Game 5 against St. Louis. While McDavid along with his running mate Leon Draisaitl rewrote the record book in their five-game series against Calgary. Both teams have explosive offences with the likes of MacKinnon, McDavid, Draisaitl, Evander Kane, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Even with those big names, both teams will rely on their depth scoring as they did in the second round.
Nobody thought we would see video game numbers in the Calgary-Edmonton series, but many people are expecting it in this series. Playing defence will be one of the keys for either team winning this series. Which team can stop the other team’s top stars will be the one that wins the series. Another key will be special teams. Both Colorado and Edmonton have lethal power plays. So both teams have to avoid the penalty box. Goaltending is pretty much even between Mike Smith and Darcy Kuemper. It will come down to who makes the big save at the big moment.
McDavid and Draisaitl are trying to carry the Oilers to the Stanley Cup, while MacKinnon is on his own mission.
Around Full Press Hockey
Eastern Conference Final
Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Rangers
The Tampa Bay Lightning were waiting in the wings for the New York Rangers after sweeping the Florida Panthers in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. New York defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games after a 6-2 win in Game 7. This is a rematch of the 2015 Eastern Conference Final when the Lightning beat the Rangers in seven games.
Though the Lightning have been resting for nine days, it has done them some good. The Lightning have played a lot of hockey over the past two seasons winning back-to-back Stanley Cups and with all the injuries from the previous two series, the Lightning will be well-rested for Game 1 on Wednesday night. This time off has allowed Brayden Point to heal up along with Brandon Hagel. Point is still a question mark in the series. Head coach Jon Cooper told reporters that Hagel will be good for Game 1. But regardless, the Lightning are ready to keep their title defence going.
For the sixth time in eight years, the Lightning are in the Eastern Conference Final. It just shows the consistency of this organization. All the core players have been with each other since their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. The Lightning are showing why they are the champs for a reason, they just know how to play this time of year. It took some time to learn that style, but right now there is nobody better. While the Lightning can’t duplicate game speed, they are having hard practices before the Conference Final began.
For the Rangers, they must stay out of the penalty box, the Lightning power play is so lethal. It has so many different looks. So too is their penalty kill. They gave up one power-play goal against the Panthers. And when the Lightning get a lead, they just lock it down. It does not hurt to have the best goalie in the world in Andrei Vasilevskiy to go along with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and the rest of that offence. Not to mention, the Lightning have rebuilt that third line and have gotten great depth scoring from Corey Perry and Pat Maroon.
However, the Rangers power play is just as deadly scoring power-play goals in five straight games. So the Lightning better stay out of the box. Their penalty kill is extremely aggressive too. Though Carolina’s power play was struggling, the Lightning saw a Panthers power play that was struggling as well. The Lightning and Rangers are matched up evenly, however, the champs hold the edge because they have been in this position before. But the Rangers have the explosiveness on offence with Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Ryan Strome, and Andrew Copp, to go along with the kid line.
And after getting pulled in Game 3 and 4 against Pittsburgh, Igor Shesterkin looks like the Vezina Trophy winner again. Shesterkin can match the play of Vasilevskiy. While the teams are mirrored images of each other, both teams know how to play defence when it matters most. Though the Rangers, have learned this year, while Tampa Bay has done it now for the better parts of two and a half seasons.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final goes Wednesday night in New York, where the Rangers have won five straight home games.
Both series should be excellent as the top stars in the NHL are fighting for the right to advance to play for the Stanley Cup.
Ep 32: Bruins Fire Bruce Cassidy; Avalanche To Stanley Cup; Bolts/Rangersby Full Press Coverage on June 8, 2022 at 4:09 pm
Mike, Jim, and Chris react to the Bruins firing of Bruce Cassidy, the […]
Ep 73: Bruins Face Elimination; Bruce Cassidy On Hot Seat; Patrice Bergeron Final Standby Full Press Coverage on May 12, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Ian and Chris discuss game six between the Bruins and Hurricanes and the […]
Ep 72: Bruins Acquire Hampus Lindholm; More Moves To Come?by Full Press Coverage on March 20, 2022 at 3:34 pm
Ian and Chris discuss the trade of Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins and what […]
S3E33 - Stanley Cup Final - Avalanche vs Lightningby Jim Biringer on June 19, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Jim is joined by Marc Weiss and Coach Jay as they discuss the Stanley Cup […]
S3Ep32 - Eastern Conference Final and Colorado Avalanche Advanceby Jim Biringer on June 11, 2022 at 9:37 pm
Jim is joined by Coach Jay and Marc Weiss to discuss the Eastern […]
6/24 - WSOP; NBA Finals Talk; Stanley Cup Coming To An End; NBA Draftby Full Press Coverage on June 24, 2022 at 2:15 pm
Ian and John are back to discuss the World Series of Poker, the NBA Finals […]
6/15 - Celtics Falter In San Fran, Can They Force A Game 7?by Full Press Coverage on June 15, 2022 at 4:23 pm
Ian and John discuss the Celtics loss in Game 5 and what they have to do […]
6/13 - Goodfellas; Celtics/Warriors, Stanley Cup Finalby Full Press Coverage on June 13, 2022 at 4:46 pm
Ian and John discuss the Celtics loss in Game 4 and look ahead to Game 5 […]