NHL: a festival of decisive matches

Hockey fans will have been spoiled in 2022 with five series that required the holding of a seventh and final game in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

NHL: a festival of decisive matches

Hockey fans will have been spoiled in 2022 with five series that required the holding of a seventh and final game in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

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After Saturday's three major confrontations (Bruins-Hurricanes; Lightning-Maple Leafs; Kings-Oilers), Sunday will give way to two other decisive games, namely that between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers as well as the one between the Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames.

“There is nothing in any other sport [professional], which comes to match our first round”, had recently argued the commissioner Gary Bettman, who saw then that several duels had the potential to count six or seven meetings.

Bettman, who spoke on the sidelines of Game 2 of the series between the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings, was right.

Besides sweeping the Colorado Avalanche against the Nashville Predators, the other seven series required at least six games. In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild in six games. In the East, the Florida Panthers did the same at the expense of the Washington Capitals.

"The Stanley Cup is the most difficult championship to win," the commissioner also recalled.

Bettman persists and signs: no question of changing the present format of the series by allowing more teams to take part. The course of the first round of the 2022 playoffs tends to prove that the NHL has found a good balance with 16 clubs out of 32 in the playoffs.

- The TVA Sports network broadcasts, this Saturday, the three decisive games of the day: Bruins-Hurricanes (4:30 p.m.); Lightning-Maple Leafs (7 p.m.); Kings Oilers (10 p.m.).


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