NHL Weekly Stock Up, Stock Down: 4/22-4/29by Christopher Gallagher April 30, 2022 0 comments
There are just a few days remaining in the 2021 NHL regular season. The playoffs are set to kick off on Monday night. With the majority of the matchups already decided, the Toronto Maple Leafs will square off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the best opening round matchup in the Eastern Conference.
The Minnesota Wild will meet the St Louis Blues in what figures to be the best first-round matchup in the West. Back with our final weekly stock up, stock down article, the Vegas Golden Knights struggled to rebound after a tough stretch. This caused the franchise to miss the playoffs for the first time. Furthermore, the Nashville Predators are also limping into the postseason. The team has lost four of its last five games to fall to the second wild-card spot in the West.
Stock Up: Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay is fresh off a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders on Friday night. They are beginning to look like the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions again. The Lightning has won four of their last five and seven of their last ten. Guided by the play of their captain, Steven Stamkos has put together a remarkable run over the last few weeks. Eclipsing 100 points for the first time in his 14-year NHL career, the 31-year-old has racked up 30 in his previous 15 games and 37 in his last 19. With arguably the best forward depth across the league on their roster, the team has 10 15-goal scorers on it, more than any other club in the game.
Stock Down: Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas was knocked off by the Chicago Blackhawks in a seven-round shootout on Wednesday night. As a result, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in its six-year existence. Struggling to get production out of their star players down the stretch, the team winger Mark Stone recorded only two points in his last ten games to close out the year. Furthermore, sniper Evgenii Dadonov racked up only one goal over his last five games to close out the year. The franchise will be faced with a handful of question marks as they head into the offseason. They must decide what to do with Robin Lehner after he was shut down to close out the year after undergoing knee surgery.
Stock Up: Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton is set to square off with their divisional rival the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round. Winners over the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout on Friday night, the team has won three in a row while picking up a point in eight of their last ten. They are looking to get out of the first round for the first time since 2017. This is also only the second time in the career of Connor McDavid, the team is getting scoring from all areas of the lineup. More importantly, Mike Smith has been on fire for the group in the month of April. The veteran netminder has posted six victories, two shutouts, and a .955 save percentage.
Stock Down: Nashville Predators
Most recently knocked off by the Arizona Coyotes, the Predators are in the midst of a losing skid. The team has dropped six of their most recent ten games to fall to the second wild-card spot in the West. Relying heavily on their star goaltender in Juuse Saros, the team has allowed 25 goals over their previous five games. This has forced them to fall to 17th in the league with over three given up per game. Set to square off with the red hot Colorado Avalanche to open up the playoffs, the key for John Hynes’s group will be to stay out of the box. Currently home to the two league leaders in penalty minutes in Mark Borowiecki and Tanner Jeannot, the Avalanche’s power play is clicking at a 24 percent rate.
Stock Up: Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina is lauded by many as one of the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference. The team knocked off the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and the New Jersey Devils to finish the season with a franchise-record of 116 points. One of the best offensive clubs in the game, the team’s trio of Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Teuvo Teravainen, is continuing to lead the way for the group. They combined to score nearly one-third of the team’s goals this season. Looking to get back to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 2006, the key for the team will be the play of Frederik Andersen. Rock-solid in the regular season, he finished ninth in the league with a 2.17 goals-against average.
Stock Down: Washington Capitals
Washington is back in the playoffs for the eighth season in a row. The Capitals saw their five-game point streak become broken by the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. They quickly dropped back-to-back games to the Islanders once more and the Rangers to close out their regular season. With their goaltending situation still looming as a big problem for the team, both Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek have failed to establish themselves as a clear number one heading into the postseason. The former has amassed a 3.02 goals against average this season, while the latter is carrying just a .908 save percentage. Manning the second wild-card spot in the east, the team will meet the Florida Panthers with game one on Tuesday night.
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