Sports

NHL gamers to observe when 2022 playoffs get underway


It’s time for the NHL playoffs, the place a few of the world’s greatest hockey gamers are certain to up their sport as they chase the Stanley Cup. Listed below are 5 stars who’re prone to dazzle and delight through the playoffs, and 5 others who might be poised for a breakout efficiency.

Stars

CONNOR MCDAVID: One of many league’s greatest obtained even higher this season. McDavid already set profession highs in factors (123), objectives (44) and assists (79) heading into the Oilers’ season finale on Friday, with highlight-reel performs that surprised opponents and followers alike. Now the 25-year-old Oilers’ captain is trying to show himself within the playoffs and make a run at hockey’s final prize. Final 12 months, the Jets held McDavid to 4 factors as Winnipeg swept Edmonton in a four-game opening-round collection.

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READ MORE: Playoff fever: Where to cheer on the Edmonton Oilers

JONATHAN HUBERDEAU: Huberdeau was key to Florida’s feisty six-game battle towards the Lightning in final 12 months’s post-season with two objectives and eight assists in six video games. The Panthers made a first-round exit and are hungry change their fortune this time round. The 28-year-old Huberdeau powered his workforce to the highest of the league this season and was one of many solely NHLers to problem McDavid for the scoring title, amassing 115 factors (30 objectives, 85 assists) heading into Friday.

GABRIEL LANDESKOG: The Swedish winger was on a blistering point-a-game-plus tempo with 30 objectives and 29 assists in 51 video games when he was sidelined by knee damage in March. Landeskog is predicted to return to Colorado’s lineup shortly and has stepped up for the Avalanche in earlier playoff runs. He had 4 objectives and 9 assists in 13 post-season appearances final 12 months earlier than the Golden Knights ousted the Avs in a six-game second-round set.

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: The three-time Stanley Cup champion is wanting so as to add to his {hardware} assortment with the Wild, his third workforce in lower than 10 months. Acquired by Minnesota on the commerce deadline in March, Fleury has settled in properly, posting a 8-2-0 file with a .905 save proportion heading into Friday’s video games. Anticipate expertise to work within the 37-year-old goalie’s favour _ he’s within the playoffs for the sixteenth time this 12 months.

ROMAN JOSI: Josi already has a Norris Trophy to his identify after being named the NHL’s prime defenceman in 2019-20. This season, the 31-year-old Czech proved he’s nonetheless among the finest on the blue line, main all d-men heading into Friday’s finale in factors (95) and power-play objectives (11) whereas averaging 25:31 in ice time. Josi is a playoff veteran with 81 post-season appearances and remains to be chasing his first Stanley Cup championship.

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READ MORE: Maples Leafs, Flames, Oilers fans and players fired up for NHL playoffs

Sleepers

JAKE OETTINGER: The 23-year-old goalie stole just a few video games for the Dallas this season, posting a 29-15-1 file with a .915 save proportion and a 2.54 goals-against common as of Friday. Oettinger struggled down the stretch however seems to be again to his strong self, serving to the Stars to massive wins over the Golden Knights and Kraken. He’ll look to proceed the high quality kind in his first-ever NHL playoff run.

MICHAEL BUNTING: Enjoying alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, Bunting has had a memorable rookie marketing campaign. The 26-year-old tallied 23 objectives and 40 assists in 79 video games for the Maple Leafs earlier than struggling a lower-body damage final week. Head coach Sheldon Keefe has stated the outlook for Bunting is optimistic, nonetheless _ excellent news for Toronto followers hoping to see the winger contribute to an enormous post-season run.

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NICK PAUL: After being dealt to Tampa Bay on the commerce deadline, the previous Ottawa Senator is primed to play within the post-season for the primary time. Paul has added grit and a few scoring to the Lightning lineup, successful 58.2 per cent of his battles within the faceoff circle and posting 5 objectives and 9 assists for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions heading into the Bolts’ finale on Friday.

PHILLIP DANAULT: A transfer to California has been good for Danault. The 29-year-old ahead signed with the Kings as a free agent in July and has rediscovered his scoring robust in L.A., with 50 factors (26 objectives, 24 assists) in 78 video games. Danault, who made it to the Stanley Cup finals with the Montreal Canadiens final season, has been on a heater by means of April with six objectives and 4 assists in 11 video games.

CHRIS TANEV: Although he was typically tormented by accidents whereas taking part in for Vancouver, the veteran defenceman has stayed wholesome by means of two seasons with the Flames. Along with Noah Hanifin, Tanev has been a stalwart presence on Calgary’s blue line this 12 months. However he’s additionally discovered methods to contribute offensively, registering a career-high 28 factors heading into the Flames’ regular-season finale.

© 2022 The Canadian Press



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