Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Take Town: Into the second round

Well, that was a blast.

As first rounds go, it’s gonna be tough to beat one with so many goals (328), so many overtimes (eight, including two in Game 7 on the same night), and so many outstanding performances. 

Obviously, there was the one sweep that was the biggest beatdown in the cap era, but even that had the insane Game 2 from Connor Ingram and the Colorado Avalanche averaged more than 5.0 goals per game, so there was plenty of stuff to see even if the games themselves were mostly lopsided.

But to me, what’s really amazing about the first round is that it gave us so many prime second-round matchups: The Battles of Florida and Alberta. New York Rangers/Carolina Hurricanes should feature plenty of fun games, especially because there are so many ex-Rangers on the Hurricanes and, well, I almost said vice-versa, but the whole Adam Fox thing, so. Then there’s the St. Louis Blues/Avs, featuring the third- and fourth-highest scoring teams in the league this season.

Along those lines, how about the fact that the teams ranked Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 16 in goals for this season are all still alive? In the first round, No. 7 (Tampa Bay Lightning) beat No. 2 (Toronto Maple Leafs), and No. 16 (the Rangers) beat No. 11 (the Pittsburgh Penguins). Otherwise, everyone was eliminated by a team that scored more than them in the regular season, which is what you should be looking for as a hockey fan.

What’s not to like?! Not a dud in the bunch.

Let’s go:

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This article is about:
NHL Toronto Maple Leafs Vancouver Canucks NHL Sidney Crosby Oliver Ekman Larsson John Tavares Patrik Allvin Peter DeBoer Barry Trotz
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