We are in the midst of the first round of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. In this week’s Snap Shots column, we will look at some of the goalies who have been thrust into the spotlight due to injuries, the Kings making a comeback after getting clobbered in two straight games, and a scary incident where an off-ice official was hurt. Plus, Evander Kane’s career turnaround and the NHL Draft Lottery odds.
1. Quick, Kings Comeback to Even Series
The L.A. Kings just eked into the playoffs, then pulled of a surprise 4-3 win in Game One of their series against the Edmonton Oilers. But Edmonton roared back in a big way. The Oilers won Game Two 6-0 and Game Three 8-2. It looked like they would continue their dominance in Game Four. Nope! Jonathan Quick stopped all 31 shots that he faced and the Kings won Game Four 4-0. It was Quick’s 10th career shutout in the playoffs, and his first playoff shutout in eight years. It was a big win for the Kings, who looked like they were going to drop the series in five games. The next game between these two teams is on Tuesday in Edmonton.
Further Reading: Quick makes 31 saves, Kings blank Oilers to win Game 4
2. Backup Goalies in the Spotlight
Quite a few goalies have been injured, causing many unlikely netminders to appear in the 2022 NHL Playoffs. Here’s a quick rundown of which teams are having goalie woes:
Pittsburgh Penguins: Starting goalie Tristian Jarry has been injured since April 14. Backup Casey DeSmith started Game One of the playoffs, but had to leave the game during the second sudden death overtime period due to an injury. Third-stringer Louis Domingue came in cold, but made 17 saves as the Pens beat the Rangers 4-3 in triple OT. DeSmith had surgery and is out the rest of the playoffs. Domingue started Game Two and lost, then started Game Three and won. Jarry has since practiced but is still not ready to play.
Nashville Predators: Starter Juuse Saros has been out with a lower body injury since April 28. Backup David Rittich allowed five goals on 13 shots during the first period of Game One against the Avalanche. Third-string goalie Connor Ingram, a rookie, replaced Rittich that game and started the next two. But the Avs have won all three games and could eliminate the Preds on Monday night.
Carolina Hurricanes: First-string goalie Frederik Andersen was injured on April 16. Backup Antti Raanta started the first two games and was hurt during Game Two. He was replaced by rookie Pyotr Kochetkov, who also started Game Three for the ‘Canes. Raanta has since returned to the lineup for Carolina.
Colorado Avalanche: Darcy Kuemper had a scary injury in Saturday’s Game Three. The stick of Predators’ forward Ryan Johansen accidentally got through Kuemper’s mask and hit him in the eye. Fortunately, Kuemper’s eye was not damaged, but it forced the Avs to play backup Pavel Francouz. It is unclear if Kuemper will be ready to return Monday night.
3. Off-Ice Official Injured in Boston
Hoping for a speedy recovery after a pane of glass fell on to Boston’s timeout coordinator Joe Foley 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ZsVZ6jq3qw
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) May 7, 2022
Joe Foley, the timeout coordinator for Boston Bruins home games, was injured in Saturday’s Game Three between the Bruins and Hurricanes. After David Pastrnak scored, plexiglass behind the penalty box was knocked loose by fans banging on the glass. The plexiglass fell and struck Foley on the head. Medical staff from both teams immediately rushed to Foley’s aid, and he was taken off the ice on a stretcher. Foley has since been released from the hospital and is home recovering.
4. Evander Kane is (or was) on Fire
Winger Evander Kane has had quite the comeback since signing with the Edmonton Oilers at the end of January. He has scored 22 goals and 17 assists for 39 points in 43 games with the Oilers, making him nearly a point-per-game player. In the playoffs, he has turned it up a notch. He’s scored five goals — including a hat trick in Game Three — and one assist in the first three games of the Oilers-Kings series. Unfortunately for Kane and the Oilers, they were blanked by the Kings in Game Four. Kane still had five shots on net that night, the most of any of the Oilers in Game Four.
5. The NHL Draft Lottery is Tuesday
Tomorrow is the NHL Draft Lottery, which will determine the order for the first 16 spots in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. (Spots 17-32 are ordered by how teams finish during the playoffs.) Here are the odds that each non-playoff team has for landing the first-overall pick:
Montreal Canadiens – 18.5%
Arizona Coyotes – 13.5%
Seattle Kraken – 11.5%
Philadelphia Flyers – 9.5%
New Jersey Devils – 8.5%
Chicago Blackhawks (Columbus Blue Jackets) – 7.5%*
Ottawa Senators – 6.5%
Detroit Red Wings – 6.0%
Buffalo Sabres – 5.0%
Anaheim Ducks – 3.5%
San Jose Sharks – 3.0%
Columbus Blue Jackets – 2.5%
New York Islanders – 2.0%
Winnipeg Jets – 1.5%
Vancouver Canucks – 0.5%
Vegas Golden Knights (Buffalo Sabres) – 0.5%**
* – If Chicago gets the first or second-overall pick, then Chicago keeps that pick and cedes its 2023 first-round pick to Columbus. Otherwise, Columbus gets Chicago’s first-round pick this year.
** – If Vegas gets a top ten pick in the first round, then Vegas keeps that pick and cedes its 2023 first-round pick to Buffalo. Otherwise, Buffalo gets Vegas’ first-round pick this year.
The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is on Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8.
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk. ■