Action begins again tomorrow and here is a quick standings update. United States and Sweden look great and will definitely advance to the next round. Russia and Japan need to win their next games to avoid relegation. Both teams are good but they are grouped with even better countries and that's hurting their chances of avoiding relegation.
Women's Worlds is underway in Kamloops, BC and it will definitely be fun! The host team is definitely going to do its best to win it all because hockey is Canada's game. This is a big deal because the best women hockey players from around the world will compete. May the best country win!
Only 5 teams have qualified for the playoffs and 4 are in the Western Conference. These 4 include: Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, and St. Louis Blues.
The Washington Capitals are the only Eastern team so far to clinch a playoff spot and win the division (the other teams are still fighting for their divisions in the West and the Atlantic). Washington is a special team because they are looking to win the President's Trophy (the award for the most regular season points).
The race for the Eastern Conference playoffs is still wide open and many teams that are in the spots right now could still miss them. The Atlantic Division is a tied race for first between both Florida teams with the Bruins in third. The Bruins could lose the spot to the Detroit Red Wings who are only 1 point behind. Detroit is trying to extend their 24 season playoff streak and if they pass Boston, Boston would have to have more points than the Islanders (who currently have more points than them) and Philadelphia in order to be a wild card.
Major congratulations to the Boston Pride on their historic win over the Buffalo Beauts last night! The Pride are the inaugural champions of the NWHL and swept the playoffs. The game was led by co captain and tournament MVP, Brianna Decker, who had two goals and an assist in the 3-1 win. The game was tight and well fought on both sides. Boston's Brittany Ott was stellar in goal and contributed greatly to their success this season. Boston also was motivated by former player, Denna Laing, who was severly injured in their outdoor game earlier in the season.
The great news is that Boston will be able to defend their title next year in the second season of the NWHL.
Here are some photos from around Twitter:
The Boston Pride won last night's game in overtime and are now leading the series, 1-0. Buffalo must win this game tonight in order to have a chance to win the Cup. This game is also a must win for the Pride as they are hoping to be the inaugural champions.
The game is tonight at 7:30 ET.
The schedule for next season's outdoor games has been officially released by the NHL!
The list does not include the Blackhawks (shocker!) and it also does not go out as far as Winnipeg for the Western audience. There will definitely be some good match ups and I hope that some of you are able to attend the games!
The first 16 players have been named to each team for the World Cup of Hockey in September in Toronto.
Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning, G; Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings, G; Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils, G; Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets, D;
John Carlson, Washington Capitals, D; Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers, D; Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild, D;
Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings, F; Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks, F; Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks, F;
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals, F;
Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens, F; Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild, F;
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks, F;
Derek Stepan, New York Rangers, F; Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets, F
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks, G; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals, G; Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens, G; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings, D; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, D; Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks, D; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators, D; Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars, F;
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins, F;
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings, F;
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, F; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks, F;
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars, F;
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, F; John Tavares, New York Islanders, F; Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks, F
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets, G;
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche, G;
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning, G
Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers, D; Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens, D; Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals, D; Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks, F; Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings, F; Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning, F; Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders, F; Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals, F;
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, F; Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning, F;
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, F; Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks, F; Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues, F
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, G;
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators, G;
Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins, D; Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres, D; Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks, D;
Esa Lindell, Dallas Stars, D;
Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild, F;
Jori Lehtera, St. Louis Blues, F; Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers, F; Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild, F;
Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers, F;
Valtteri Filppula, Tampa Bay Lightning, F; Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs, F; Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks, F; Lauri Korpikoski, Edmonton Oilers, F; Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks, F
Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings, G; Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers, G; Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets, G;
Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers, D; Michal Kempny, Avangard Omsk (KHL), D; Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks, D;
Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning, D; Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames, F;
Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes, F;
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks, F;
David Krejci, Boston Bruins, F;
Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning, F; David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins, F;
Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens, F; Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL), F;
Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers, F
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, G; Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks, G;
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes, D;
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning, D; Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks, D;
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators, D;
Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings, D; Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning, D; Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals, F;
Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins, F;
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators, F; Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche, F;
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, F; Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, F; Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues, F; Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings, F
Team Europe (these are European countries that are considered too small to have a full team):
Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks (Denmark), G;
Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders (Slovakia), G;
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (Slovakia), D; Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (Switzerland), D;
Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins (Germany), D;
Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers (Slovakia), D;
Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers (Switzerland), D;
Mikkel Boedker, Colorado Avalanche (Denmark), F;
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (Germany), F;
Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks (Denmark), F;
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (Slovakia), F;
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (Slovenia), F;
Frans Nielsen, New York Islanders (Denmark), F;
Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings (Slovakia), F;
Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild (Austria), F;
Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers (Norway), F
Team North America (consists of the best under-23 North American players):
John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks, G;
Connor Hellebuyck, Manitoba (AHL), G; Matthew Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins, G; Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers, D;
Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets, D; Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets, D; Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs, D; Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers, F; Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres, F;
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames, F; Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings, F; Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche, F;
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers, F;
J.T. Miller, New York Rangers, F;
Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames, F; Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets, F
Congratulations to the Buffalo Beauts in reaching the Isobel Cup!!
The series begins on Friday at 7:30 pm ET vs the Boston Pride. The first team to win 2 games wins the Cup!
One century of this game and League is a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Let's hope to do this in the next century!