While there is no NHL team in Wisconsin for all of us to cheer for there are constantly former Badgers making it deep into the NHL Playoffs for us to support. Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs have completed their historic first round collapse (lmao at the Leafs blowing a 3-1 lead) to the Montreal Canadiens, let’s see who is still left with Wisconsin connections!
- Speaking of the Habs, they called rookie sensation Cole Caufield into the starting lineup after splitting the first two games of the series. Montreal went on to lose the next two and put themselves into a 3-1 series hole but then Caufield had the game winning assist in Game 5 and two games later? The Leafs had come all the way back to win the series and embarrass their ancient rivals.
Montreal will try and continue their Cinderella run through the tournament when they face off against the Winnipeg Jets, who swept the higher seeded Oilers in the first round.
- The Boston Bruins worked the Washington Capitals over in five games in the first round thanks, in part, to the work of two former Badgers: Trent Frederic and Craig Smith. Well, to be more accurate...one former Badger, as Frederic hasn’t played in the playoffs yet, but he’s still on the team!
Smith, however, put the Bruins up for good in their first round series by scoring the game winning goal in double overtime of Game 3. Boston is playing the New York Islanders in the second round and that series is currently tied at one.
- Defending Stanley Cup champion Ryan McDonagh is having another productive postseason for the Tampa Bay Lightning. In their first round series win over the Florida Panthers, McDonagh recorded four assists and sits at plus eight in the playoffs. He’s second on the Lightning in ice time so far and Tampa Bay is off to a 1-0 lead in the second round against the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Speaking of the Canes, defenseman Jake Gardiner has appeared in one game for Carolina this postseason, recording 9:07 of ice time and, uh, no other stats.
- Luke Kunin (Nashville Predators), Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild), Justin Schultz (Washington Capitals) and Kyle Turris (Edmonton Oilers) all saw their teams get knocked out in the first round.