Stanley Cup Playoffs Review – September 7, 2020
STARS STIFLE GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1-0, TAKE GAME 1 OF WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
After Dallas competed in the sixth-highest scoring series in NHL history during the Second Round, John Klingberg scored the only goal of the contest and Anton Khudobin (25 saves) posted his first career playoff shutout as the Stars blanked the Golden Knights to take Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
* Since the conference format was adopted ahead of the 1981-82 season, teams that win Game 1 of the Conference Finals own a series record of 47-27 (.635).
* Dallas captured Game 1 of a Conference Finals series for just the second time. The first instance came in 1991, when the North Stars defeated the Mark Messier-led Oilers en route to winning the series in five games. Prior to 1982, the franchise won Game 1 of the Semifinals twice and went on to win the series once (1981 SF: 4-2 W vs. CGY & 1980 SF: 4-1 L vs. PHI).
* The Stars, who allowed one or fewer goals for the third time during the 2020 postseason, became the 10th team to post a shutout victory in Game 1 of a Conference Finals series (since 1982) and first since the Bruins in 2013.
* Klingberg scored Dallas’ 12th goal by a defenseman during the 2020 postseason – the most among all teams and one more than the next closest club (VGK: 11). His tally also marked the 46th point by a Stars blueliner during the current playoff year and matched the franchise’s second-highest such total in a single postseason. During the 1999 postseason, the Stars also collected 46 combined points by their blueliners en route to capturing the franchise’s first and only Stanley Cup. The only playoff year with more: 1981 (47).
Vegas was involved in a shutout performance for the fifth time in eight games. Only one team in NHL history has been involved in more such performances over an eight-game span: Anaheim (6 in 8 GP, 2003).
STAGE SET FOR LIGHTNING, ISLANDERS IN EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
The Lightning and Islanders have arrived in Edmonton and will begin the 2020 Eastern Conference Final with Game 1 tonight. The clubs are set to meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time, with Tampa Bay coming out on top in each of the previous showdowns (2004 CQF: 4-1 and 2016 R2: 4-1).
* The Lightning are in the Conference Finals for the sixth time in franchise history and fourth in six years (also 2004, 2011, 2015, 2016 & 2018). They have required Game 7 in each of their previous five trips – the only team to do so since the round was introduced in 1982.
* This marks the first time in 27 years and 11th overall that the Islanders have been among the final four in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After making six trips to the Semifinals from 1975 to 1981, the Islanders reached the Conference Finals each year from 1982 to 1984 (the first three years under the conference-based playoff format) and again in 1993.
* The Islanders won their 2019-20 regular-season series against the Lightning, posting a 2-1-0 record in three contests (TBL: 1-2-0). New York, which won 5-2 on Nov. 1 and 5-1 on Dec. 9, is the only team to score five goals against Tampa Bay multiple times this season (regular season and playoffs).
* The Islanders roster includes four Stanley Cup winners: Johnny Boychuk (2011 BOS), Tom Kuhnhackl (2016 PIT, 2017 PIT), Andrew Ladd (2006 CAR, 2010 CHI) and Nick Leddy (2013 CHI). The only player on the Lightning with a Stanley Cup is Pat Maroon (2019 STL) – who is also the only player that still has a chance to repeat as a Cup winner this year.
Wild’s Matt Dumba Awarded King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba is the 2019-20 recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded for “leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.” Dumba will receive a $25,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice.
Each NHL team nominated a player for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, with the three finalists and winner chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The selection committee applies the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner:
- Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
- Investment of time and resources
- Commitment to a particular cause or community
- Commitment to the League’s community initiatives
- Creativity of programming
- Use of influence; engagement of others
In response to social unrest across North America and recent stories about racism in hockey, Dumba – along with several other current and former NHL players – co-founded the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which aims to eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey. Dumba, who delivered a powerful message on the subject during the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, also spearheaded the Rebuild Minnesota initiative to assist Minneapolis businesses impacted by riots and protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The fundraiser, which aims to raise $500,000, will donate all funds to Lake Street Council in Minnesota and ActionDignity in Canada. Dumba’s other efforts during the 2019-20 season included COVID-19 support to more than 60 families who are part of ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students), a surprise Hockey Fights Cancer tribute for a close family friend and a donation to Australia wildfire relief efforts.
Other finalists for this year’s honor were Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. Both receive a $5,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.