UND in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

UND in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

North Dakota

UND in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on May 15th at 06:00 PM CT when the Boston Bruins take on the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. During the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 12 University of North Dakota Alums will be competing for the Stanley Cup.

North Division

Oilers vs. Jets

In the North Division, former UND forward Dave Tippett (1980-82) is the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers and his team will take on the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Jets roster includes two former UND defensemen Derek Forbort (2010-13), and Tucker Poolman (2014-17).

In 56 games with the Jets, Forbort scored (2g-10a—12pts), he was also a plus-one. Forbort has played in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games scoring (1g-1a—2pts), he’s also a minus-one.

In 39 games with the Jets Poolman scored (0g-1a—1pts). Poolman missed 11 games to start the season due to COVID-19, he didn’t play his first game till February 11, 2021. Poolman has played in six Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Jets and has yet to record a point.

Edmonton Oilers 35-18-2 (2) vs. Winnipeg Jets 30-23-3 (3)
Game 1: Wed., May 19
Winnipeg @ Edmonton, 8 p.m. CT (NBCSN)
Game 2: Fri., May 21 (NBCSN)
Winnipeg @ Edmonton, 8 p.m. CT
Game 3: Sun., May 23
Edmonton @ Winnipeg, TBD
Game 4: Mon., May 24
Edmonton @ Winnipeg, TBD
*Game 5: Wed., May 26
Winnipeg @ Edmonton, TBD (TBD)
*Game 6: Fri., May 28
Edmonton @ Winnipeg, TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Sun., May 30
Winnipeg @ Edmonton, TBD (TBD)

The Jets were 2-7-0 (.222) against the Oilers during the regular season.

East Division

Capitals vs. Bruins

In the Eastern Division, the Washington Capitals take on the Boston Bruins. The Capitals roster includes former UND All-American T.J. Oshie (2005-08).

In 53 games with the Capitals, Oshie scored (22g-21a—43pts), he was also a minus-three. In 91 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Oshie has scored (27g-30a—57pts), he’s also a minus-10.

Fun fact: the Bruins are an impressive 12-4-1 (.735) in their last 17 games since the NHL trade deadline.

Washington Capitals 36-15-5 (2) vs. Boston Bruins 33-16-7 (3)
Game 1: Sat., May 15
Boston @ Washington, 6 p.m. CT NBC
Game 2: Mon., May 17
Boston @ Washington, 6:30 p.m. CT
Game 3: Wed., May 19
Washington @ Boston, 5:30 p.m. CT
Game 4: Fri., May 21
Washington @ Boston, 5:30 p.m. CT
*Game 5: Sun., May 23
Boston @ Washington, TBD (TBD)
*Game 6: Tues., May 25
Washington @ Boston, TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Thurs., May 27
Boston @ Washington, TBD (TBD)

The Capitals were 4-4-0 (.500) against the Bruins during the regular season.

Penguins vs. Islanders

The Islanders will take on the Eastern Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders roster includes two former UND alumni. Brock Nelson (2010-12) and Travis Zajac (2004-2006).

In 56 games with the Islanders, Nelson has scored (18g-15a—33pts), he’s also a minus-five. In 48 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Nelson has scored (16g-13a—29pts), he’s also a minus-3.

In 46 games with the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, Zajac has scored (8g-12a—20pts), he was also a minus-one. On April 7, 2021, Zajac was traded to the Islanders with Kyle Palmieri for a first-round draft choice in 2021, 4th round draft pick in 2021 (conditional), A.J. Greer, and Mason Jobst.

On February 21, 2021, Zajac played in his 1,000th NHL against the Washington Capitals. The Devils lost the game 4-3. In 57 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Zajac has scored (11g-17a—28pts), he’s also a minus-one.

Pittsburgh Penguins 37-16-3 (1) vs. New York Islanders 32-17-7 (4)
Game 1: Sun., May 16
NY Islanders @ Pittsburgh, 11:00 CT
Game 2: Tues., May 18
NY Islanders @ Pittsburgh, 6:30 p.m. CT
Game 3: Thurs., May 20
Pittsburgh @ NY Islanders, 6 p.m. CT
Game 4: Sat., May 22
Pittsburgh @ NY Islanders, 2 p.m. CT
*Game 5: Mon., May 24
NY Islanders @ Pittsburgh, TBD (TBD)
*Game 6: Wed., May 26
Pittsburgh @ NY Islanders, TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Fri., May 28
NY Islanders @ Pittsburgh, TBD (TBD)

The Islanders were 2-4-2 (.375) against the Penguins during the regulars season.

Central Division

Panthers vs. Lightning

The Battle of Florida between the Florida Panthers and defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. This series will include former UND defenseman Matt Kiersted (2017-21), he was signed as a free agent by the Florida Panthers on April 1, 2021. Since leaving UND, Kiersted has played in seven games for the Panthers but has yet to record a point. Finally, Kiersted hasn’t played since April 27, 2021.

Florida Panthers 37-14-5 (2) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 36-17-3 (3)
Game 1: Sun., May 16
Tampa Bay @ Florida, 6:30 p.m. CT
Game 2: Tues., May 18
Tampa Bay @ Florida, 7 p.m. CT
Game 3: Thurs., May 20
Florida @ Tampa Bay, 5:30 p.m. CT
Game 4: Sat., May 22
Florida @ Tampa Bay, 11:30 p.m. CT
*Game 5: Mon. May 24
Tampa Bay @ Florida, TBD (TBD)
*Game 6: Wed., May 26
Florida @ Tampa Bay, TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Fri., May 28
Tampa Bay @ Florida, TBD (TBD)

The Panthers were 5-2-1 (.688) against the Lightning during the regular season.

Hurricanes vs. Predators

The Nashville Predators roster includes former UND forward Rocco Grimaldi (2011-13). In 40 games with the Predators, Grimaldi has scored (10g-3a—13pts), he’s also a minus-three. In 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Grimaldi has scored (3g-1a—4pts). On March 25, 2021, Grimaldi scored four gals against the Detroit Redwings. Since his four-goal outburst, he’s scored three goals and two assists in 13 games.

Carolina Hurricanes 36-12-8 (1) vs. Nashville Predators 31-23-2 (4)
Game 1: Mon., May 17
Nashville @ Carolina, 7 p.m. CT
Game 2: Wed., May 19
Nashville @ Carolina, 7 p.m. CT
Game 3: Fri., May 21
Carolina @ Nashville, 6 p.m. CT
Game 4: Sun., May 23
Carolina @ Nashville, 1:30 p.m. CT
*Game 5: Tues., May 25
Nashville @ Carolina, TBD (TBD)
*Game 6: Thurs., May 27
Carolina @ Nashville, TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Sat., May 29
Nashville @ Carolina, TBD (TBD)

The Predators were 2-5-1 (.313) against the Hurricanes during the regular season.

West Division

Avalanche vs. Blues

The Western Division playoffs could end up being an all-out war. The Colorado Avalanche are the 2021 President Trophy Winner. They led the NHL with an impressive 39-13-4 record. Of the 34 times, the trophy has been awarded only eight President Trophy winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. For the record, in 2013, Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks were the last team to accomplish this feat.

The Avalanche enter their first-round series on a five-game winning streak. In their final five regular-season games against the L.A. Kings (4X), and the Vegas Knights (1X), the Avalanche outscored the opposition 19-6. On paper, their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues appears to be a mismatch.

The Colorado Avalanche roster includes former UND forward Tyson Jost (2016-17). In 54 games with the Avalanche, the former NCHA All-Rookie team member has scored (7g-10a—17pts), he’s also an impressive plus-14. In the last game against the L.A. Kings, Jost scored two goals and helped lead the Avalanche to a 5-1 victory. In 30 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Jost has scored (4g-2a—6pts).

The St. Louis Blues roster includes former UND forward Austin Poganski (2014-18). In five games with the Blues, he has yet to record a point. During his five games, he averaged 7.338 minutes per game. Moreover, in six NHL games, over the last two seasons, Poganski has yet to record a point.

I can confirm that Poganski was in the bubble during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but didn’t see any game action. While Poganski is on the roster, I don’t expect him to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Poganski hasn’t seen game action since February 24, 2021.

Colorado Avalanche 39-13-4 (1) vs. St. Louis Blues 27-20-9 (4)
Game 1: Mon., May 17
St. Louis @ Colorado, 9 p.m. CT
Game 2: Wed., May 19
St. Louis @ Colorado, 8:30 p.m. CT
Game 3: Fri., May 21
Colorado @ St. Louis, 8:30 p.m. CT
Game 4: Sun., May 23
Colorado @ St. Louis, 4 p.m. CT
*Game 5: Tues., May 25
St. Louis @ Colorado, TBD (TBD)
*Game 6: Thurs., May 27
Colorado @ St. Louis, TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Sat., May 29
St. Louis @ Colorado, TBD (TBD)

The Avalanche had a 5-3-0 (.625) record against the Blues during the regular season.

Golden Knights vs. Wild

Minnesota Wild fans enter the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs feeling confident. During their five years of existence, the Wild have owned the Vegas Golden Knights. All-time, the Wild have a 11-2-3 record against the Golden Knights. If you break that record down, (6-0-2 at home, and 5-2-1 in Vegas). Starting right now, that record means nothing.

The Minnesota Wild’s roster includes two former UND hockey players, Zach Parise (2002-04), and Luke Johnson (2013-16).

It’s been a tough season for Zach Parise. The Minneapolis, Minnesota native has battled Covid-19 and being a healthy scratch for three of the last four games. During his ninth season in a Wild uniform, the third-leading goal scorer and point-getter in Wild franchise history has spent a fair amount of time in Dean Evason’s doghouse. If the Wild don’t suffer any significant injuries during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there’s a good chance we might not see Parise in a Wild uniform at all.

During the 2021 season, Parise has played in 45 games scoring (7g-11a—18ps). He’s also a plus-seven. Parise has picked a bad time to experience a scoring drought. He’s been held pointless in his last 10 games. During those 10 games, he’s averaged 10.16 minutes in ice time.

Parise Line

Parise is a veteran of 16 NHL seasons, 1060 games, (393g-417a—810pts), he’s also a plus-78. During his nine seasons with the Wild, he’s played in 558 games scoring 199 goals and 400 points. During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Parise has played in 101 games, scoring (35g-42a—77pts), he’s a minus-19.

In his two seasons with UND, he scored (76g-49a—116tps), that ranks him 63rd overall in points. Parise was the third-fastest player in UND history to reach 100 points in 66 games. During his two seasons at UND, Parise recorded four hattricks.

Based on the makeup of the Wild, I don’t think we’ll see Luke Johnson during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. With that said, Johnson has been a valued player with the Wild filling in when needed. In 14 games with the Wild, (1g-0a—1pts). Johnson scored the first goal of his NHL career on April 7, 2021. In three NHL seasons, Johnson has played in 32 NHL games scoring (1g-1a—2pts).

Johnson has played a majority of his career in the AHL with the Rockford Ice Dogs and the Iowa Wild scoring (57g-53a—110pts) in 243 games.

Vegas Golden Knights 40-14-2 (2) vs. Minnesota Wild 35-16-5 (3)
Game 1: Sun., May 16
Minnesota @ Vegas, 2 p.m. CT / Noon PT
Game 2: Tues., May 18
Minnesota @ Vegas, 9 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. PT
Game 3: Thurs., May 20
Vegas @ Minnesota, 8:30 p.m. CT / 6:30 p.m. PT
Game 4: Sat., May 22
Vegas @ Minnesota, 7 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. PT
*Game 5: Mon., May 24
Minnesota @ Vegas, TBD (TBD)
*Game 6: Wed., May 26
Vegas @ Minnesota, TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Fri., May 28
Minnesota @ Vegas, TBD (TBD)

The Wild had a 5-1-2 (.750) record against the Golden Knights during the regular season.

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