Following the Qualifying Round and the First Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 24 teams invited to participate in the postseason has been narrowed down to eight competitors. The matchups for the second round have officially been set, with the NHL wasting little time to get the games underway.
With the hometown Winnipeg Jets bowing out in four play-in games to the Calgary Flames following a slew of injuries to the offence, fans from Manitoba may once again need to find a new ‘playoff team’ to cheer for. With thus, 17 Manitobans beginning their pursuit of the Stanley Cup in round one, that number has since been cut in half.
In the Western Conference, Vegas will host Vancouver, while Colorado will take on Dallas. The Eastern Conference will see Philadelphia playing the New York Islanders, while Boston will go at it with Tampa Bay.
With outlier Montreal losing in the opening round, the eight teams remaining in the playoffs were within the top-17 across the league in the regular season (Vancouver finished 17th, based on points percentage, but had the same amount of points as the 15th and 16th place teams). With St. Louis, Washington, Carolina and Chicago also having lost in the first round, only Boston (2011) remains as the sole team alive in the 2020 postseason that has won a Stanley Cup in the past 10 years.
Vancouver is now the only Canadian team remaining in the postseason, and will garner much attention from the local Canadian media. However, should fans be interested in cheering for local players rather than ‘local’ teams, there is a small list of Manitoban players who remain alive in the second round.
Notable Manitobans listed on the rosters of each of the eight teams participating in the second round of the postseason include:
- Vegas: Mark Stone (Winnipeg), Ryan Reaves (Winnipeg), Zach Whitecloud (Dakota Sioux Nation), Keegan Kolesar (Winnipeg), *Cody Glass (Winnipeg)
- Colorado: Matt Calvert (Brandon)
- Vancouver: **Micheal Ferland (Swan River)
- Philadelphia: Travis Sanheim (Elkhorn)
- New York Islanders: Ryan Pulock (Grandview)
- Tampa Bay: None
- Boston: None
- Dallas: None
*Glass remains out of the Golden Knights’ lineup due to injury.
**Ferland suffered an injury in the Qualifying Round against the Minnesota Wild.