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The NHL's Craziest Day

August 8, 2020, 12:53 PM ET [69 Comments]
James Tanner
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That was the single craziest day in NHL history.

Six Straight Elimination games.

Five eliminations, and the best team still standing. What a day!

The Coyotes beat the Predators in a very improbable fashion.

Like usual, the Predators were the better team by far, but like usual, Darcy Kuemper was a brick wall. The Coyotes were 30 seconds from the second-first round when the Predators scored to tie it up.

yikes.

But like everyone could have predicted, offensive superstar Brad Richardson was there to save the day.

who would have thought that on a day when Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid were eliminated, that Brad Richardson and Phil Kessel would punch their playoff ticket?

For the first time since 2011 - and I've been writing this column since 2013 - the Coyotes are in the playoffs.

Their opponent will be either Vegas or the Colorado Avalanche.

Either team is worth watching, but the easier matchup is against the Avs, so that is who I will be hoping to face.

As for the Predators, they played great, but the .933 save percentage of Darcy "Injuries Robbed me of Two Hart Trophies" Kuemper was too much to handle.

Across four games, the Predators had a 56% corsi, while getting 58% of the shots, 58% of the expected goals, and 55% of the scoring chances, as well as 56% of the dangerous chances.

The Predators series heatmap is just a Giant Red Blob circling the Coyotes net.

Oh well everyone whose ever played a game of hockey knows the goalie is the most important player. And while Hall, OEL, Kessel and Keller all picked up a point per game during the series, the facts are that the Predators got super unlucky and the Coyotes didn't.

John Chayka may no longer be here to enjoy the show, but as a going away present, he gifted the Coyotes and their fans their first playoff birth in a decade.

Good times.
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