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Square of Aces: Gary Bettman must be happy to see four teams from the South

Last night, the Seattle Kraken fell to the Stars in Game #7 of their second-round series against the Dallas Stars, Evgenii Dadonov’s new club.

What a run, though.

Of course, a Vegas-Seattle series would have been something else, but the Kraken can be proud of what they’ve accomplished. In his second NHL season, making it to the second round is quite something.

The club is on a roll and what’s next looks bright… in a city where it often rains.

Dallas was simply a very tough opponent – too tough, in fact. And since Peter DeBoer never loses a game #7 (he’s 7-in-7), logic was respected.

So, all bets are off for the next round. The Hurricanes and Panthers will cross swords in the East, while the Golden Knights and Stars will face off in the West.

Note that the NHL took the opportunity to unveil the schedule for the third round.

Basically, it’s not complicated: the Eastern teams’ games will start on Thursday the 18th (two days from now) and the Western games will start the following day. Each series will be played on both days.

Most games are at 8pm.

What this means is that there’s still time to play the prediction game. After having done so in the first round(five in eight) and the second round(two in four), the time is still ripe.

  • Hurricanes in seven against the Panthers
  • Golden Knights in six against the Stars

What’s crazy is that we’re talking about four teams in the South. Seeing the Maple Leafs, Oilers, Devils and Kraken go down in recent days has given way to clubs that play in the South.

Raleigh, Sunrise, Vegas and Dallas are not in the North.

Gary Bettman, not exactly an honorary Canadian, must be happy to see that several non-traditional markets are still alive. Those markets are in the South.

This could help field hockey grow… or, conversely, it could hurt ratings. I’m leaning towards the second option.

In reality, it’s true that in terms of appeal across North America, a Dallas-Carolina final wouldn’t exactly sell in places where field hockey is king.

But Gary must be happy all the same. And anyway, his head must be in the Coyotes referendum right now.

In fact, when you look at it all, the four remaining teams didn’t exist (in their current form) in the spring of 1993, the last time the CH won the Cup. That summer, the Stars moved to Dallas and won the Cup a few years later, in 1999.

The Hurricanes? A few years after the Stars (1997), they moved to Carolina before winning the Cup in 2006.

The Panthers (1993) and Golden Knights (2017) arrived in the NHL via an expansion process and have never won the Stanley Cup in their history.

I can’t wait to see the ratings. The bosses at TVA Sports must be biting their fingers… and I can’t say I blame them.

Breaking news

– That’s a good point.

– The Bell Centre is aging. [BPM Sports]

– Big loss for the Blue Jays.

– Indeed.

– Clearly.

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