The Round of 16 is behind us and, man, that went by quick, didn't it? Not a single series went the distance... instead, seven teams were were eliminated and bounced from the bubble over the course of just a few days. The league said the first official round lasted a few days shorter than they had anticipated and now the Stanley Cup is expected to be hoisted before October. Buckle up.
With the conference semis underway, we've got a great opportunity to re-calibrate and check in with our thoughts on the remaining teams in the field. There were a few surprising results in the first round -- maybe none more surprising than the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues squandering their title defense after just six games.
How does this all effect our Power Rankings?
We've been periodically checking in with every team left in the hunt during these playoffs and now it's time for a snapshot of each of the remaining eight clubs. Vegas remains at the top, where they sat heading into the first round, while the West's other top team -- the Avalanche -- has taken a bit of a dip thanks to a tough start to the second round.
Let's see where these teams stand.
|Vegas basically ran over the Blackhawks, as expected, and have continued that momentum early into their second-round series against the Canucks. Vancouver looked completely overmatched by the Golden Knights in almost every aspect of Game 1 and it's increasingly clear that not only does Vegas have plenty of talent and depth, they also have plenty of nasty to their game. To this point, Vegas has consistently shown they're capable of controlling games and relentlessly pressuring opponents.||--||39-24-0|
|Columbus gave the Lightning a good series but ultimately Tampa's superior talent won out. Their depth and toughness has been impressive through one round. Yanni Gourde's line was outstanding vs. CBJ and having a third line that's capable of matching top opponents can be a difference-maker in a postseason run. A lot may hinge on the health status of Victor Hedman, who is playing but doesn't look 100 percent, as well as Steven Stamkos, who remains out of the lineup.||2||43-21-0|
|Boston did a fantastic job flipping the switch once the games started to matter and they're back to looking like the team that finished the regular season atop the league standings. The top line has been very good and they've been supplemented by excellent playoffs from David Krejci and Charlie Coyle down the middle as well. The power play was lethal against Carolina. Losing Tuukka Rask is a bit concerning, but Jaroslav Halak is capable if he can handle the workload.||5||44-14-0|
|Nathan MacKinnon is the best player in the world at the moment and that certainly helps Colorado's odds. Playoff MacKinnon is truly a sight to behold -- he's capable of taking over games by himself. The Avs made quick work of the Coyotes and ruthlessly demolished them in the final few games of that series. However, they dropped their first few games to Dallas and lost both goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Erik Johnson in the process. They still have the high-end talent and depth to remain in the playoffs, but the start to their second round might've been a bit of a wake-up call.||2||42-20-0|
|Dallas did a great job of suffocating Calgary's offense in their first-round series and they've been able to limit Colorado's explosiveness through two games. The Stars utilize their size and are good at forcing attacking teams to the perimeter. They'll need to keep getting offense from their top forwards (Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, etc.) in order to capitalize on what they're doing defensively, but Dallas has come out of the gate and punched the Avs in the mouth.||4||37-24-0|
|The Islanders have remained super impressive following the restart. They're rolling four lines, getting contributions from everywhere and are playing incredibly structured, disciplined defensive hockey. They excell at taking away time and space, closing lanes and then generating offensive opportunities in transition. Through 10 playoff games, they've scored 21 goals at 5v5 while allowing just six. If they continue playing like this, they're as dangerous as anyone.||4||35-23-0|
|Philly was outstanding out of the gate following the restart but they needed six games to get past the Canadiens and, honestly, they didn't look that good. They scraped by against Montreal but were bailed out by good goaltending, lucky bounces and the Habs' lack of offensive firepower. The Flyers are a good team that's capable of playing a whole lot better -- specifically when it comes to pressuring the puck and creating opportunities going the other way -- but they won't last long if they continue playing like they did in Round 1.||4||41-21-0|
|They didn't play a perfect round against St. Louis -- in fact, they were heavily outplayed at 5v5 at points -- but they took full advantage of the Blues playing sloppy and undisciplined hockey. The Canucks are a very fun, entertaining team but they're still very much flawed and that may come back to bite them going up against a Vegas team that's just as fun and entertaining but much more complete.||5||36-27-0|