Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (4/20)

 

This is the calm before the storm. The next two days feature seven games and all are extremely pivotal one way or the other.  For your fantasy pools, this could be the night that you lose a few players for the rest of the “tournament”.  The obvious is once they are gone, they are gone.  That is what really hurts poolies this time of year is the prospect of losing key cogs early and one knew with the “Battle Of PA” series at least that a few would go by the wayside in the first round.  Therefore, that really is the true nature of the fantasy beast.

Next question up for the audience is who won the Fantasy POTN for last night?  It was a very tough decision but we came up with a good one, we think.

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FANTASY POTN:

Braden Holtby, G, Washington Capitals

He literally had to play 60:05 last night even though well, you know (Clockgate 2?).  Holtby made 44 saves (technically 45) in the 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins.  Holtby was amazingly calm in the first and third periods where Washington’s offense took a step back and just drifted around like it was 4/20.  The reality is Boston had Washington on its heels most of the night but generated mostly perimeter chances.  There were some point blank ones but the Washington goalie was up for the challenge.  This series is tied at 2 because of him and no one else.  Five of the six top forwards for Boston have no goals and Boston has no power play goals not because of chances but because the last line of defense has been Washington’s best.

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QUICK LOOK BACK:

Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey Devils

There was that little part of me that remembered the old days when playoff shutouts were more plentiful but congrats to the goalie that keeps finding ways to break records.  Brodeur had 26 saves last night in the 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers to notch his 24th career playoff shutout (Roy has 23).  He was much more even keeled on the Penalty Kill as well which was one of the reasons why New Jersey looked so porous on Tuesday.  Let’s face it he was also motivated as it seems just when fans question Brodeur (yours truly included), he just flashes it like he used to.  Yes the consistency may not be there but for one night he was excellent again.

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LAST NIGHT’s THREE STARS:

1. Braden Holtby, Washington

2. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey

3. Mike Smith, Phoenix

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SCHEDULE TIME:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Teams Notes
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh 7:30 PM | Gameday
Detroit at Nashville 8:00 PM | Gameday

Yes it is a light schedule but think of the potential eliminations here and how it could affect your pools.  If Pittsburgh is eliminated tonight (entirely possible), think about how many pools are pretty much done.  Also if Detroit’s season is ended tonight, that will take out a few people and their teams as well.  It is that time of year where poolies are on pins and needles hoping for long series for some and short for others.  Really the time is here for high anxiety.

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KEEP AN EYE ON:

Battle Of Pennsylvania Goal Scoring:

We could be at it again tonight ladies and gentlemen.  The latest odds are that the over/under will be 7 and talk is it may go up.  Pittsburgh is the setting for tonight’s scorefest.  Considering that seven goals was hit by the end of the first for Game 4 and you have the recipe for more goal scoring theatrics.  With Evgeni Malkin now scoring, that adds a bit of intrigue too and a hope for fantasy poolies that the Pens can at least extended this a couple more games.  In all four contests, the team that has scored first has lost.  So I guess the plan is spot them a lead then roar back?  That seems to work.  If you have any of the offense from this series, just sit back and enjoy.  Also, for your sake pray it doesn’t end.

Is The Window Closed?

Pekka Rinne has effectively stymied the Detroit Red Wings at every turn, so now can they finish off a nemesis of theirs tonight at home in Nashville?  The problem is the Preds always get to a spot like this and make it harder for themselves but Rinne has been stellar in three of the four games this series.  His counterpart, Jimmy Howard, stole Game 2.  The second goal has been vital as it seems the games follow almost a certain script.  Nashville is also getting depth scoring while Detroit just cannot pot their chances.  If Detroit does not get off to a quick start tonight, Rinne will get in their heads again and the window may just close for the Red Wings.

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Good luck with your fantasy pools tonight and as always we will be following it all via Twitter.  Have a great night and thanks again for reading!


About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!

Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (4/20)

 

Will something like above happen again tonight?  There are five games tonight and if any of them are half as good as last night’s Sharks-Kings game, then we are definitely on to something here.  This will not take too long from Tuesday Night only because well there is only so much that can be said that has already been.

Let’s take a quick look back and hope that “The Failure At Figueroa” never happens again because that was brutal to say the least.  There are ways to blow leads but the only time I have been more surprised was after Boston’s collapse at the hands of Philadelphia last year.  Nothing tops that and I challenge anyone to come up with one that is worse.

A LOOK BACK:

1.  Dave Bolland (Chicago) — He did everything asked of him and beyond with a goal and three assists last night and a +4.  Maybe Bolland was the panicea needed all along but he was physical and got in the grill of Roberto Luongo.  That was something that clearly was not being done enough.  Now the biggest question may just be what does he have left for Game 5?  Because his production has to keep coming at least somewhat consistently for Chicago to have a chance.

2.  Ryan Clowe (San Jose) — Yes maybe Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi’s tallies were more crucial but Clowe continued the little spark and turned it into some raging hope with his two second period goals.  They were essential in a game that people forget featured some pretty good defense in the third period.  Clowe was key in the comeback and will be instrumental going forward in this series and how he is used.

3.  Michael Frolik (Chicago) — Along with Bolland, Frolik had a big night for Chicago when they needed a big lift.  His goal and 2 assists were also a big part in the 7-2 win over Vancouver that has at least some thinking this could come back to Chicago for Game 6.  Again this production has to be there in some form in Game 5 for Chicago to get back in this series or it is still “Game Over” either way.

SCHEDULE TIME:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011

Teams Notes
Washington at NY Rangers 7:00 PM 
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay 7:00 PM 
Philadelphia at Buffalo 7:30 PM 
Anaheim at Nashville 8:30 PM 
Detroit at Phoenix 10:30 PM 

 

Oh this will be one fun night for playoff hockey.  Phoenix loses tonight and it may just be more than the end of the season.  Well we just will not say it here.  Anaheim has to find a way to steal one in Nashville and they have made Pekka Rinne look a little less ordinary in this series.  Philadelphia has gotten to Ryan Miller over the last two games in a way some did not expect based on Game 1.  Tampa has to find a way to turn the intensity back on and keep it on against Pittsburgh.  The Rangers may have incurred the wrath of Alexander Ovechkin after Ovechkin’s stick was the last one to touch the puck on Brandon Dubinsky’s miracle goal late in regulation in Sunday’s Game 3.

So what do we have to keep an eye on tonight?  Well there is a lot including what Henrik Lundqvist may do.  There is never an easy way or task in handing this so here it goes……

THREE TO WATCH:

1.  Alex Ovechkin (Washington) — Did not have the best of Game 3’s and like we said see above on what happened Sunday.  He is fired up and does tend to have some of his best games in MSG.  Clearly also peek at Mike Knuble who should be parked out front while Ovechkin does his thing on the man advantage.  The New York Rangers have dodged some bullets in this series and either Ovechkin puts up or shuts up tonight.  It could be that easy.

2. Thomas Vanek (Buffalo) — Here is another guy along with Jason Pominville who needs to get it in gear if their season is going to continue.  Vanek and Pominville are vital to the team’s success because they clearly can lead others even with Derek Roy out.  If one of them tallies early, it will likely set the tone for a team desperate for one.  Philadelphia is not easy to play and Dany Briere gives the city of Buffalo nightmares so it is essential that Vanek and Pominville make a huge fantasy impact early tonight.

3. Phoenix Coyotes — There is not too much to say but they have been manhandled by Detroit pretty much all series long except for the third period in Game 2.  Other than that, this has been a clinic by the Red Wings who are really not 100% honestly.  Ilya Bryzgalov has looked awful at times and so has the Phoenix defense and penalty killing which were in the top third pretty much all year.  It is a potentially heartbreaking way to end a season and go out like this.  Guys like Shane Doan, Keith Yandle, and Radim Vrbata have to step up and make that fantasy dent so that they do not gently go into the good night.

This is going to be one hell of a fun night as we follow it on THE PROGRAM tonight and also on Twitter.  Good luck and let the awesomeness commence. 

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!

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