Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (5/3)

 

 

So Marian Gaborik ended one very long game between the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals.  That is the beauty of overtime in the playoffs because one second it looks likt it will never and the next, the game ends.  Gaborik was pretty much even a bit of a fantasy playoff goat with only one goal after nine games.  All seems forgiven as all it took was one shot for Ranger fans to be happy and rightfully so. 

Also, give Henrik Lundqvist credit for making 45 saves in this game and Braden Holtby with 47 saves in the losing effort.  It was quite the game that had what felt like more iron hit than during the construction of most skyscrapers.  Either way, it was at the very least entertaining.  Yet these efforts did not yield the Fantasy POTN.  Surely, we took some heat from this during our original announcement but when you look at playoff pool scoring systems, it was close err very close.

Now if our best player was not from the Ranger game then it had to be from the Predators game.  It certainly was not Mike Smith who gave up two goals in just over a minute (and made one glaring gaffe).  Therefore there is only really one candidate left.  Here is our Fantasy POTN.

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Fantasy POTN:

Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators

Yes it was one of the slimmest margins in the fantasy hockey playoff pools but Rinne did edge out Lundqvist tonight so Pekka Rinne and that 32 save shutout was worth all the fantasy accolades last night.  It was the Nashville goalie who had to bounce back after two very subpar performances in Phoenix.  The game was going to come down to his ability to stop the puck and little else.  Rinne simply was going to let nothing get past him.  Sure enough, he was right as he stopped Phoenix advance after advance.  The Predators were not going to go down without a fight and now Mike Smith knows he is going to have to up his game now to match Rinne’s.  The gauntlet has been re-raised so to speak in this series.

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SCHEDULE TIME:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Teams Notes
Philadelphia at New Jersey 7:30 PM
St. Louis at Los Angeles 10:00 PM

Here are the two games for Thursday in the NHL Playoffs.  Hopefully they come close to the early game last night which went just past the midnight hour (it ended 12:15am).  Either way, we had our first triple OT game of the playoffs and these two series could get ugly fast.  The Blues and Kings were already on their way and the end of the Devils-Flyers game showed some considerable snarl.  There were several turning points in each game.  Devils had Adam Larsson score his first.  That high shot set the wheels in motion as David Clarkson, Travis Zajac, and Bryce Salvador all scored in the third period.  The Kings rode a four goal outburst in the first (not third) to a 5-2 win over St. Louis.

Quickly here is what to keep an eye on……

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KEEP AN EYE ON:

Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey Devils

This seems like a goaltender’s night one way or the other so we take a look at the three that are going to be scrutinized the most.  Brodeur was very shaky in Game 1 and Game 2 was not getting off to a much better start.  Thankfully the Devils started a shooting gallery on Ilya Bryzgalov and it finally paid off in the third as New Jersey won 4-1.  Yes Brodeur made 19 saves but only had to make a couple good ones.  Brodeur needs to come up with a vintage effort as the Flyers will not play as listless as they did in Game 2.  Again will the team that scores first lose?  That one is a stay tuned but surely Brodeur has room for improvement.

Brian Elliott, G, St. Louis Blues

The old St. Louis Blues are singing them after two straight losses at home.  Maybe LA will be a bit kinder to them.  Elliott was tagged for all five goals in the Game 2 5-2 loss but really there was little he could do as the Blues made unforced error after error.  Elliott has to hold the fort in Game 3 because otherwise St. Louis is going down 0-3 and that will be all she wrote.  The outstanding saves have to be made as well as the routine ones because there is little margin for error with a hurting Blues squad.  Will Alex Pietrangelo play?  That will be a big help but LA’s relentless four line forecheck has caused the Blues fits.  It is time for Elliott to play like he did in Round 1.

Ilya Kovalchuk, W, New Jersey Devils

Will he or won’t he play?  At this point if the injury is that bad, he may be better off just not playing.  It will be a later in the day decision but the Devils are going to eventually need him 100% not 50 or 60%.  Keep an eye on the situation as will we.  The best advice we can give is do not play him for Game 3 if you have that option.  Wait first!

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Well that is it for now, good luck and maybe we will have a few more tidbits on Twitter hopefully later.

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 (5/3)

 

Maybe the Green Men can summon some goals from the Western Conference…something…anything!  Sure the goaltenders have been lights out for all four Western Conferences teams in Round 2 but something has to give, right?  Well it likely will not be tonight because Vancouver and Nashville play tonight.  Never have I seen an under so vigorously betted in early action.

Pekka Rinne and Roberto Luongo have pretty much been lights out for both of their teams in stark contrast to Round 1 where they had more holes than any Swiss Cheese ever summoned in the history of its creation.  Dwayne Roloson has been much the same for Tampa Bay in their series against Washington but a back to back scenario may be the truest test of Round 2 for him and the Lightning as two games in about 24 hours could go a long way in determining this series.

First, in taking a quick LOOK BACK, we salute Tim Thomas.  Thomas stopped 52 of 54 shots last night including 46 straight.  Yes James van Riemsdyk scored twice on Thomas but it could have been five or six.  The Boston netminder was on fire last night and needed to be as Philadelphia clearly had the better of the play.  Yet in the end, Thomas was able to hold the fort long enough so that David Krejci could fire the laser off the camera in a 3-2 OT win that gave Boston a 2-0 series lead as the scene shifts back to Boston.

Okay a quick sneak at the schedule for tonight.

SCHEDULE TIME:

TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2011

Teams Notes
Washington at Tampa Bay 6:30 PM | Gameday 
Vancouver at Nashville 9:00 PM | Gameday 

 

It is nice to see two games tonight as opposed to one.  Washington has to get its top line going, particularly Nicklas Backstrom who is struggling mightily in this series and even worse than in the Rangers series.  Tampa just has to keep playing the way it has which is clearly frustrating Washington.  Michal Neuvirth is the key for the Capitals as in both Games 1 and 2, he has given up a goal in each that was at least a little “iffy”.

Vincent Lecavalier scored 2 goals in Game 2 and Steve Downie has created havoc in this series in ways that Washington probably never expected and from a fantasy standpoint it has been great for their owners.  Mike Knuble and Jason Arnott have to do the same for Washington.  If they do not, Tampa really will win this series and the questions will start again in the nation’s Capital.

As for Nashville, they have to find a way to put more pucks in the net.  At some point, Vancouver is going to go for broke and try everything it can to play a faster paced game.  It will be up to Shea Weber and Ryan Suter not only to stop that but maybe score a little themselves.  I think these two are the key tonight in Game 3.  If they can help their goalie out as well as their offense, Nashville is going to win.  If they do not, the Sedin twins may finally wake up from their series long slumber.

Either way, there may be some excitement in Nashville tonight.  We shall see.  So good luck fantasy poolies and we will be live tweeting as always via TheProgramBTR

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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