Friday, April 20, 2007

Only Three Series Left

Only two of a possible three teams were eliminated on Thursday night. The Wild were knocked out by the Ducks and the Penguins ended their short run against the Senators. The Wild didn't have a lot of picks to their name, mostly Marian Gaborik, but there was one team with Nicklas Backstrom. More than not, however, most people had a good feeling that the Ducks were going to make it through. In a toss-up series like the Penguins and Senators, there was a lot of division between the 63 teams in the pool on who would make it through. So, it really didn't matter which team made it through or was eliminated... a lot of teams were going to lose a lot of players. No more Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Sergei Gonchar or Marc-Andre Fleury.

Friday night, the Islanders gave it their best, but they fell short against the Sabres. A 4-3 loss eliminated a few picks from the pool, but not a great deal of them. Miroslav Satan, Richard Zednik and Viktor Kozlov were quite popular in a supporting forward role in the pool... as Islanders go. They were taken three times each and they were the most popular Islanders. Everyone seemed to have a good understanding that the Sabres were gonna roll over the Islanders.

In a series that was expected to go seven, it only lasted five and the hottest team going into the series, leaves the first round as hotter than when they started. The Nashville Predators have been axed from the playoffs by the Sharks after losing Friday night's late game 3-2. 81 selections from Nashville heading into the playoffs have been erased. A big loss to a lot of teams. Even Tomas Vokoun made it onto three entries.

Unfortunately for Gerald, he's down to eleven players... and there is still three series left to be decided. He's going to need Vancouver and Detroit to go through to ensure he still has eleven left for the second round.

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Well, no one has him... no one wants him... especially since Sean Hill has now been suspended for 20 games after violating the league's substance abuse policy. He didn't register any points against Buffalo in the four games that he played in and it doesn't look like he'll have many games to play in the early part of next season as well.

Game Winning Goal Scorers
On Thursday night, there were four games. Let's see who tallied the bonus points in the evening. Dany Heatley scored the statistical dagger in the heart to eliminate Pittsburgh, but I'm sure the second and third goals probably did more to crush their chances. In Calgary, Daymond Langkow scored midway through the second period and that was enough to hold off the Red Wings and tie the series at two. Brendan Morrow scored the only goal of the game in the first overtime against the Canucks, so the Stars are now only one game behind Vancouver heading back to Dallas. In the other eliminating game, Ryan Getzlaf got credit for the winner and picked up the bonus point. The Ducks are the first ones through in the West.

Friday night, non-pool defenseman Adam Greene scored the winner for the Devils in their 3-0 shutout win. They took a 3-2 series lead with that win and will get the chance to win the series in Tampa Bay, early on Sunday morning. Buffalo knocked out the Islanders with Maxim Afinogenov's third period goal. Really, it was Ryan Miller who won the game for the Sabres, but it wasn't a goal... it was a huge save in the third to keep the game from going into overtime. Patrick Marleau scored his second of the game late in the third period to break the tie and then have the Predators eliminated. Only four people chose Marleau and gained that bonus point, which seems to me to be a pretty good... if only I took him. D'oh.

Saturday's preview

"On the road again, Goin' places that I've never been, Seein' things that I may never see again, And I can't wait to get on the road again."

A little bit of Willie Nelson for ya, just to remind everyone where the Flames are on Saturday afternoon. Yup. On the road. Again. In Detroit. Granted, they have been there before. They might not see it again... the combination of two losses or two wins... which ever you'll believe.

It's a 1pm start for the game on CBC. Damn that NBC, eh? Now you're going to have to neglect your chores through the day to watch the game. Ah well.

At 6pm on CBC... man, I'm hoping for an overtime or two in the Flames game, so there's little time in between... the Canucks are in Dallas to try and close out the series there. They took games three and four there, so it isn't as concerning as the early game. The twins will be relied upon to finally start scoring. Maybe we'll get to see a game that isn't a one-goal game and goes into overtime.

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