There we have it. Our first team that was behind the 8-ball is the first team to be eliminated. Tuesday night saw the end of the St. Louis Blues in the 2009 Playoffs, as the Canucks managed to beat them in four straight games, thanks to a 3-2 overtime finish in St. Louis.
The elimination now sees 36 selections nullified for the remainder of the Spring, including one selection on three teams in the top ten. Of course, since they are already in the top ten and have a Blues player, that player probably didn't do them much good anyways. Eight teams in the pool decided to go with St. Louis, instead of Vancouver, for the series winner and that will likely hurt their chances of success right now.
It was three points that was tops in the evening's action on Tuesday night and a pair of players topped the list. Alex Burrows of the Canucks, had a pair of goals, including the overtime winner, to collect his three points. He finished the series with 4 points in total.
The San Jose Sharks finally registered their first win of the Playoffs, beating the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3. Dan Boyle was the other player to have 3 points in the pool on Tuesday night, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist. Boyle's leadership and veteran status finally came out from the shadows to help carry the Sharks in a tight game.
In the early action, the Penguins topped the Flyers, 3-1, to make the series the same as the score. Marc-Andre Fleury was tops in that game, getting 2 points for the win.
The Red Wings put a stranglehold on their series against the Blue Jackets, going up 3-0 in their first round match-up, thanks to a 4-1 victory. Henrik Zetterberg and Chris Osgood led all pool players in that game with 2 points a piece.
Finally, the Hurricanes did manage to tie up the series with the Devils, thanks to a last second goal in the third period to break a 3-3 deadlock. Cam Ward had 2 points for the win, while defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Joni Pitkanen each had a pair of assists in the game as well. On the other side of the ledger, Brian Gionta had a goal and an assist, just to make things interesting.
We'll run right from the beginning of the night, trying to move through the five games worth of action. In Philadelphia, the game-winner did not count in the pool, as Tyler Kennedy's second period goal did stand up to be the winner and he was nowhere to be found on the Sheet. Detroit also used their second goal as the game-winner, but that was also scored by another player not in the pool. Dan Cleary scored at the end of the first to make the score 2-0, but it was the eventual winner. Two games down and we're already 0-for-2 for pool players... make that 0-for-3 now. Jussi Jokinen was the man who tipped the puck past Martin Brodeur with only a fraction of a second remaining in the third period for the Hurricanes. You won't find that Jokinen on the Sheet anywhere, so another bonus point disappears. In the fourth game, it was Alex Burrows who eliminated the Blues in overtime with his last minute goal for the Canucks. Finally! Not only is Burrows actually on the Sheet, he's a pretty popular guy. 25 teams selected Burrows from the Sheet, that's not too bad. He turned out to be the most popular Canucks player on the Sheet. Finally, in Anaheim, it was Patrick Marleau who scored the winner for the Sharks, making the night a 2-for-5 final decision in bonus points. Marleau has found a spot on 13 teams in the pool and he rewarded those teams with that extra point. So, there you have it.
Only one player was added to the list of injuries & scratches on Tuesday night and that was Canucks' defenseman, Sami Salo. Salo was held out of the game with a lower body injury, joining Mats Sundin, who has the same affliction or close to it. With the Canucks being finished early, the team will now get to rest their ailing players for the next round, which could be upwards of 10 days away.
We have a new team behind the 8-ball tonight, as the Canadiens will look to stave off elimination for one more game against the Bruins. The Habs could be swept tonight by Boston, in Montreal, in this, their centennial year. This does have the makings of a disaster finish for the historic club, but the team has been far from deserving of a free ride this season. This game will start at 5pm MT on CBC tonight. In the first half of a TSN doubleheader tonight, the Capitals will try and even the series against the Rangers at MSG, instead of going down 3-1 in the series heading back to Washington. The road team has won all three games to start the series and why should it stop now? The late game on TSN will see the Flames try and use their home ice to tie up the series with the Blackhawks, before they head back to Chicago for Game 5. This game is a late start, getting going at 8pm MT.
Only three games on the schedule tonight, so it might be a bit of a light one in the pool, unless every team goes great guns and scores up a storm. Here's hoping!