Saturday, April 18, 2009

Night Three of the Playoffs

The shape of the pool, although it's only been three nights, has shifted a little bit after Friday night. The running total of participants with active teams is 61, which is up from 55, where the day started from. That's great news, as it's now six better than last season and there still could be a few more to join before tomorrow's deadline.

The shape of the pool was also shifted greatly by the huge win by the Canucks, shutting out the St. Louis Blues, 3-0, saw a pretty big jump in points for those who took the top players of the team. Roberto Luongo finished the night with 4 points, thanks to the shutout, while Daniel and Henrik Sedin each had a pair of points.

The Penguins also took a 2-0 series lead, thanks to a 3-2 win over the Flyers. Evgeni Malkin had himself a big night, being in on every goal tonight for the Penguins.

The Hurricanes managed to tie up their series with the Devils in New Jersey. as well, seeing Cam Ward get the win and have the best number of points in the game.

Game-Winning Goals
PhotobucketTwo of three game-winners were counted among pool players on Friday night. Bill Guerin scored the overtime winner for the Penguins, to help them to a 2-0 series lead. Guerin gave 11 teams in the pool a bonus point for the goal. For the Hurricanes, the only non-counting winner came from Tim Gleason, not allowing a bonus point from that game. Finally, for the Canucks, it was Mats Sundin who scored the first goal of the game, which finally turned out to be the winner. Sundin was taken 10 times out of the 61 active teams in the pool.

After three nights of action, 15th place, Mike E., leads the pool with 4 game-winners, while 2nd place, Miro, has 3 winners.

The Hurricanes did a little bit of a roster shuffle after the Game 1 loss on Wednesday night. Friday, out of the line-up went Dennis Seidenberg, the Box 23 defenseman, and in went Frank Kaberle. Seidenberg played 18 minutes and was a -1 in the loss against the Devils. Seidenberg was relatively popular on the Sheet, taken 11 times in the box. If the Hurricanes dress the winning line-up again, Seidenberg;s selection may turn out to be useless.

The Devils and 3 pool teams are currently holding their breath, waiting to hear what the extent of Jamie Langenbrunner's lower body injury is. Langenbrunner suffered the injury in Game 2 after only playing 14 minutes in the game. Stay tuned to see if Langenbrunner will be ready for Game 3 on Sunday.

Tonight's Games

Alright, four games on Saturday and we get ourselves going nice and early. The Rangers will be in Washington to take on the Capitals for an 11am MT time start, thanks to not playing on Friday night. The Capitals need to make up for their goaltending performance on Wednesday night. Jose Theodore, taken 5 times, will have to redeem himself on Saturday afternoon. It's a 4pm MT start for the Blue Jackets and the Red Wings, where Columbus will have to bring their A-game to try and tie up the series. The Jackets were the least selected team in the pool this year, so they won't be missed if they are quickly eliminated. It's a rare 6pm MT start for the Bruins & Canadiens second game, which will be played in Boston. The Bruins own a 1-0 series lead heading into Saturday's action and are still the most popular team in the pool. Finally, at 7pm on Saturday, the Flames will try to take back some pride in Game 2 against the Blackhawks. The Hawks stole away a game from the Flames and this could turn out to be a very key match-up. Look for a bit of fireworks in this game tonight.

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