Thursday, April 16, 2009

Welcome to the Playoffs!

Here we are, everyone. The first night of the NHL playoffs have come and gone and we're still taking in entries for the pool this morning, so get in while it's hot!

The first box of the Eastern Conference is where you may want to look, if you are just picking out your sheet now. Box 13 has the two top players from Wednesday night's action, Scott Gomez of the Rangers and Zach Parise of the Devils. Both players finished with three points a piece. You can only have one of those players, so choose wisely.

Last night's winning goalies were Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc-Andre Fleury and Roberto Luongo; all overcoming opening night jitters to get the lead in their respective series.

In theory, you could do a lot of damage, just joining the pool today, but will it be the right decision to only pick the hot players from last night. We'll see.

Game-Winning Goals
PhotobucketThe return of the flashing goal light means one thing! The game-winning goal bonus point... the extra little something that makes winning games extra nice. In four games last night, only one of the game-winners showed up on the standings page, as only one of the scorers was taken in the pool. Three of them were actually available, as Tyler Kennedy of the Penguins, was not made available on the Sheet. The counting goal in question was scored by Sami Salo of the Canucks, so he registers the bonus point, that gave him 2 points on the night. The other two players who scored winners on Wednesday night were Zach Parise and Brandon Dubinsky of the Rangers, neither of which were very popular with the first 35 teams to join the pool.

One bit of injury news to pass along to you this morning. Box 14 forward, Chris Drury, did not dress for Game 1 versus the Capitals, as he's was questionable/probably with an undisclosed injury. There is a good chance that he'll be ready for Game 2 on Friday night, as the Rangers look to take both games from the Capitals in their building. Drury, much like his other top end Ranger counterparts, were not taken as of yet in the pool.

Tonight's Games

The other four games in the first round will start on Thursday night, beginning in Boston, where the Canadiens invade the Bruins, in what should be a bloodbath. If you were able to see any of the final regular season match-up, both teams have their hate on for one another and will be ready to smash it up tonight. Out of the 35 selection sheets in, the Bruins have locked up 89.5% of their possible selections in the sheet, while the Habs only have 12.4% of their possible selections, making Boston the clear favourite. In the second game of the night, the Blue Jackets will play their first playoff game in franchise history against the reigning champs, the Red Wings in Detroit. We're not quite sure how this one will turn out from the outset, but according to the selections, Detroit has 86.7% of their possible 105 selections (so far), while Columbus has 14.3%. Of course, that isn't at all fair for the Blue Jackets. The third game tonight sees the Flames in Chicago to take on the Blackhawks. This series does seem a little more even among selection sheets, as the Hawks carry a slight lead of 60% to 41% on the Flames, so I think we can expect this series to last a while. In the late game tonight, the Sharks will host the Ducks in the tank, which should be an interesting Battle of California match-up. The Ducks are seriously outmatched in selections in this series, only having 18.1%, while the Sharks are the most favoured team in the West so far, sitting at 87.6%.

There are more Sheets to come for the percentages to change, but at least you have a good idea. Let Thursday night's action be as good as Wednesday's!

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