Saturday, June 13, 2009
Penguins Are Cup Champs!
Well, that's it. The Penguins are your Stanley Cup winners for 2009 and they had to put in a lot of hard work to be there and get it done, especially having to win the seventh game away from Mellon Arena. The Penguins survived the Red Wings onslaught in their repeat performance of the 2008 Cup Finals to capture their third Cup in franchise history and their first with a special young core of players that is signed on to be together for quite some time now.
Well, now that it's all over, we can now talk about handing out some money to our prize winners in the pool. Our champion for 2009 is Trevor B., who just narrowly hung on for first place in Game 7, as Steve W., who needed 2 points to beat him, because of tie-breakers, picked up a single point on the Red Wings goal and managed to earn the tie in overall points, but was still well behind in the tie-breaking process. Congratulations to Trevor for picking the better team of goal scorers and earning the $400 first prize. His key to success was having six of the best Penguins and Red Wings going forward and was fortunate to have a repeat of the Finals in 2008.
It's unfortunate for Steve, who finished in second, to just be shy on a tie-breaker, but he had a good team right from the start, but carried some lower seeded Red Wings into the Final, which left him just shy of the overall goal. Second place still earned him $150 for his troubles, which is nothing to sneeze at. Brad W. earned himself $50 for third place in the pool, thanks in large part to the Nicklas Lidstrom assist on the Red Wings only goal of the game. That put him one point up on Chris M., who finished fourth for $10, who managed to sneak ahead of Mike E., thanks to the Evgeni Malkin assist. Frankly, it was such a great finish to the pool, especially when you take into account that single assists decided positions when it was all said and done.
There should be no argument for the Conn Smythe Trophy this year, as Evgeni Malkin certainly earned MVP honours. Malkin also was the overall top point-getter in the pool, scoring 14 goals, adding 22 assists and picking up 3 GWG bonus points for 39 pool points. Malkin was only taken 13 times in the pool, which made him pretty key to a lot of team's success this Spring and he turned out to be the difference for the fourth place money.
This year's All-Star Playoff Team goes as follows:
Box 01 - ANA - Ryan Getzlaf 18
Box 02 - DET - Henrik Zetterberg 24
Box 03 - CHI - Jonathan Toews 15
Box 04 - DET - Johan Franzen 26
Box 05 - CHI - Patrick Sharp 13
Box 06 - VAN - Alex Burrows 5
Box 07 - VAN - Steve Bernier 6
Box 08 - ANA - Scott Niedermayer 12
Box 09 - ANA - Chris Pronger 10
Box 10 - VAN - Sami Salo 9
Box 11 - CHI - Dustin Byfuglien 9
Box 12 - DET - Chris Osgood 36
Box 13 - PIT - Evgeni Malkin 39
Box 14 - PIT - Sidney Crosby 33
Box 15 - WAS - Alex Semin 15
Box 16 - CAR - Sergei Samsonov 8
Box 17 - BOS - Michael Ryder 14
Box 18 - BOS - Patrice Bergeron 5
Box 19 - BOS - Milan Lucic 9
Box 20 - WAS - Mike Green 9
Box 21 - CAR - Joni Pitkanen 8
Box 22 - PHI - Matt Carle 3
Box 23 - CAR - Dennis Seidenberg 6
Box 24 - PIT - Marc-Andre Fleury 24
Unfortunately, we didn't get our clear winner in the GWG bonus points race, so the title was split between Johan Franzen of the Red Wings and Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins, who each finished with 3 GWG in the pool. Dan Cleary, Tyler Kennedy and Jussi Jokinen all finished with 3 GWG as well in these playoffs and they may find themselves in a box in 2010, just so you know. That could be some useful research done on your part.
Thanks to all that participated in the hockey pools in 2009, I hope you all had a lot of fun and also hope to see all, if not more, of you back for another good season in 2010. Keep an eye out on the blog site here, as I'll be outlining all the teams, the entry draft and the free agent frenzy this summer. It's going to be a wild one!
Happy Non-Hockey Season!