Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From One Game Seven to Another

The Cinderella run really didn't even make it to the final dance and the bells of midnight, but the Phoenix Coyotes will have themselves an open invitation to the next dance a year from now, if they so choose to use it.

The Detroit Red Wings are indeed on their way to the 2nd round of these 2010 Playoffs and they will face the number one seed, San Jose Sharks, thanks to a convincing 6-1 victory over their younger, wetter-behind-the-ears opponent, Coyotes.

It was a massive game for a few Red Wings, who all finished with 3 points each in the game.  Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Brian Rafalski all picked up a trio of points for the hockey pool, making those who had faith in the Red Wings very happy people.

Talking about the less-than-faithful for the Red Wings, there were a large number of teams picking the favourite (by standings only) to take the series, but not only that... there were quite a few people hedging their bets with a couple of Coyotes on their team, just in case they do slip through.  The split in this series was definitely not even, with the Coyotes picking up 32.7% of their maximum number of selections, while the Red Wings had 83.9%.  All of the series had some strange bits of addition, but this is where the percentage actually went over 100%, because I believe, people wanted to have something, just in case.  The most popular Coyotes player in the pool was Adrian Aucoin, who was taken 11 times, followed by Derek Morris, who was taken 10 times.

Leading the Coyotes in scoring in their only round was Ilya Bryzgalov, Matthew Lombardi and Derek Morris, who all finished with 6 points.

Game-Winning Goals
New Playoffs Game Winner ButtonOnly one Game Seven, only one game-winning goal to speak of and that came from the stick of Pavel Datsyuk, which was a pretty slick move on Bryzgalov on a breakaway. It held up to be the winner in the 6-1 drubbing.  It was Datsyuk's 1st GWG of the playoffs and likely not his last.

This game had no effect on the pool lead in winners, as both Carl and Russ lead the way with 9 each, followed by seven others with 8 each.

The reports after the game were indicating that Shane Doan was suffering from a Grade Three shoulder separation and would normally miss upwards of 3-to-4 weeks with the injury.  Doan was on the ice trying to skate through the injury and was hoping to play in Game Seven, but obviously it was going to be too much and wasn't able to go.  This could very well be measured as one of the turning points in the series, his injury.

Tonight's Games

The last game of the first round goes on Wednesday night and I think we're all hoping that it turns out to be twice the game that the Phoenix/Detroit game wasn't, just to make up for the drubbing. The Canadiens, who have come back from being down 3-1 in the series, is playing Game Seven in Washington against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals and this has the makings of an epic Game Seven final.

The Capitals were not able to close out a very resilient Habs team, that was led by the great goaltending of Jaroslav Halak and some of the more clutch scoring of Mike Cammalleri to force this Game Seven, so now it's a question of how much momentum do these wins carry and can the young elite Capitals draw enough strength to recover from this let down in the series.

Cammalleri currently leads this series in pool scoring with 11 points, while Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom each have 9 points.  Each team know who they will have to shut down.

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