Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Champs Are Done

The improbable run continues for the Montreal Canadiens, as they managed to close down Mellon Arena as the Pittsburgh Penguins home, just like they opened it as their home in 1967, with a loss to the Habs.  The Canadiens came out with all their guns-a-blazin' in their start against the Penguins, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the 1st period and then a 4-0 lead just over five minutes into the 2nd period.  At that point, the Penguins gave the hook to Marc-Andre Fleury and the Canadiens just had to hang on from there.  The Penguns managed to claw a couple of goals back before the end of the period, but it was a strong effort by Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens to make it through the 3rd period unscathed, adding a goal and that's that... a 5-2 final for the Canadiens and they are heading off to the Conference Finals.

In Game Seven, it was another clutch performance from Mike Cammalleri, who finished the game with a goal and an assist and his goal was the eventual game-winner and that means that it was a 3-point effort for the leading scorer for the Habs.  Also having a big night for the Canadiens in their clinching win were Jaroslav Halak (win), Brian Gionta (2 goals) and Scott Gomez (2 assists). 

So, now to the Penguins and their elimination in the pool.  The Penguins were far and away the favourites in this series, especially since the Canadiens were not at all picked as a team to make it out of the first round against hte Capitals.  So, the Penguins will force almost every team in the pool to lose three players, as 157 selections are now down the toilet with this loss.  Evgeni Malkin was the most popular Penguins taken in the pool, now being dropped 21 times throughout the pool, while Alex Goligoski was dropped 20 times.  Sidney Crosby led all Penguins in scoring in the Playoff Pool, finishing with 6 goals (including 1 winner) and 13 assists for 20 points and he was taken 14 times.  Crosby is actually ranked 3rd among all players in the pool with his 20 points, so it's a pretty crushing loss to a good number of teams, especially with no Canadiens picked in the top boxes in the Eastern Conference.

So, with all of this, the Penguins and their defense of their 2009 championship has come to an end and we'll now have a new champion come the early part of June.  I can't wait to see how this effects the pool down the stretch.

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