Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals was a whole lot more of what I remember of what playoff hockey should be... a game played a little tighter to the vest, some great skating and exceptional goaltending. It was just a shame that the Montreal Canadiens were on the wrong side of a 1-0 result, unable to force a Game Seven in what has been an excellent series.
Instead, the New York Rangers have moved on to the Stanley Cup Finals, now awaiting the winner of the Chicago/Los Angeles series, with Game Six of that one going on Friday night.
You have to give it to the Rangers, they played a magnificent game in front of Henrik Lundqvist, who only had to make 18 saves for his first shutout of the playoffs. The Canadiens were held to just five shots in the 3rd period, where they had to play catch-up after Dominic Moore's late 2nd period goal, which stood up as the only goal of the game. The team defense of the Rangers was impenetrable and the Canadiens just couldn't find a way to get quality chances on Lundqvist.
Lundqvist was the only notable player in the 1-0 game, coming away with 4 points, giving the four teams in the pool that have him a better shot at the money.
So, with the elimination of the Canadiens, there was a mass exodus of players from the pool, as they were the favourites in this series, out-selecting the Rangers, 104-71. There are still quite a few picks left out in the East, but it could have been so much more exciting with some more Habs players in the pool.
David Desharnais and P.K. Subban were the two most popular Habs removed from teams last night, striking off 21 and 19 total selections each.
Carey Price and Subban were the top two scoring players for the Canadiens on the pool sheet, finishing with 18 & 15 points, respectively.
So, what does this mean going forward? Well, 10 teams in the pool have nine players still active, the maximum amount left, which means that these teams will have six players for the Cup Finals, guaranteed. The top seven teams are all in there, which means that the race will be good and close down the stretch.
At the bottom of this list, Allan S. only has one player left, while three teams only have two players left. All are fairly close, if not in, the 40's.
With the Lundqvist shutout, that means that Gus M. has both teams in the money, while Travis moved into 2nd place and Corey dropped down to 3rd place. Dale B. and Wes now sit 1 point out of 4th place and those would be the six teams that have the best shot at coming away with the four money spots, through Thursday night's game.