Friday, April 24, 2015
Player Notes in the Playoffs (Apr 24)
In a curious move on Thursday night, the Islanders coaching staff opted to bring non-pool forward Mikhail Grabovski back into the fold for Game 5 against the Capitals, taking out Box 16 forward Brock Nelson in the process, a player that has scored a couple of goals in the series already. No, that move did not pay off for the Islanders, as they dropped the game, 5-1, and fell down in the series, 3-2.
Of course, that didn't make the one team that picked Nelson, belonging to Clint, very happy, as he missed out on a key game for his player.
The Nashville Predators announced that defenseman Shea Weber will be out for the remainder of the opening round series against the Chicago Blackhawks, as his lower-body injury is fairly serious and needs attention. Of course, there may only be one more game of this series, with Nashville being down 3-2 going into the weekend, but if it goes seven games, then we will know that Weber will not participate.
Weber was taken five times in Box 9 of the pool, as there was a reasonable amount of teams that thought the Predators could knock off the Blackhawks in the opening round. The thinking largely included that Weber would have been their to anchor the team through.
The St. Louis Blues held Box 7 forward Jori Lehtera off the ice on Friday morning, the skate before Game 5 of the series between themselves and the Minnesota Wild. Lehtera was injured in Game 4 after getting in the way of a teammate's shot in the 3rd period, leaving the game and not returning. The coaching staff figured it would be best to keep the Finn off the ice in the morning and his status for the evening is still in question. He'll be day-to-day, if he misses the game.
In the last forward box in the West, he was taken twice, Dale C.'s first team has him, as does Dale D.'s team.
The Senators are still behind the 8-ball and now their on the road in the Bell Centre, so it will be a tough go for Craig Anderson to pull out a second win in these playoffs, but he'll certainly give it a go. Are we expecting anyone other than Carey Price to be in the net for the Canadiens tonight? No, I didn't think so.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are facing their first elimination game of these 2015 playoffs, as they will go into Madison Square Garden, down 3-1, throwing Marc-Andre Fleury against the wall, seeing if he can keep enough Rangers pucks out of his own net. It's going to be a tough task, but all he has to do is keep one less puck out of his net than Henrik Lundqvist at the other end of the ice. Of course, there is nothing easy about that proposition.
Finally, the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues will face-off tonight, trying to put each other behind the 8-ball and there should be no surprises in the nets tonight, as Devan Dubnyk, the only pool goalie in this game, will go up against Jake Allen, who played well in Game 4 to tie the series at 2-2. The game goes at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota, so the Wild should have somewhat of an advantage... if there was ever such a thing in this series.
An updated list of injuries can be found here.