Monday, April 20, 2015

Three Upsets in the Making and a Possible Sweep

The New York Islanders were leading the parade on the upset route through the playoffs, although their series is the closest one that matches up to each other, in terms of pool selections. The Islanders and Capitals headed to Long Island for Game 3 and it was the home team that earned the victory in a tighter knit game, with John Tavares scoring the overtime winner, 15 seconds into the extra frame.

The Islanders overall were 57-51 underdogs in the series, according to the selections, so it was a pretty good split between 36 entries, a hard series to pick.  Tavares, who had 8 selections led the way on Sunday afternoon with 2 points, while Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves in the victory, but no one picked him, so those points vaporize into nothingness.

Game 4 is slated to go on Tuesday night, a 5:30pm MT start on Sportsnet 360.

Could there be some troubled waters with the Nashville Predators?  The team is in Chicago, they are without their captain, Shea Weber, and another grinding forward in Mike Fisher, and the Blackhawks are finding some confidence in goaltender Scott Darling.  It all added up to the Blackhawks side on Sunday afternoon, as they were able to crush the Predators in the 2nd period and then lock it down in the 3rd period for the 4-2 victory in Game 3.  The Blackhawks now carry a 2-1 series lead with one more game at home and things are just not looking up for Nashville.

The nine teams that picked Corey Crawford can't be too happy about the change of heart that the Blackhawks had in their crease, but in Chicago's defense, they didn't feel confident in Crawford and the win from Darling will keep him in the crease for the foreseeable future.

For those players who are still active in the pool, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad all picked up 2 points in the game, leading the way for the series lead.

Game 4 will be a later start in Chicago on Tuesday night, a 7:30pm MT, helping out the US TV schedule, it would seem.

Looks like it's time to dust off the ol' 8-ball, as home ice didn't really make a big difference for the Ottawa Senators, as they didn't count on Dale Weise being the one to break their hearts and then stomp on the pieces.

The Senators were looking awfully good in Game 3, hitting everything that moved, winning a lot of puck battles, faceoffs and blocking more than their fair share of shots.  Unfortunately, the only goal that they scored, midway through the 1st, wasn't destined to be enough, as they didn't count on the bottom six being where the offense was coming from.

Weise scored in the 3rd period with a little over five minutes to play, eventually sending the game into overtime and then he ended up scoring the winner in the first overtime frame, giving him a 3-point night.  And yes, he is in the pool, Box 18, where he was taken twice!

Carey Price continues to roll in the playoffs, much like he did as the regular season MVP in the hockey pool, making 33 saves for the win and the only other player in the pool with 2 points in this game.

This series moves off of the schedule by a day, as they are now bumped to Wednesday night for the continuation, so that gives me an extra day to try and locate that damned 8-ball.

The first playoff game in Calgary since 2009 went about just as good as the Flames could have possibly wanted.  A complete 60-minute effort, which blanketed the Canucks defense, sending them into royal fits and plenty of traffic to disrupt the goaltending and the Flames came away with a 4-2 victory, taking a 2-1 series lead.

The Flames did it all by committee, as the scoring was spread around pretty well.  Defenseman T.J. Brodie led the pool skaters with 2 points, while Jonas Hiller made 23 stops for the victory.

There will be lots to watch from the NHL offices, as with more nonsense at the end of the game, there will be some video watched by the Department of Player Safety and some decisions made for Game 4, which will go on Tuesday night at 8pm MT.

Game-Winning Goals
New Playoffs Game Winner ButtonAnd in the winners department, the bonus points were collected in three out of the four games on the schedule, the only one that didn't land in the pool was in Calgary, as Sam Bennett was credited with the winner in the end.

John Tavares, Brandon Saad and Dale Weise were the bonus point earners for the night, all of them scoring their first of the playoffs.

Nic L. was caught by Sean L. in the race in the standings for bonus points with 5 points each, while five teams still have yet to see a bonus point come up in their team pages.

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