Sunday, April 24, 2016

More Morning Player Notes in the Playoffs (Apr 24)

How much more magic do the Philadelphia Flyers possibly have?  They were not supposed to be in this series from the get-go and you could argue that they weren't in the first three games of this series, but all of a sudden... here they are!  It's a 10am MT start, hence the early post here and we're expecting to see Braden Holtby try and close it out again, while Michal Neuvirth acts as the Flyers' life-preserver out in the ocean.

This is the game where the big boys from one side really has to make a difference.  Either Alex Ovechkin puts his foot down and stamps out the Flyers or Claude Giroux finally does something in this series and forces Game 7.  Either way, this game will be a treat for the breakfast crowd.

It's a 1pm MT start for the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild here on Sunday and the Wild are very much in the same boat as the Flyers.  No Zach Parise, no Thomas Vanek... why are we even still talking about the Wild?  Oh yes, Jason Pominville and Devan Dubnyk have stayed around to make this series interesting.  The Wild bring this series back home to grind out to a Game 7, while the Stars hope they can really shoot the lights out in this one.

As Dubnyk goes, so go the Wild, but at the other end, the last loss for the Stars on Friday night, likely means that Kari Lehtonen draws back in for the Stars, as the rotating tandem thing really gets put to the test with an elimination game at hand.  Can the Stars rally around another goalie switch, mid-series?

It would be somewhat disappointing, if the series between the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders didn't go seven games, but the huge win for the Isles in Sunrise on Friday does offer them a chance to make it to the next round, playing in Brooklyn tonight and they've earned it.  The Islanders were not a sexy pick in this year's playoff pool, but they've been working too hard not to have the chance at getting there.

The Panthers will be one man short tonight, as Nick Bjugstad didn't make the trip to Long Island yesterday, staying back in Florida to nurse an upper-body injury, which he suffered on Friday, after an awkward fall into the boards.  Bjugstad appeared to be really shaken up and one may confidently speculate that the concussion protocol is being taken into advisement here.  Even if the Panthers force a Game 7, it does seem unlikely that he would be allowed to play, although nothing has been 100% confirmed.

Roberto Luongo versus Thomas Greiss again?  Book it.

No comments: