Thursday, May 12, 2016

Morning Player Notes in the Playoffs (May 12)

The upset is complete and it was done in convincing fashion.  The Dallas Stars were given the boot from the playoffs and were beaten to a fine pulp in front of their own fans at home by the St. Louis Blues, 6-1.

The Blues capitalized on their chances, really forcing their will up on the Stars, both early and often.  St. Louis only managed to put 19 shots on the Dallas net, but still came away with six goals.  One could argue that a lack of playoff experience on the Stars side, could have been the biggest difference, as this core group of Blues players have seen some dismal playoff failures in the past and have now worked through them to a certain degree.

The most notable player in the pool in this Game 7 was St. Louis' Paul Stastny, who finished with the winning goal and a couple of assists, finishing with a 4-point night.  Rookie forward Robby Fabbri also made a big impact, also scoring a goal and adding a pair of assists.  David Backes rounded out the notables with a goal and an assist, as this team moves on to the Conference Finals and are doing so on the shoulders of a non-pool goalie.  Harumph.

So, the Stars are now ousted and that means 111 picks are removed from teams in the pool and that doesn't leave the pool with much in the reserves.  With Patrick Sharp (18 selections), John Klingberg (16), Kris Russell (12), Jason Spezza (11) and Valeri Nichushkin (10) all taken away, the active players column in the pool is now looking quite grim.  Three teams are now completely dry, with no players left on their side, while another 11 teams are down to three players and we still have a series to decide yet.  How sad.

The Stars had a decent showing, despite their second round exit, as Jamie Benn led all players on the team with 16 points in the pool in 13 games, while Jason Spezza kicked in with 15 points and Kari Lehtonen was one of the few goalies that did any good in the pool, finishing with 14 points.

This result has certainly limited the amount of possible money winners in the pool to an absolute minimum.  It honestly looks like it is a two-horse race for two prizes, as Stuart and Kristy are well enough ahead with the most players left in the pool.  Scott, who sits in 3rd, has half the players that Kristy does, with one series left to go, and is 8 points back.  If San Jose was to drop their game tonight, that would pretty much seal the deal.  But until we know for sure, let's all hope that something intriguing happens, for the pool's sake.

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