Friday, May 27, 2016
Morning Player Notes in the Playoffs (May 27)
I wouldn't necessarily say it was the Game 7 of our dreams, as both teams sat back and played safely for the opening 20 minutes and that led to more of a chess game, than if these two teams decided to hold a track meet and go end to end all night long.
No, the chess game was more about capitalizing on mistakes and that was the story of the game. For the most part, the two young goalies were dynamite, but closing up a small gap was the difference between the deciding game playing a little bit longer and the Tampa Bay Lightning going home, as Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn't able to shut up shop, as Bryan Rust poked his second goal of the game through and the 2-1 goal that it was, stood up to be the winner and the final score in the end.
The Penguins did very well in Game 7 to defend their zone and their netminder, Matt Murray, as the Lightning were pouring on the pressure in the 3rd period and came up with nothing. Even the return of their captain, Steven Stamkos, couldn't boost the Lightning's offense to a key Game 7 victory.
It wasn't a very good Game 7 for the hockey pool either, as Evgeni Malkin registered a pair of assists on the two Pittsburgh goals and that was it for notable players. Nevertheless, his side moves on and we now await the start of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The elimination of the Lightning means that 56 more picks are off the board in the pool and now seven teams are without any players in the Cup Finals. Those teams go as high as 13th place, as Wes managed 163 points, but won't get any more after the Lightning loss. On the flip side, four teams will have the maximum amount of players, six, in the Finals, but that won't really have much of an effect on the money winnings this year.
Thanks to a scoring change from earlier in the series, Tyler Johnson crept up to be the Lightning's best player in the playoffs, finishing with 7 goals, including 3 winners, 10 assists for 20 points in 17 games, but it wasn't enough for another appearance in the Finals. Ben Bishop, despite not playing past the opening game, also finished with 20 points, thanks to 8 wins and 2 shutouts. Neither player was picked in the pool this year.
Check out the blog on Sunday, we'll have the Cup Finals preview posted, if it actually means anything to you. It hardly means a thing to the final standings of the pool.