Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Morning Player Notes in the Playoffs (May 31)

And they're off!  The Stanley Cup Finals are underway and the experienced Pittsburgh Penguins got off to a rocking start, thanks to their inexperienced depth.

A pair of goals, within a minute of each other, from Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary got the party started for the Penguins and really put the Sharks on their heels before the end of the 1st period.  Fortunately for the Sharks, the stage didn't upset their confidence much, as a big 2nd period, tying the game at 2-2, certainly helped their cause and it was some familiar names getting the job done.  Tomas Hertl scored early in the period on the power play to get them on the board and Patrick Marleau tied the game late in the frame, scoring on a wraparound and it was a new game heading to the 3rd.

The experience of the Penguins showed in the 3rd period, because they were able to pour on the pressure in the final frame, pumping Martin Jones with 18 shots on goal and that pressure caused the Sharks to break late, as Nick Bonino shoveled one over the Sharks number one and that was good enough to win the game, despite a late San Jose power play for that last push.

And just like that, the Penguins have an early 1-0 series lead.

This was a pretty poor game by the hockey pool's standards as their was only one notable player and he wasn't even on the winning team.  Brent Burns finished with a couple of assists and was the best player from our 50 teams, taken six times.

Game 2 will go on Wednesday night, when the Penguins try and wrap up home-ice advantage and get off to a daunting lead, before this series heads back to San Jose for Saturday night.

ImplicationsTwo pool teams managed to scrape some scoring out of the first game of the series, as both Brenda and Chris' team each finished with 5 points out of that train wreck in the pool.  It helped that both of them each had Burns and some of the other assists that were floating around in the boxscore.  With more train wrecks like this, we're only going to count the best Cup Finals series in this section.  This round will have no affect on the money.

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