Saturday, April 28, 2018
Goalie Announcements (Apr 28)
One afternoon game and one evening game on Saturday, as the second round rolls on. We'll probably get in a little bit of a series preview for both games tonight, since I wasn't able to get one of them during the week. Should be two good games again tonight... okay, well, if the game later tonight is anything like Game 1 of that series, then we'll just have one good game today.
Tuukka Rask versus Andrei Vasilevskiy
The Bruins were the only team in this second round to go to a 7th game in their opening round, so they got the later of all the starts, which may have been just fine for the Lightning, who only needed five games for their series.
Not expecting any surprises today, as it should be Rask versus Vasilevskiy in the nets today, both goalies got a little bit of love in the pool, one more loved than the other... *cough*Vasilevskiy*cough*. The Tampa Bay keeper did get the better of the selections, 12-4, and the Lightning, who are the favourites in the east, lead the overall selections, 66-43.
David Pastrnak and Nikita Kucherov are the premier scoring players on either side, both entering this series with 13 pool points to lead their team, but with Boston playing a couple more games, that may sway the overall offensive numbers their way.
Martin Jones versus Marc-Andre Fleury
There's no reason why the Sharks should really consider moving away from Martin Jones for Game 2 of their series, despite the Golden Knights giving him a good thumping in the opening game of the series on Thursday night. He's got them this far and the 7-0 result said more about the team in front of him, than the goalie that he is. Marc-Andre Fleury, 5 wins and 3 shutouts in these playoffs, is expected to go for Vegas.
The goaltending match-up in this series wasn't a favourite in the hockey pool, as Fleury only leads Jones by a 2-1 margin in selections... not a ratio of selections, in total selections. Actually, the way that these two teams line up in the overall selection count, you'd think that they'd be playing each of the Central Division teams in this round. The Golden Knights hold an overall edge, 38-35 in picks, neither team holds a candle to the teams in the other west series.
Both the Sharks and Golden Knights swept away their opening round opponents, so scoring numbers may be a bit sparse, but the numbers have been effective, which is the most important part. Tomas Hertl of the Sharks led all skaters coming into this series, but after Game 1, both William Karlsson and Reilly Smith of the Golden Knights jumped up to tie him at 6 points a piece, through five games played.