Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Canucks Are Eliminated

canucksI think we'll start with our elimination of the night. In Chicago, the Blackhawks won a barn-burner against the Canucks in Game 6 to eliminate them from the playoffs. The 7-5 shootout was likely the highest scoring output game of the playoffs and it was quite the back-and-forth affair throughout. Both Nikolai Khabibulin and Roberto Luongo seemed a little less than human, rather than their brick wall selves, but the nature of desperation really took hold of both clubs and at the end, it was the Blackhawks who were more deserving of the win.

The Hawks were led offensively by Jonathan Toews, who finished up with two goals (including the winner) and an assist for a 4-point night. With Toews getting the bonus point, he does one point better than Patrick Kane, who scored his first hat-trick in the playoffs, which was also a huge part of the game for Chicago. Other players having big offensive nights for the Hawks were Martin Havlat and Brian Campbell, who both had a pair of assists, while Khabibulin did register the win for his 2 points.

The Canucks had last gasp efforts from Daniel Sedin (2 goals), Mats Sundin (goal & assist), Kevin Bieksa (2 assists) and Mattias Ohlund (2 assists).

The elimination saw the the removal of 138 selections from the pool teams, which was a 75.4% selection rate. The most popular Canucks player was Alex Burrows, who was taken 25 times. Mats Sundin led all Canucks in the second round with 7 points, while Roberto Luongo finished as the team leader in points through the playoffs with 14. Sami Salo and Steve Bernier led the team in GWGs, with 2 each.

As one team that was behind the 8-ball leaves the pool, one stayed alive on Monday night, as the Washington Capitals also won in a see-saw battle of offense against the Penguins. The Caps forced a seventh game with a 5-4 win, so now they will be heading to Washington to play Game 7 on Wednesday night, which will be carried by CBC.

It's hard to argue, but Alex Ovechkin was the leader again for the Caps, but this time he didn't score any goals to help lead his team, rather he set three of them up. His three assists were best among Caps players, while non-pool player, David Steckel, tipped in the game-winner from a Brooks Laich shot. Laich finished the game with a goal and an assist. Viktor Kozlov had a pair of goals and Alex Semin had a pair of assists in the game to round out the multiple points for the Capitals. Evgeni Malkin had 3 assists and Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist to help propel the Penguins, but they had fallen short in their efforts.

Tonight's Games
ducksducksTonight, we have a doubleheader of elimination games on TSN. We already saw the Bruins stave off elimination once against the Hurricanes, but we are going to see if they can do it again, this time down 3-2 and in Carolina. This will be a very entertaining game, especially after the fireworks of Game 5 and now the Bruins have a shot at tying up the series to send it back to Boston for Game 6. This one gets started at 5pm MT.

In the second game of the night, it will be the Ducks' first chance to stave off elimination, also down 3-2 to the Red Wings, but they will have the chance to send this series to Game 7 at home in Anaheim. The Ducks, who are major underdogs in the pool, have as good of shot as any to make it to Game 7, especially with their crowd behind them. This is a late start on the West Coast, 8pm on TSN.

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