Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday's Conference Finals Preview

Finally! We're going to get some of the proper previews that these Conference Finals series deserve. The Canadiens and Flyers will get the Evening of Game Twos started at the normal East Coast time and the Habs will be looking to bounce back from a 6-0 drubbing in Game One. They have lost the first game of the first two series in these playoffs, so you couldn't imagine that they are worried just yet.

In the pool, I don't think anyone in the running for top spot minds if the Canadiens get thumped, well except for Neil B., of course. If the Flyers can sweep the Habs out of the playoffs, that would just about end all hope for Neil trying to make it into 1st place, but he'll likely get passed by the teams behind him with all the Flyers players, since he has none.
TeamScott G.Neil B.Kalenab G.Leo M.Myles D.Russ D.Stuart G.
Scott Hartnellx   x  
Claude Girouxx   x x
Kimmo Timonenx xx   
James Van Riemsdyk   x   
Chris Pronger   xx  
Daniel Briere     x 
Braydon Coburn     x 
Marc-Andre Bergeron x     

Only three of the top seven teams left in the pool have three Flyers on their team, which should be a huge benefit, unless they get shutout for four straight games, which doesn't seem very likely. Neil, Kalenab & Stuart only have one player remaining in the East, which doesn't look very promising for them at all, because most teams have the maximum amount of players in the West, so this really is the kicker series as a whole.

In the late game of the evening, the Sharks will try to keep the Blackhawks from stealing both games in their building, which would be a major coup for the young guys from Chicago. Game One was a hard fought contest which was only a 2-1 decision, which doesn't help the pool much for scoring and makes the Eastern series a little bit more important.

The West is a very different story, where teams could keep their heads above water, if they are short in the East with their selections. Every team in the top seven has three Blackhawks, but at varying quality. Four of the seven have Jonathan Toews, who leads the pool in scoring and 1st place, Scott, doesn't have him at all, so that also plays a tighter game.

TeamScott G.Neil B.Kalenab G.Leo M.Myles D.Russ D.Stuart G.
Patrick Sharpx   xx 
Dustin Byfuglienx      
Brian Campbellx      
Patrick Kane xxxx x
Jonathan Toews xx x x
Marian Hossa x x xx
Duncan Keith  x  x 
Brent Seabrook   x   
Joe Pavelskixxxxxxx
Manny Malhotrax      
Ryane Clowe x    x
Dan Boyle x     
Joe Thornton     x 
Dany Heatley   x x 
Evgeni Nabokov   x   
Jason Demers      x
Mac-Eduoard Vlasic    x  
Rob Blake    x  

As you can see, Joe Pavelski is the only common player between all seven teams vying for top spot, so his points are purely cosmetic from here on in. Five of the seven teams have taken three Sharks, minus Pavelski from everyone and only two of them count. Kalenab only has Pavelski on her team, so the Sharks are fairly dead to her, so in order for her to stay in the mix, she needs her Blackhawks players to wipe the floor with San Jose and the Habs do destroy the Flyers from here on in.

If the lead gets any bigger, this could be the runaway win for Scott that he was hoping for, thanks to his favourite team, the Flyers.

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