Thursday, April 16, 2015

Night One is In the Books

And we're off! Four games kicked off the 2015 NHL playoffs and I'm still entering teams into the pool, so we'll have some final figures here soon, I think.

Montreal and Ottawa kicked off with a bit of a bang, as the two sides really showed some hate, as there were plenty of penalty minutes to go around, including a 5-minute major to pool favourite, P.K. Subban, for his slash on Sens forward Mark Stone.  Nevertheless, the red lights were flashing at both ends of the ice, as the Habs came away with a 4-3 win in regulation time.

Before Subban was booted from the game, he was one of two Habs with 2 points in the game, the other being the winning goalie, Carey Price, who made 30 saves for the win.  On the Ottawa side, Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, getting made notable for his multi-point performance.

Both Subban and Price were pretty popular in the sheet, thus far, Subban having been taken 13 times and Price 10 times, while Zibanejad wasn't taken at all.

More on the Stone front, as the Senators announced that their rookie forward suffered a fractured wrist from the slash and his availability for Game 2 is now in question.  Subban isn't going to face any more supplemental discipline for the slash, but the Senators may be in a bit of trouble, if they don't have the scoring from Stone going forward.

Out of the paid teams that are entered in the pool, Stone has been taken once, so this does become news worthy of the results of the pool.

The New York Islanders are back in the playoffs and they want everyone to know about it, especially the Washington Capitals.  They were able to push three goals past Caps goalie Braden Holtby in the opposition's barn and they got off to a rousing start to their series with a 4-1 win.  It looks like the Capitals had the Islanders number in most statistical categories on Wednesday night, except for the most important one, which is the big numbers on the scoreboard.

Notable players from Game 1 at the Verizon Center are all Islanders, in case you were wondering, as Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome and Jaroslav Halak all came away with 2 points a piece.  The Islanders are the underdogs, as per the selections in the pool, so very few teams capitalized on these points.  Bailey is the most popular of the four, having been taken five times.

Scoreboard watching for the Chicago and Nashville was a lot of fun last night, as the Predators got up to a 3-0 lead before the end of the 1st period, forcing Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford from the game early on, but those Hawks are resilient and showed as such, coming all the way back in the 2nd period to tie the game 3-3 and then the two teams went on, all the way into double overtime for the finish.  There, it was Duncan Keith being the eventual hero in the game, scoring the winner and bringing Chicago all the way back for a Game 1 win.

Keith and Jonathan Toews were the big players in the game, each finishing the night with 3 points, kicking off the series, while Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane also had 2 points each in the win.  One notable player for the Predators, Colin Wilson had a couple of goals to get a mention in the blog post this morning.

Chicago is the clear favourite in the pool, which means that there are a number of teams who picked up points last night.  Kane is the overwhelming favourite though, taken 15 times and he made it worth their while.

Finally, it was a fast and furious game in Vancouver, as Game 1 between the Flames and Canucks was well fought, like a true playoff game. Like most tightly contested playoff games, it came down to the right bounces and seeing-eye shots in order to win and both teams had their share, but the Flames came away with a 2-1 win in regulation, taking a quick 1-0 series lead away from home.

Only two players of note in this low-scoring affair, as Kris Russell and Jonas Hiller each picked up a pair of points in the win, both taken by a few teams in the pool, two picks for Russell and five for Hiller.

The Flames are an overwhelming favourite in the pool this year and they got off to the right start.

Game-Winning Goals
New Playoffs Game Winner ButtonThe flashing red light is back for the bonus points and out of four games on opening night, three of them counted in the pool.  Ryan Strome, Duncan Keith and Kris Russell all got off the marks in the GWG column.

Sean L. in the pool is off to a blinding start here, as he had two out of the three bonus points and that helped him to a 15-point start in the standings, tied for 1st with Clint and David after one night.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

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