Monday, April 27, 2015

Two Elimination Games, Two Eliminations

Being behind the 8-ball didn't suit the St. Louis Blues at all, as the Minnesota Wild knocked off the Central Division winner, thanks to some spotty defense and the goaltending controversy looming large.

The Wild capped off a 4-2 series win with a 4-1 win in Game 6 at home.  Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for his fourth win of the playoffs, while Zach Parise added a couple of goals to help lead the way in the win.

The Blues were huge favourites in this series in the pool, as their selections were 89-26 better than the Wild's, so the eliminations are a pretty big upset in the pool.  David Backes was picked the most on the sheet, taken 14 times, while T.J. Oshie was taken 13 times.  Five Blues players on the sheet hit double-digits in selections.

In the scoring department, the Blues were going the right way offensively, as Vladimir Tarasenko led all St. Louis players with 9 points in six games, while Kevin Shattenkirk picked up 8 points in those same six games.

The Ottawa Senators have been behind the 8-ball already for a couple of games, taking their act back to the Canadian Tire Centre, where they won their first game down 3-0.  Unfortunately, Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens had other ideas, as tonight was going to be the night that the storied franchise moved on to another round of playoff hockey.

It was a well-contested game yet again, the Senators falling behind by a goal midway through the first made things difficult, but they really stuck in and kept plugging away.  The best goalie in the league was the only thing separating the Senators from Game 7, because the Canadiens couldn't salt a 2-0 goal away until an empty-netter as time ran out.

Price ended up making 43 saves for the shutout victory, picking up 4 points, while Brendan Gallagher scored the opening goal, which ended up being the winning goal.

The Senators were 78-23 underdogs into this series, so it doesn't come as a huge surprise, nor a large upset, that they lost in this series.  Clarke MacArthur and Erik Karlsson were the co-leaders in selections in this pool, each taken five times.

Craig Anderson came into the Senators crease in relief of Andrew Hammond, who lost the opening three games, winning a couple games and one of them by a shutout.  Anderson was the best Sens player with 6 points, while four other players left the playoffs with 4 points.

After a couple of eliminations, the hockey pool took a really kicking in the selection department.  That's what the loss of the St. Louis Blues will do to the pool.  No team has 24 players left, so everyone has seen a chunk taken out of their team.  The next best teams now have 21 players left on them and there are only six teams in the pool with one team missing and another four pool teams with 20 players on it.

It has been an extra rough playoffs for Ryan V., who now sits at the bottom of the pool with only 12 players, half his possible roster, left with still two series left to be played in the first round.

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