Saturday, April 28, 2018

Morning Playoff Notes (Apr 28)

It was the only game in town and probably, the only game we really needed to watch on the night.  The Jets and Predators kicked off their second round series on Friday night and there is plenty excitement ready to be drummed up from this one, as it will be the team that can force its way through their opposition's tight-checking defense that will be the most successful in this series.  On Friday night, that team just happened to be the Winnipeg Jets.

The Predators were able to put a lot of rubber on Connor Hellebuyck, 48 shots on goal to be exact, but very few came from the top spots, as the Jets held Nashville to the perimeter for most of the game.   The Jets, on only 16 shots on Pekka Rinne (through two periods), got the better of the chances and found their way to the front of the net, scored three goals.  Statistics are a funny thing, aren't they?

The Jets indeed capitalized on their chances and ended up with the 4-1 win to take Game 1, but shouldn't write the story of the rest of the series.  This one will be a battle, which happened to go Winnipeg's way.

Mark Scheifele scored a pair of goals, Blake Wheeler had a pair of assists, Paul Stastny scored the eventual winner and Hellebuyck got the win, all four players coming out with 2 points in the pool.

Before the game, the Jets did welcome back both Nikolaj Ehlers and Josh Morrissey to the lineup... it sounds like Ehlers was more of a healthy scratch for the deciding game, while Morrissey came back from suspension.

Game 2 goes Sunday night, back in Nashville.

Now that we're a few games into the second round, I thought I would drum up this ol' gif file and do some counting of the bonus points.  Stastny scored his 2nd bonus point of these playoffs with last night's winner and he joins a group of four other players with multiple bonus points in these playoffs.  Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov leads all players in the pool with 3 game-winners, while San Jose's Tomas Hertl, Philadelphia's Sean Couturier and Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel all have a pair as well.

Benson's 8th place team currently leads the pool with 10 bonus points, to date, thanks mostly to Kucherov and Guentzel.  Neil and Buddy's team each have 9 bonus points, but Neil's team sits in 3rd place, but more on that in a second.

Three teams have the early lead in the second round for scoring: Thor, Kevin and Chris all have 18 points through two nights of action in this round, but they're all right in the middle of the standings, which is no help to themselves.

Tony's evil twin, Antonio, currently holds the lead at 137 points overall, 2 points better than the "slightly less evil, so we'll call him the good" twin, Tony's team.  Neil's team is right in the thick of it as well, at 134 points, while the regular season champ, Stuart, is only 4 points back of the lead, but well short of players.  It's a damn fine race, so far, but now we wait to see if the twins can hold onto this lead going forward.

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