Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Morning Playoff Notes (May 8)

Still no Andre Burakovsky, the last game of Tom Wilson's suspension and then it was a hand injury to Nicklas Backstrom... eliminating the Penguins in Pittsburgh?  No problem.

The Washington Capitals were finally able to grind out a series win against Pittsburgh, defeating their division rivals, 2-1 in overtime, in a hard fought battle that went end-to-end.  Evgeny Kuznetsov ended up scoring the winner, just over five minutes into the extra frame and there was definitely a sense of relief in the air.

Braden Holtby wasn't overly busy, but did have to come up big a number of times, he finished with 21 saves in the victory.

The Capitals now move on to take on the Lightning in the Conference Finals, which likely won't get started until the weekend now, possibly Friday night.

Backstrom is currently listed as day-to-day with his hand injury, he was a game-time decision for Game 6, so it will be interesting to see if he will be able to play in Game 1 versus Tampa.  The added few days worth of rest should certainly help.

The Penguins were favoured to win this series, according to the hockey pool selection sheet, as they were taken more, 57-48 in selections, so this counts as an upset, if you ask me.  Sidney Crosby was selected 12 times, as the most popular player getting ousted, while Jake Guentzel, 2nd in playoff pool scoring with 23 points, is the most productive player eliminated.

It was the away team's kind of night!  There was a lot of pressure on the Nashville Predators, heading into the Winnipeg whiteout as the number one seed in the league, going into Game 6 to try and force a Game 7, with a goalie that hasn't quite been his dominant self and beat a Jet team that has been a formidable force in their own building.  The Predators, just like in Game 4, buckled down, clogged up the neutral zone and Pekka Rinne came to play, making 34 saves for a 4-0 shutout win on Monday and this series will head back to Nashville for Game 7, which won't play until Thursday night.

Viktor Arvidsson had a night, scoring a pair of goals, including the winner, plus added an assist for a 4-point night, while Filip Forsberg also scored a pair and added an assist as well.  Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi each chipped in with a pair of assists and it was a pretty solid night, in terms of Nashville players on the selection sheet.

The big night for Nashville really tighten up the standings a bit, as Neil's team had a huge jump in points, tying the evil twin, Antonio, with 220 points overall, but his team is still 12 points back of Tony's side.  Tony C., on the other hand, also had a huge jump in the points department, hitting 100 points, the 4th team to do so, in this 2nd round, and his team is now up in 4th place, 7 points back of Neil and Antonio.

With Pittsburgh now out of the race, the maximum amount of players a team can have is 15, where we now have five teams with 15 players and another four teams with 14 players.  Looks like we'll have some full rosters for the Conference Finals now, won't we?

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