Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (5/7)

by Chris Wassel
follow him on twitter @theprogrambtr
In this business, you have to be a little sneaky and lucky then be good.  Ryan Kesler kind of fits in that category but his outburst the last couple games is of no surprise.  Nor should it be.  Kesler is clearly a secondary option that becomes the perfect primary option in the playoffs because he does not get rattled.  The Sedin Twins do get rattled at times.  Sorry Vancouver but from a fantasy standpoint, the twins have to get hot NOW.

For Nashville to win tonight, Pekka Rinne has to actually be less acrobatic and play a bit more within himself.  The last two games there have been segments where Rinne feels like he has to do everything for his team to win.  That is not completely the case.  There was a goal in each of the last two where Rinne probably wanted to have them back.  Being turned almost sideways overanticipating is not a good thing at all.  Hopefully lesson is learned and Rinne remembers that to win, you must be “IN” each play.  It would not hurt if Nashville took an early lead.  Someone has to score, right?  Yes that would help.

Last night was a surreal one in the NHL Playoffs.  Milan Lucic had two goals andTim Thomas had a rather routine 22 saves in the 5-1 win for Boston that completed the sweep that reversed last year’s meltdown against Philadelphia.  Most of us picked Boston in 7 but certainly not in 4.  No one saw that coming but credit has to be given how Boston stayed the course in all four games and never really got shaken ever.  Philadelphia did and that is why Boston is moving on.

David Krejci was the big fantasy star along with Tim Thomas in this series.  Krejci had four goals, five assists, and was a +6 in the four games.  Yes he only had ten shots but four of them went in. I think that may be a case of enough said.  Also, it never hurts when three of them were game winning goals.  For fantasy poolies, that is one nice point boost when you really think about it.

Tim Thomas was Tim Thomas.  He only gave up seven goals in four games.  Philadelphia never really got their vaunted offense in gear, even in Game 1, when they scored three on TT.  The .953 save percentage against Philly combined with 4-0 record and 1.66 GAA is just well too good. Simply the Flyers are heading home because of those two fantasy studs.

It was also good to see Detroit and Darren Helm make sure they would not go home in a sweep. What was not lost was the performance by Nick Lidstrom, who scored two goals last night. More importantly, Lidstrom turned back the clock last night even for a little bit.  Yes the fantasy window may be starting to close but it has not yet Detroit fans.  Take heart.

Detroit has to keep pounding 40+ shots on Antti Niemi to even have a chance.  Truthfully I think San Jose closes this out in Game 5.  They are just too strong this year for Detroit and was why I picked San Jose in seven because I thought Detroit might win a couple of these close games that they did not.  Plus Devin Setoguchiand Clowe, Couture, and Pavelski are just too dangerous for Detroit to keep up with.  So far, that has proven right.



Teams Notes
Nashville at Vancouver 8:00 PM | Gameday 
Okay this is real simple.  If the Sedin Twins play well, then Nashville has no chance in Hades. The fact that Barry Trotz is almost letting Ryan Kesler beat them to death combined with the Sedins starting to warm to the task is a very dangerous mix.  We all know the Preds will not go out without a fight as Pekka Rinne has given them a chance to win every game.  The scoring has to come somewhere though many felt it was left behind after the Anaheim series.

Shea Weber and Ryan Suter have to step up offensively.  The Weber bombs have to hit the net and then the traffic can clean up the loose change.  If that does not happen enough or Nashville just does not score, this series will end tonight.  Players like Joel Ward cannot keep stepping up forever.  Even JP Dumont will have to make an impact for Nashville to have a prayer on this night.  We do understand injuries happen but when you are thin on offense and high on grit, usually multiple sources step up prominently.  When you goalie does it far moreso than your offensive talent, that does not bode well generally.

1. Roberto Luongo (VAN) — Has the chance to advance Vancouver onward to the next round by just playing solid and the rebounds out of harm’s way.  He does that then he has a good night and so does Vancouver.

2. Pekka Rinne (NSH) — Just has to absolutely steal the show in every way.   Two goals or less is really the margin of error that Rinne has and really 0 or 1 goals is more ideal.  If he can stop Vancouver that cold then Nashville has a chance.  He probably is thinking playing with a lead early would be nice.

3. Alex Burrows (VAN) — He tends to come up relatively big in this type of situation.  He is less of a coat tail rider fantasy wise come the playoffs than some do think.  Somehow he figures prominently win or lose for Vancouver tonight.

There you have it fantasy poolies.  Good luck and tonight might actually be a night to just sit back and enjoy these playoffs.  As always we will update fantasy impacts via Twitter and the Weekly Slapshot coming up at Noon on Blog Talk Radio. 

Posted on May 8, 2011, in NHL Playoffs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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