Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (5/19)

WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL | 19 MAY 2011

Milk Carton Island

(Photo Credit:  George Brew — Milk Carton Island)

Yes it is that time again to rack up the fantasy numbers and literally try to make sense of what happened last night while looking ahead to tonight.  Both Game 2’s in the Conference Finals were nuts to say the least and downright bizarre.  There is a point where the game clearly turns from a hockey game to a “side show” and that is what happened in Vancouver Wednesday Night.

Let’s take a look back shall we?

LOOKING BACK:

Well Ben Eager may want to go away for awhile a la Southwest Airlines.  His 6 penalties and 20 PIMS are part of the reason why San Jose lost but not really the entire reason.  We did hint at this before that Coach Todd McClellan does lose his cool and his head from time to time.  The reasons why he kept putting Eager out there have to be a mystery to almost anyone.  What is more scary was that teammates were condoning his actions more or less.  San Jose had chances to get back into last night’s game but every chance was squandered until it was way too late.

Defensively San Jose had no answer for Vancouver’s power play which tallied several times on the night.  The Sedin Twins had two goals and three assists combined (Daniel had the two goals and Henrik had the three assists).  What may have surprised some was that a former Alain Vigenault coached player in the name of Chris Higgins had a big night.  Vancouver’s depth has played much better in this series as opposed to Round 2 against Nashville.  Higgins had a goal and two assists and probably could have had more.

Did we mention Kevin Bieksa’s “Gordie Howe Hat Trick”?  How silly of us.  Not only did Bieksa have a goal, assist, and a fight, Bieksa’s goal that made it 3-2 really was the goal that really turned the game over to Vancouver.  They would go on to score four more in a row before a late Ben Eager goal and more strangeness.

Now it is a good thing that Vancouver has been disciplined in taking penalties in this series so far because their penalty killing has been abysmal so far.  As a matter of fact, San Jose is 3 for 3 on the man advantage and as the scene shifts to San Jose, that may make a difference especially if the Sharks get a few more calls.  Yes all looks lost for San Jose but the only thing Vancouver did was hold serve.  If San Jose does so too, then special teams probably played a key.  San Jose has to get that discipline under control however because clearly Antti Niemi was just hung out to dry and Roberto Luongo was shaky and to be had but San Jose was too busy taking dumb penalty after dumb penalty.  Self control on and off the ice was optional on a very twilight zone like night in Vancouver.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Hey there is a hockey game tonight as we exit all the insanity from Game 2 of the WCF. The scene shifts to Tampa for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  No one expects a wild 11 goal outburst in this one.  The respective system will be tightened up.  Tyler Seguin will not have another multi point night or will he?  Tim Thomas will not give up four or more goals for a third straight time, will he?  Yes there are many many questions here.  Dwayne Roloson will not give up 5 goals on 9 shots and 8 scoring chances ever again.  That is a given.  The question becomes what actually does happen tonight at 8pm ET.

SCHEDULE TIME:

THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011

Teams Notes
Boston at Tampa Bay 8:00 PM | Gameday

So there should be some tighter hockey tonight as Boston has a new injury to worry about.  Milan Lucic is apparently battling a lower body or leg injury according to Kirk Luedeke of the NEHJ and NYHJ.

  • Lower body/leg injury + Milan Lucic = Not good news

We plowed into several different sources and got about the same consensus.  It is not keep him out level of injury but is definitely hampering him some.  He is a vital cog for Boston for his physical play and forecheck more than anything else.  So if he is not able to do that, clearly Boston is less effective.

What may be more key is how Boston handles Tampa’s speed and how Tampa’s defense slows down Boston a bit.  Clearly Game 2 showed both team’s deficiencies in a glorious and obvious way. It will be key that the winning team tonight is the one that better tightens up their glaring problems.

So what do we expect to happen tonight?  Here are our projections once again brought to you by NHL11.  We ran three simulations this morning in honor of Game 3.

PROJECTION TIME:

  • Tim Thomas (BOS) — 3 GA on 31 shots
  • Patrice Bergeron (BOS) — 1 goal, 4 SOG
  • Zdeno Chara (BOS) — 1 goal 1 assist 4 SOG
  • Marty St. Louis (TBL) — 2 goals, 5 SOG
  • Steve Downie (TBL) — 1 goal, 4 SOG
  • Dwayne Roloson (TBL) — 2 GA on 28 shots

Expect a solid game tonight like what should have been in Game 1 that was not.  It will be much more a premium for space.  Tampa has home ice and that is going to make somewhat of a difference as they find a way to win this one tonight in a very close affair.  Expect a ton more in the physical department and a clutch third period performance by Marty St. Louis.  I still expect this to go seven and its because the contrasting styles allow it so.

Good luck fantasy poolies and hockey fans.  Let us have your projections, picks and more via Twitter.  Basically let us have it and enjoy Game 3 tonight.

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Posted on May 19, 2011, in NHL Playoffs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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