Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (5/20)
WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL | 20 MAY 2011
Thanks to EASPORTS for the nice video sim. Usually we run several and do not condense quite as much as the above video but the message is still the same. This will be a shorter edition than usual today so please forgive us as we work on a few side projects. Hopefully we are not struck by lighting for such a transgression.
Speaking of Lightning and Bruins it is time to do a quick look back.
In a word, there was Tim Thomas. What did he do? I have to be honest it was more than the 31 save shutout that made him our Fantasy POTN. Actually it was the way he played last night, with conviction and controlled aggression. You could tell pretty much from the beginning of last night’s game that Thomas was on the game. It was not like Dwayne Roloson was not but Thomas was just that little bit better. On a huge night like that you needed a goalie who declared his crease his and that is just what Thomas did.
On the scoring end, there was not much but David Krejci scored the game winner and first goal on a shot that Roloson probably wishes he had back. Andrew Ference had the other goal in a game that just was well a dagger. The return ofPatrice Bergeron made a big impact as well as not only was he 18 of 28 on faceoffs but he just helped with puck posession which became huge. Boston regained his defensive confidence and timely offense while shutting down Tampa’s power play.
I watched the replay of the game early this morning and have to say the first thing that impressed me was how they played as a five man unit. Believe me, that has far reaching fantasy effects and for example Johnny Boychuk, who looked much better than he did in Game 2 last night. The back end was the key difference and why Boston now has home ice again in this series.
Now it is time to look into tonight’s game……
FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2011
|Vancouver||at||San Jose||9:00 PM | Gameday|
So it is kind of obvious that Game 3 pretty much decides this series. Right? Well we do not know. San Jose clearly lost focus and needs a great first 20 to get back in this series or you would think its over. How this team comes out simply tells us what fight they have left in them tonight. I believe San Jiose gets its swagger back a bit here.
Roberto Luongo has actually been serviceable in net for Vancouver but not great per se. He has to be very good if not great tonight because San Jose is going to come hard at him. We also point to the fact that San Jose is 3 for 3 on the man advantage and Vancouver really has looked shaky on the PK aside from against Nashville. Frankly almost anyone besides Anaheim could have looked good on the PK against Nashville. San Jose has to keep that pressure going 5 on 5 and make Vancouver take the penalties.
Discipline and positioning will be a key for San Jose because they lacked both in Game 2. Kevin Bieksa can never get wide open again on a breakaway ever again. That should never happen in today’s NHL especially in the playoffs. Defensemen are fast but come on San Jose there was no excuse at all for that and it really did change the game honestly.
So the Sharks have one clear mission….WIN! Not only do they have to win Game 3 but they must win Game 4 as well. Sure Vancouver cannot eliminate a team to save its life but neither can San Jose. Fantasy wise the WCF is like a wet dream in the sense that there are so many good choices to make aside from the goaltending to a point (the ECF is where it is that for goaltending sort of).
Well it may be time to do some quick projections from the three sims we did over atNHL11. Let’s do this right.
- Antti Niemi (SJ) — 2 GA on 26 shots
- Joe Pavelski (SJ) — 2 goals, 5 SOG
- Ryan Clowe (SJ) — 1 goal, 1 assist 4 SOG
- Roberto Luongo (VAN) — 4 GA on 33 shots
- Ryan Kesler (VAN) — 1 goal, 3 SOG
- Henrik Sedin (VAN) — 2 assists, 3 SOG
Yes there were others too. I would fully expect Dan Boyle to have at least a point tonight and Daniel Sedin as well. We ran three different sims so there may be some slight alterations that had to be made based on fractions of averages and such.
One thing that was made clear is that this game turned in the second period on each sim where San Jose was able to turn the tables a bit on Vancouver. Vancouver’s PK was able to show up for this one but its 5 on 5 play actually took a step back in the second and most of the third periods. It will be interesting to see if the actual game mimics the computer game but if it goes the way we project it, then San Jose should win. Good luck fantasy poolies and as always we will be live tweeting during the game tonight.