Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (5/27)

WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL | 27 MAY 2011

Yes it is time for another Game 7. The one above is from the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals. In the first couple rounds, Game 7’s mean just a bit less. You get an ECF Game 7 with a trip to go to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line and there is the recipe for something special.

Instead of looking back at the whole series because that really will not set up what could happen tonight, we will just take a quick glance back at Game 6 because there were some tell tale signs that some may have missed. It is now time to go forth.

LOOKING BACK:

Wednesday Night showed Boston what it could do when their offense could get in gear. There were a few problems however. Clearly, Boston’s penalty kill short circuited by giving up three goals. Tampa had an easy time winning faceoffs on the man advantage as well. Overall Tampa went 34 for 65 on faceoffs (52%) against Boston but that number went up on Power Play to 67%. As we have said many times, puck possession is dependent on winning faceoffs.

That has to be adjusted and with Claude Julien’s penchant for being stubborn, it will be more up to Tim Thomas and the rest of the Bruins. The strange thing is that Boston seemed to pick up the Power Play but then the Penalty Kill went bust. Again, what has to be emphasized is that when you lose faceoffs and positionally are not ready to make covers, a team will be scored on no question about it. It is kind of unfair to single out on Johnny Boychuk but it is what it is to an extent. Tim Thomas gave up a couple softies as well including a goal that went under his armpit, off it, and in. Those sorts of things just should not happen at this stage of the playoffs but apparently.it always does.

Tampa was far from perfect in this one. Dwayne Roloson still gave up four goals on only twenty shots and he could have given up more. Boston set up very well and yes David Krejci had a hat trick as Boston’s first line made its presence felt. Boston just has to put the rubber on because well that keeps Tampa from generating offense. Game 2 was definitely a fluke in that respect.

Game 6 showed that Boston has the tools and capability to win a Game 7. Moreover, on paper, Boston has the advantage in this series no matter what people may say. That is the bottom line. Talent and home ice advantage are on Boston’s side but let’s get to that schedule first to set up the rest.

SCHEDULE TIME:

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011

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

Now the time is nearing. The time for talk is prety well over now. Boston and Tampa have slugged through six games that have not quite gone as well as expected. When you really think about it, Game 7’s always have several surprises involved with them. It is as good as warm apple cobbler but as twisted as a twist tie.

There are always keys to the game and since this is a Game 7, there should be no exceptions at all. It really is a no holds barred way to look at it.

KEYS TO VICTORY:

Tampa:

Continue to excel at faceoffs.
Big players must play big.
Roloson has to play like Roloson.
Defense has to step up.

Boston:

Thomas has to keep focused.
Can Seguin keep it even keeled?
Defensive depth (other than Seidenberg/Chara)
Shot selection.

Yes this is the way things often go. We list the keys and simply break this down. Tampa has the intangibles to be honest. Boston blew a 3-0 series last year and though they did win a Game 7 this year against Montreal (a team they traditionally bow out to), Boston clearly have a propensity to crack that they have to get over on this night.

The thing that has to scare many fantasy poolies is this. Many people had Boston and Vancouver players in their pool. If Tampa wins tonight, that will seriously put a crimp in many pools but for some courageous enough to have Tampa players will come with its just rewards.

Clearly the biggest key is how both teams come out or is it? Game 7’s take a life of its own and Boston knows the highs and lows of that all too well. Thanks to EA Sports and NHL11, we are fortunate enough to run yes seven simulations to hopefully give a best scenario result for tonight’s action. Hopefully this helps our hockey fans and poolies alike.

TGIF SCENARIO:

Tim Thomas (BOS) — 2 GA on 24 shots
Tyler Seguin (BOS) — 1 goal, 3 SOG
David Krejci (BOS) — 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 SOG
Nathan Horton (BOS) — 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 SOG
Zdeno Chara (BOS) — 1 assist, 6 hits
Dwayne Roloson (TBL) — 3 GA on 37 shots
Marty St. Louis (TB) — 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 SOG
Vincent Lecavalier (TB) — 1 goal, 4 SOG
Brett Clark (TB) — 1 assist, 3 SOG
Steve Downie (TB) — 1 assist, 14 Pims, 2 SOG

Now we did have to assume that Sean Bergenheim would be out tonight with his lower body injury. Word is that he has been indeed upgraded to questionable and a game time decision so do keep an eye on that. The Dominic Moore, Steve Downie, Sean Bergenheim trio is one that definitely would cause some headaches for Boston provided Bergenheim is healthy enough. It will be one thing to keep an eye on early if Bergenheim is a go.

So strap on in and of course when I just played the last sim with Sean Bergenheim just now, Boston won 3-2 in OT with Shawn Thornton scoring the game winner. Hey one never knows but this one fact can be assured. Tonight will be a crazy night up in Beantown. Who will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals to face Vancouver on Wednesday Night? Here is my answer.

PREDICTION TIME:

BOSTON 4 Tampa Bay 3 (OT)

Good luck fantasy poolies and hockey poolies alike and oh an added bonus is from our friend Kevin over at NHL Predictions.

——————————————————————————————

Kevin’s Message:

I have a series play on the Bruins (risking 4.05 units to win 3)
so I am just laying back and hoping for a cash with that play.

I got the Bruins at -135 and the line for them tonight sits around
-145, so I can be happy with that.

I’ve been on the OVER a lot this round and it’s worth a look if
you want to place a wager on the game.

Want a $520 bonus… check out 5Dimes.com (where I bet a ton).

——————————————————————————————

There you have it Game 7 from the other side. Enjoy the game everyone.

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Posted on May 27, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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