This guy? Pretty damn good. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Hello Yelnats followers! I'm back from an impromptu hiatus. I wasn't at home these last few days so I figured I'd bundle up day 4 and 5 to start making up for it. There will be no Yelnats tomorrow, but I'll do days 6 and 7 on Monday. Here are today's games:
Winnipeg Jets @ New York Islanders: Game 3 (Featured game)
Colorado Avalanche @ Edmonton Oilers: Game 3
Since I missed a few days, I'll push the due date for the Yelnats Bracket 2012 to MONDAY, MAY 14th. Plan accordingly!
Make the jump!
Anaheim Ducks @ Minnesota Wild: Game 2
1st period: Anaheim got most of the good chances early in the period, thanks in large part to Dany Heatley getting a slashing penalty, but most of their shots ended up deflecting wide. Sheldon Brookbank had the Ducks' best chance when he hit the post on a long one-timer bomb. The Wild didn't have much to be proud of until about 12 minutes in when they starting throwing pucks on net. Darroll Powe broke the scoreless deadlock on a beautiful deflection of a Nick Johnson shot. Stephane Veilleux had the second assist and the Wild's 4th line was on the board again. The home team made it 2-0 before the end of the period when Devin Setoguchi won a battle for the puck behind the net and fed Matt Cullen alone in front, who one-timed it in. Dany Heatley was awarded the second assist. Setoguchi threw a huge hit on Lubomir Visnovsky in the dying seconds of the period and he looked hurt. We'll see how that develops, but for now, the score is 2-0 after 20 and the shots are tied at 9 apiece.
2nd period: This was a largely uneventful period, apart from the fact that there were a ton of shots on both nets. The Wild clearly brought some of the momentum from Powe's 1st period goal into the second, as they dominated the first 13 minutes or so of the period. Niklas Backstrom's masterful performance helped the Wild survive a late period onslaught by the Ducks. Mikko Koivu scored a late period, back-breaking goal on a huge one-timer from the faceoff circle. Tom Gilbert got the lone assist. Lubomir Visnovsky was able to return after seemingly suffering an injury late in the first. Shots were 25-22 in favor of the Ducks, but really, not much else of note happened.
3rd period: Corey Perry's boarding penalty right at the beginning of the period ensured that the Ducks would start the period poorly, as Devin Setoguchi took advantage of the situation by scoring the Wild's 4th goal of the game. That goal was unassisted. Backstrom almost had his shutout taken away at one point, huge skate save on Andrew Cogliano. Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored a masterful goal, cutting in front of the net, shrugging off a hit, spinning from his backhand to his forehand and scoring top shelf. Amazing. Guillaume Latendresse had the only assist. Sadly, Backstrom's shutout wouldn't last. Bobby Ryan scored a one-timer goal assisted by Perry and Toni Lydman, but Mikko Koivu took that goal right back, receiving a cross-ice pass from Dany Heatley and burying another one-timer past Dan Ellis, who came in relief of Hiller after the 5th goal, A.K.A. after the damage was already done and the Wild shut the Ducks down the rest of the game. 6-1 was the final. That's right. SIX.
I wish the Wild always played this well. I throughly enjoyed this game. The Wild were often first on the puck after dump-ins, made beautiful passing plays and got some excellent goaltending from Backstrom. Two game lead going into Anaheim. It would feel good to see the Wild beat Anaheim in a playoff series, wouldn't it?
Interesting tidbits: Nick Johnson and Stephane Veilleux played 2:34 and 3:16 respectively, yet still found a way to get on the board with an assist each. Tom Gilbert and Steven Kampfer were both +4. Saku Koivu was the only + player for the Ducks with +1. Dany Heatley has 17 shots in two games.
Final score: Anaheim 1 - 6 Minnesota.
Total shots: Anaheim 41 - 32 Minnesota
MIN 13:58 D.Powe (1) (N.Johnson, S.Veilleux)
MIN 19:07 M.Cullen (1) (D.Setoguchi, D.Heatley)
Shots: Anaheim 9 - 9 Minnesota
MIN 17:12 M.Koivu (1) (T.Gilbert)
Shots: Anaheim 16 - 13 Minnesota
MIN 0:57 D.Setoguchi (3) (Unassisted) (PP)
MIN 4:30 P.Bouchard (3) (G.Latendresse)
ANA 7:46 B.Ryan (2) (C.Perry, T.Lydman)
MIN 8:46 M.Koivu (2) (D.Heatley, D.Setoguchi)
Shots: Anaheim 16 - 10 Minnesota
#1 Niklas Backstrom (40 saves, 1 GA, 0.976SV%)
#2 Devin Setoguchi (1G, 2A, +3)
#3 Mikko Koivu (2G)
Montreal Canadiens @ Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 2
TB 0:24 M.Bergeron (1) (T.Purcell, S.Stamkos)
Shots: Montreal 6 - 10 Tampa Bay
Shots: Montreal 12 - 13 Tampa Bay
TB 0:39 S.Stamkos (1) (M.Bergeron, R.Malone) (PP)
MTL 7:12 B.Gionta (1) (T.Plekanec) (PP)
TB 8:38 M.St.Louis (1) (V.Lecavalier, R.Malone) (PP)
Shots: Montreal 11 - 13 Tampa Bay
Final score: Montreal 1 - 3 Tampa Bay
Total shots: Montreal 29 - 36 Tampa Bay
#1 Dwayne Roloson (1GA, 28 saves, 0.964SV%)
#2 Steven Stamkos (1G, 1A)
#3 Marc-André Bergeron (1G, 1A)
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Dallas Stars: Game 2
DAL 1:19 B.Morrow (2) (A.Burish, T.Daley)
Shots: Columbus 9 - 15 Dallas
Shots: Columbus 12 - 5 Dallas
Shots: Columbus 8 - 8 Dallas
Interesting tidbits: Kari Lehtonen has recorded the first shutout of the playoffs. Each team only had one minor and one major for fighting. Jared Boll and Stephane Robidas had the first fight of the playoffs.
Final score: Columbus 0 - 1 Dallas
Total shots: Columbus 29 - 28 Dallas
#1 Kari Lehtonen (29 save shutout)
#2 Steve Mason (0.963SV%, 1GA, 27 saves)
#3 Brendan Morrow (GWG)
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Carolina Hurricanes: Game 2
CAR 9:38 A.Nodl (1) (T.Brent, J.Pitkanen)
TOR 11:36 M.Frattin (1) (M.Lombardi)
Shots: Toronto 4 - 16 Carolina
TOR 5:53 J.Lupul (1) (P.Kessel, T.Bozak) (PP)
TOR 9:59 P.Kessel (2) (T.Bozak, N.Kulemin) (PP)
Shots: Toronto 14 - 6 Carolina
TOR 0:29 C.MacArthur (1) (L.Schenn, M.Grabovski)
TOR 11:34 T.Bozak (1) (P.Kessel, J.Lupul) (PP)
Shots: Toronto 12 - 6 Carolina
Interesting tidbits: Tuomo Ruutu had 1/4 of his team's shots (7). Despite winning 5-1, only 5 Leafs players were +1, the others were even or lower.
Final score: Toronto 5 -1 Carolina
Total shots: Toronto 30 - 28 Carolina
#1 Phil Kessel (1G, 2A)
#2 Tyler Bozak (1G, 2A)
#3 Joffrey Lupul (1G, 1A)
Colorado Avalanche @ Edmonton Oilers: Game 3
Shots: Colorado 12 - 4 Edmonton
Shots: Colorado 10 - 6 Edmonton
Shots: Colorado 9 - 12 Edmonton
COL 0:44 C.Kobasew (1) (P.Stastny, M.Hejduk)
Shots: Colorado 1 - 0 Edmonton
Interesting tidbits: Scoreless going into OT, Kobasew scored on the only shot of the period. Ryan Whitney played 28:32, yet had no shots on goal. Despite losing the game, Nikolai Khabibulin was awarded the first star over Semyon Varlamov and his shutout performance.
Final score: Colorado 1 - 0 Edmonton
Total shots: Colorado 32 - 22 Edmonton
#1 Nikolai Khabibulin (1GA, 0.968SV%, 31 saves)
#2 Semyon Varlamov (22 save shutout)
#3 Chuck Kobasew (OTG)
Winnipeg Jets @ New York Islanders: Game 3
1st period: Wow, the Islanders were apparently pissed off by that beating they took from the Jets in game 2. They came out flying, getting most of the chances early on. Dylan Reese got things started by scoring on a one-timer from the blueline. Kyle Okposo supplied the puck and Matt Martin also contributed. A buck o' 5 later, Marty Reasoner got on the board, beating Ondrej Pavelec on a rebound of a Mark Eaton shot. Reasoner added another tally a little under 4 minutes later, with assists again going to Okposo and Martin. The Jets had decent chances as well, but Evgeni Nabokov was on top of his game, notably making a spread eagle save on an Andrew Ladd breakaway. The Isles outshot the Jets 14-12 and outscored them 3-0 in the period.
2nd period: This was a pretty strange period. John Tavares, Grant Clitsome and Andrew Ladd all took delay of game penalties. Despite the Jets being on the penalty kill thrice, they were the dominating team in a period in which the shot totals were rather low for the number of penalties. The Jets weren't able to solve Evgeni Nabokov, but John Tavares got his first goal of the playoffs on their second powerplay of the period. Assists went to Michael Grabner and P-A Parenteau.
3rd period: The Jets just laid down and died in this period, much like the Isles had done the game before. Curiously enough, 2 more Isles goals wasn't enough for Pavelec to get pulled. He stayed the entire game. The goals were scored by P.A. Parenteau and Michael Grabner, but those were just merciless revenge goals. One important event in this period: Milan Jurcina was injured by Nik Antropov.
This game was the absolute opposite of game 2. It's been made clear that this series is the one to watch, not Colorado and Edmonton, even if they have tight games. It's a little like the NHL Playoffs' matchup between the Flyers and Pens. People love goals. I personally prefer tighter matchups, but in video form, it's just not the same.
NYI 6:25 D.Reese (1) (K.Okposo, M.Martin)
NYI 7:30 M.Reasoner (2) (M.Eaton)
NYI 11:15 M.Reasoner (3) (K.Okposo, M.Martin)
Shots: Winnipeg 12 - 14 New York
NYI 10:00 J.Tavares (1) (M.Grabner, P.Parenteau)
Shots: Winnipeg 14 - 9 New York
NYI 2:40 P.Parenteau (1) (K.Okposo, F.Nielsen)
NYI 12:30 M.Grabner (1) (M.Streit, F.Nielsen)
Shots: Winnipeg 9 - 12 New York
Interesting tidbits: Kyle Okposo had a hell of a game. 3 assists, 14:27, 6 shots. Evgeni Nabokov was also superb in his bounce back shutout after a 6-goal beating in game 2. Bryan Little was the only Jets player not in the minuses. He finished with 0. Milan Jurcina will be out for 4 weeks with an MCL sprain.
Final score: Winnipeg 0 - 6 New York
Total shots: Winnipeg 35 - 35 New York
#1 Evgeni Nabokov (35 save shutout, bounce back victory)
#2 Marty Reasoner (2G)
#3 Kyle Okposo (3A)
Here's what the Playoff tree looks like now:
#10 Dallas Stars 1
#15 Columbus Blue Jackets 1
#11 Colorado Avalanche 1
#14 Edmonton Oilers 2
#12 Minnesota Wild 2
#13 Anaheim Ducks 0
#10 Tampa Bay Lightning 2
#15 Montreal Canadiens 0
#11 Winnipeg Jets 2
#14 New York Islanders 1
#12 Carolina Hurricanes 1
#13 Toronto Maple Leafs 1
Don't forget, brackets due by the 14th! I'll be back Monday with days 6 and 7 of the Yelnats Cup playoffs.