Ben Eager: Yelnats Superstar? (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Hello simulated hockey fans! The moment you've waited for has arrived: Opening night of the 2012 Yelnats Cup playoffs! Tonight, I will watch one game and give a full recap of it and I will write the boxscores for the other featured game. Here's what's on tonight's menu:
The reason there are only two games is because the two teams that have a bye, Calgary and Buffalo, play tonight against the random teams I needed to put to make them advance. There will be 4 games tomorrow. For my viewing pleasure, I chose to watch Edmonton vs. Colorado because it's the more interesting matchup of the two for basically everyone who like the Wild and/or the Western Conference and/or hockey in general.
DON'T FORGET TO SUBMIT YOUR YELNATS BRACKET BEFORE MAY 12TH! Yelnats Bracket 2012
Follow me after the jump, the Yelnats Cup Playoffs are underway!
Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche:
Colorado had some early pressure thanks to an opening faceoff win. They were able to remain in the Edmonton zone for almost a full two minutes. The Avs had lots of shots but not a lot of them went on target. The shots were 10-6 in favor of the Avalanche but they were absolutely more dominant than the shots show. The Oilers' best chance came on a Ryan Smyth breakaway, but Semyon Varlamov made the shoulder save. Milan Hejduk hit the post towards the end of the period. After 20 minutes with very few whistles, the score remained tied 0-0.
Colorado picked up right where they left off, but in the middle of the period, Jeff Petry scored from the blueline. His slapper deflected in the net off an Avs d-man. Jordan Eberle had the lone assist on the momentum shifting goal. The remainder of the period was all Oilers. Ben Eager capitalized on a horrible defensive lapse shorty after Petry's goal. Ryan Jones was holding Jan Hedja against the boards and Hedja tried a skate pass towards the middle of the zone. Bad mistake. Eager was all alone in front of the net and shot a weak backhander past a not-so-ready Varlamov. Jamie McGinn suffered what seemed to be a head injury after being checked by Andy Sutton and later on in the period, Ryan O'Byrne got called for a slashing penalty. Shawn Horcoff scored a PP goal on an Eberle rebound. Taylor Hall got the second helper. This ended up being a disastrous period for the Avs, who were outshot 16-4 in the frame to bring the 40 minute total to 22-14 in favor of the Oilers.
Colorado started the period off very poorly, with Paul Stastny taking a roughing penalty after the whistle and Matt Duchene taking a slashing penalty shortly after. The Avs gave two big kills and didn't let Edmonton get a lot of shots on net, but they couldn't get any offense afterwards. Eager scored a backhanded, backbreaker goal, making it his second of the night. Nick Schultz got the lone assist. Milan Hejduk stole Khabibulin's shutout with 49 seconds left. He beat Khabibulin five hole, with assists going to Paul Stastny and Cody Mcleod. The 3rd period turned out to be a pretty high flying period with plenty of shots, but after starting with a roar, the Avs left with a whimper and were completely destroyed by the Oilers. They even lost Jamie McGinn for 4 to 5 weeks to a fractured collarbone. Luckily, it's game 1, so they have some time to get into gear.
Final score: Edmonton 4 - 1 Colorado
Shots: Edmonton 40 - 29 Colorado
EDM 13:06 J.Petry (1), (J.Eberle)
EDM 13:43 B. Eager (1), (unassisted)
EDM 18:54 S. Horcoff (1), (J.Eberle, T.Hall) PP
EDM 12:33 B.Eager (2), (N.Schultz)
COL 19:11 M.Hejduk(1), (P.Stastny, C.McLeod)
#1. Ben Eager (2G)
#2. Nikolai Khabibulin (1GA, .966SV%, 28 saves)
#3. Shawn Horcoff (1G)
New York Islanders at Winnipeg Jets: Boxscore:
WPG 2:27 E.Kane (1), (Unassisted) (Penalty Shot)
WPG 8:41 M. Stuart (1), (A.Ladd, B.Wheeler)
NYI 19:15 K. Okposo (1), (S.Staios, J.Bailey)
WPG 19:08 A.Ladd (1), (B.Wheeler, Z.Bogosian) (Empty Net)
Final score: New York 1 - 3 Winnipeg
Shots: New York 21 -28 Winnipeg
#1 Andrew Ladd (1G, 1A)
#2 Blake Wheeler (2A)
#3 Mark Stuart (1G)
So that's opening night! Tomorrow's games are as follows: