Hey everyone! I don't know about you guys, but after a great first round bracket in the HW playoff bracket challenge, the second round sent it all to hell. I don't know if I have a shot to regain my crown. Speaking of brackets, today is the LAST DAY you can submit your Yelnats Bracket 2012 ... I'm giving you until 11:59:59 PM. Here are today's games:
New York Islanders @ Winnipeg Jets: Game 4 (Featured game)
Edmonton Oilers @ Colorado Avalanche: Game 4
Join me after the jump.
Minnesota Wild @ Anaheim Ducks: Game 3
1st period: The Wild came out flying, getting all the opportunities early in the period. The Ducks got their first shot on net about 6 minutes in. Francois Beauchemin and Jason Blake took holding penalties about 4 minutes apart and the Wild made them pay on the second one. Matt Cullen scored to give the Wild the early lead on a rebound of a Tom Gilbert shot. Gilbert has been in on the offense all series. The Wild continued their domination of the Ducks throughout the period, but weren't able to add any goals. Shots were 13-6 for the Wild after 20 minutes.
2nd period: The Wild started well enough, capitalizing on another Ducks penalty. The PK has been the Ducks' bane in this series. Devin Setoguchi buried his 4th goal of the playoffs after getting a nice pass from Jared Spurgeon. That just seemed to wake the Ducks up however, as they started gaining control. Then, Kurtis Foster took a double minor for high sticking and Corey Perry got his first goal of the series on the second minor, assisted by Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf. Turns out, that was the beginning of the end for the Wild in this game.
3rd period: The Ducks were all over the Wild in the third period and that because of an utter lack of discipline from the Wild. They didn't give up any more PP goals, but they were unable to have any sustained offense because of the penalties. Andrew Cogliano undressed Niklas Backstrom with a masterful deke to tie the score at 2 apiece and shortly after, Ryan Getzlaf beat Backstrom with a slapper to give his team it's first lead since scoring on the very first shot of the series. The Wild got some decent chances at the end of the game, but Getzlaf got the insurance goal with the empty net. 4-2 the final score.
Penalties have made the difference in all 3 games in this series. The team who figures it out the quickest will come out on top. No sweep for the Wild. Shame :(
Interesting tidbits: Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf led the Ducks in ice-time. That's right, they played longer than all the d-men. That's rare. They both had 3 points each. Both teams took 5 minors each. Matt Beleskey will miss the next 3 weeks due to a sprained wrist. I actually have no idea how it happened. Devin Setoguchi's 4 goals leads the NHL after three games. His 3 PPG also lead the league. He's also tied with 4 other players for the points lead with 6. Corey Perry is one of them. Despite getting destroyed by the Wild in game 2 and only having one win, Bobby Ryan is leading the NHL in +/- with +6. Corey Perry is right behind with +5. Heatley is second in the league in shots with 21, but has no goals.
Final score: Minnesota 2 - 4 Anaheim
Total shots: Minnesota 31 - 31 Anaheim
MIN 7:14 M.Cullen (2) (T.Gilbert, P.Bouchard) (PP)
Shots: Minnesota 13 - 6 Anaheim
MIN 4:10 D.Setoguchi (4) (J.Spurgeon) (PP)
ANA 16:51 C.Perry (1) (C.Fowler, R.Getzlaf) (PP)
Shots: Minnesota 7 - 10 Anaheim
ANA 8:37 A.Cogliano (1) (T.Lydman, T.Selanne)
ANA 12:59 R.Getzlaf (2) (B.Ryan, C.Perry)
ANA 19:50 R.Getzlaf (3) (C.Perry, L.Visnovsky) (EN)
Shots: Minnesota 11 - 15 Anaheim
#1 Ryan Getzlaf (2G, 1A, 6 shots)
#2 Corey Perry (1G, 2A)
#3 Jonas Hiller (2GA, 0.931SV%, 29 saves)
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Montreal Canadiens: Game 3
MTL 13:52 T.Plekanec (1) (B.Gionta, A.Markov)
Shots: Tampa Bay 9 - 12 Montreal
MTL 4:09 R.White (1) (D.Desharnais, R.Bourque)
TB 5:42 T.Purcell (1) (V.Lecavalier)
MTL 6:54 E.Cole (2) (M.Pacioretty)
Shots: Tampa Bay 10 - 9 Montreal
MTL 3:10 B.Gionta (2) (T.Plekanec, S.Gomez) (PP)
MTL 3:40 B.Geoffrion (1) (P.Subban, D.Desharnais)
MTL 16:19 B.Gionta (3) (B.Geoffrion, T.Kaberle)
Shots: Tampa Bay 7 - 9 Montreal
Interesting tidbits: So much for Dwayne Roloson's early Nnoc Ehtmys bid! 4 players had an even +/- for the Bolts. No + players.
Final score: Tampa Bay 1 - 6 Montreal
Total shots: Tampa Bay 26 - 30 Montreal
#1 Brian Gionta (2G, 1A)
#2 Blake Geoffrion (1G, 1A)
#3 Carey Price (1GA, 0.960SV%, 25 saves)
Dallas Stars @ Columbus Blue Jackets: Game 3
DAL 4:12 M.Ribeiro (1) (L.Eriksson, M.Ryder) (PP)
Shots: Dallas 12 - 11 Columbus
Shots: Dallas 8 - 11 Columbus
CBJ 6:08 R.Nash (3) (D.Brassard)
CBJ 18:19 D.Mackenzie (1) (R.Martinek, C.Gillies)
Shots: Dallas 10 - 13 Columbus
Interesting tidbits: The Blue Jackets were able to rack up nine shots on their first PP. Steve Mason and Kari Lehtonen have been the first two stars of the game for the second consecutive game. Rick Nash lead the league in shots after three games.
Final score: Dallas 1 - 2 Columbus
Total shots: Dallas 30 - 35 Columbus
#1 Steve Mason (1GA, 0.966SV%, 29 saves)
#2 Kari Lehtonen (2GA, 0.939SV%, 33 saves)
#3 Derek Mackenzie (GWG)
Carolina Hurricanes @ Toronto Maple Leafs: Game 3
CAR 1:51 E.Staal (1) (D.Joslin, J.Tlusty)
Shots: Carolina 14 - 6 Toronto
TOR 1:16 J.Liles (1) (J.Rosehill, J.Lupul)
TOR 2:38 J.Lupul (2) (T.Bozak, P.Kessel)
CAR 8:33 J.Tlusty (3) (J.McBain, E.Staal)
Shots: Carolina 13 - 6 Toronto
TOR 5:33 J.Lupul (3) (T.Bozak, P.Kessel) (PP)
TOR 7:04 M.Lombardi (1) (T.Connolly, J.Gardiner) (SHG)
CAR 7:48 C.Larose (1) (J.Jokinen, J.McBain) (PP)
Shots: Carolina 7 - 11 Toronto
Interesting tidbits: Dion Phaneuf played 27:15 and recorded 0 shots and 2 hits. The three players tied with Setoguchi and Perry for the points lead are Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul.
Final score: Carolina 3 - 4 Toronto
Total shots: Carolina 34 - 23 Toronto
#1 Joffrey Lupul (2G, 1A)
#2 Matthew Lombardi (1G)
#3 Tyler Bozak (2A)
Colorado Avalanche @ Edmonton Oilers: Game 4
EDM 4:49 J.Eberle (1) (S.Horcoff, R.Smyth) (PP)
EDM 7:15 S.Horcoff (2) (R.Jones, A.Sutton)
COL 13:10 M.Duchene (1) (C.Mcleod, S.O'Brien)
EDM 13:59 B.Eager (4) (S.Horcoff, J.Petry)
Shots: Colorado 7 - 12 Edmonton
COL 6:08 M.Duchene (2) (C.Mcleod, P.Mueller)
Shots: Colorado 11 - 11 Edmonton
COL 4:50 C.Kobasew (2) (M.Hejduk, E.Johnson)
COL 9:33 D.Jones (1) (J.McClement, R.O'Reilly)
COL 19:08 M.Hejduk (3) (P.Stastny, R.Wilson) (EN)
Shots: Colorado 10 - 8 Edmonton
Interesting tidbits: Ben Eager, who is making an early bid for team MVP at the very least, came an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat-trick as he potted his 4 goal of the playoffs and fought Shane O'Brien. Matt Hunwick played 30:40, mostly due to the fact Jan Hejda went down due to injury in the first period. He will be out for the rest of the playoffs, 3 months, due to a broken wrist. That's the longest injury I've ever seen in the game and it's a huge blow to the team.
Final score: Colorado 5 - 3 Edmonton
Total shots: Colorado 28 - 31 Edmonton
#1 Shawn Horcoff (1G, 2A)
#2 Matt Duchene (2G)
#3 Milan Hejduk (1G, 1A)
New York Islanders @ Winnipeg Jets: Game 4
1st period: This game was absolutely different from all the others in this series so far, especially the last two. It was a physical, penalty-laden, low offense game. The first period was relatively uneventful though. A few good chances for both sides, one penalty each, one for Grant Clitsome for delay of game and one of Matt Martin for hooking. 9 shots for the Jets, 11 for the Isles. Really not much else to say about this period.
2nd period: The second was just a more intense first period with fewer shots. First of all, Evander Kane suffered a injury after a Mark Streit hit. Then, Steve Staios got injured by Dustin Byfuglien. The teams got 8 shots a piece, 2 penalties each. Plenty of big hits though, it was pretty surprising, since hits are usually rare when you watch the CPU play. Travis Hamonic took a double minor in the beginning of the period, which the isles killed in its entirety. Then, Tanner Glass, Matt Moulson and Zach Bogosian all took penalties for hooking.
3rd period: The scoreless tie was finally broken by Blake Wheeler as he elected to shoot the puck on a 2 on 1. Each player had a player in the box at the time. There were three instances of 4 on 4 play in this period as the penalties kept piling on. It was a crazy period, but once again, very few shots. Quite surprising really. That's all there was to report from this game, Wheeler's goal stood as the game winner, 1-0 win for the Jets.
After the explosive offense we witnessed in the last two games, it was strange to see such a tight, defensive game. Again, in real life, I prefer those types of games to offensive festivals. In video games? Not too sure. The Jets are now one game away from eliminating the Isles.
Shots: Winnipeg 9 - 11 New York
Shots: Winnipeg 8 - 8 New York
WPG 2:17 B.Wheeler (1) (N.Antropov, Z.Bogosian)
Shots: Winnipeg 9 - 8 New York
Interesting tidbits: The penalty kill was a perfect 6 for 6 for the Jets and a perfect 7 for 7 for the Isles. Evander Kane and Steve Staios will both be out for a week or so. Staios has a mild concussion, Kane has bruised ribs.
Final score: Winnipeg 1 - 0 New York
Total shots: Winnipeg 26 - 27 New York
#1 Ondrej Pavelec (27 save shutout)
#2 Evgeni Nabokov (1GA, 0.960SV%, 25 saves)
#3 Blake Wheeler (GWG)
Here's what the Playoff tree looks like now:
#10 Dallas Stars 1
#15 Columbus Blue Jackets 2
#11 Colorado Avalanche 2
#14 Edmonton Oilers 2
#12 Minnesota Wild 2
#13 Anaheim Ducks 1
#10 Tampa Bay Lightning 2
#15 Montreal Canadiens 1
#11 Winnipeg Jets 3
#14 New York Islanders 1
#12 Carolina Hurricanes 1
#13 Toronto Maple Leafs 2
So, they will be no first round sweeps. The Isles are in danger of being the first team to be eliminated from the Yelnats Cup Playoffs.
Tomorrow night, we've got 4 game 4s for you: