NHL Elimination Chamber
Well last night we didn’t have any teams facing elimination. We did have a nice battle between CAR/NSH though and that series has been a nice surprise with lots of OT. Tonight we get to the games that all have the elimination factor going for them. Will anybody go home? I say yes!!! I think you can guess who I think it is but see for yourself.
PIT/NYI Well I knew this one would be close but thought PIT would be leading rather than trailing. For whatever reason this seems like the series I’ve watched the least. I think it’s because these are usually the “early” game and I’ve been more drawn to FLA/TB it appears. I think Crosby & Company have a great game tonight. So he would be my #1 target this game but that’s stating the obvious. Hard to go wrong with Malkin as well since he’s picked it up. PIT has too much firepower although NYI has stifled it a bit. Let’s be honest here, if not for Ilya Sorokin this series might not be going the way it is. He has 116 saves and a save percentage of .951! He hasn’t even played the full series lol He’s 3-0 as the starter. All this is a good way to say NYI luck has to run out. Or has it, since they are home? I say it does and have PIT 3-1, so NO ELIMINATION.
FLA/TB I hate that TB is home here as the crowds in these games have really been a factor. It’s good to see Florida liking their hockey! As for the game itself, I have high expectations for Spencer Knight after game 5. He is going to be the key. Can he stay composed? On the player side of things Jonathan Huberdeau has been playing like a man possessed. I mean the dude has 10 points in 5 games! Not surprisingly that leads the NHL. Part of me can’t help but think if they had Ekblad. I suppose that did cause them to make some changes (mostly trading for Montour). Either way this team is nearly as good as any. All I hear about is how good the Lightning are with Kucherov back. I get it but damn. As for the Lightning they can get it done as well. Kucherov has 9 points so he’s pretty much back to “normal”. Funny that’s called normal to him. TB has some depth but I still like FLA’s better. Andrei Vasilevskiy played pretty well last game but looking at his numbers they aren’t as good as a lot of playoff goaltenders. He only has .919 save percentage and a 3.16 GAA. Still fine numbers but I just resort to Hellebuck on that one at .950 and 1.6 GAA. I know I’m picking at straws here but it’s just one of the things I see. For that matter I have it FLA 3-2 in OT, so NO ELIMINATION.
VGK/MIN Last but not least we have this game. Glad it’s a touch earlier at 9:00. I would say if Vegas wants to win it can’t start like last game. I’m not sure what happened but that seemed like a fluke. Don’t get me wrong MIN is good but they shouldn’t be able to win on 14 shots! Apparently there are questions in net for VGK tonight. It appears as if MAF & Lehner came out together this morning. I have an inkling it might be Lehner today but maybe not. Either way Vegas had 40 shots last game and if that repeats itself they are the winners. Stone has played well the past few games and I expect the same thing tonight. I won’t even mention the “smokescreen” of a DTD Patches (who likely will not play again tonight). And as always the defense on VGK is basically all usable in DFS. Cam Talbot put the team on his back with his 38 saves. Parise getting a goal was cool too. I think Kirill Kaprizov is an amazing player and has a bright future ahead of him but their season ends tonight. I have VGK 4-2, so YES ELIMINATION.
I have really enjoyed the playoffs this year and it “feels” way better than last year!!! The physicality is way up and maybe it’s because these teams have grown more disdain for one another. The FLA/TB series has gotten especially chippy. The one issue I have is I can’t watch all the games concurrently so I have to pick my priorities. So what say you tonight? Does every team go home tonight because that’s entirely possible as well. Thanks for reading!