And so last night brought us our first elimination, as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the St. Louis Blues in overtime. While the vast majority of you had selected the Canucks as the series’ winners, only megameg and TeamDahlgren snapped up bonus points for calling the sweep. Props to you two, as Roberto Luongo proved to be more than prepared for everything the Blues shelled out. The Canucks will get that long, and sometimes not so beneficial, rest before the second round, which will allow integral players like Mats Sundin and Sami Salo to recover from minor injuries.
Cellorocks, who has the Philadelphia Flyers as Stanley Cup champions, must have been cringing last night as he watched the Penguins/Flyers tilt. The Flyers dominated puck possession, shots, and scoring opportunities, but not the score sheet. Marc-Andre Fleury stood on his head, stopping 45 of 46 shots in the victory, to give the Penguins from Pittsburgh a 3-1 series lead.
A usually calm and collected Martin Brodeur was seen repeatedly smashing his stick in frustration at the conclusion of last night’s game in Raleigh, North Carolina. That’s because moments earlier Carolina Hurricanes’ Jussi Jokinen skated into Brodeur, after which the left winger immediately proceeded to tip in the go-ahead goal with 0.2 seconds remaining in the game. Controversial? Yes. Does this get me and 29 other people in the pool closer to 5 points for a ‘Canes series’ win? Sure does, suckers!
The San Jose Sharks were finally able to get to Anaheim Ducks’ goaltender Jonas Hiller last night, and I could almost hear the nearly universal sigh of relief from the 94% of you that took the Sharks to win the series. A seven game series could be brewing here, while a sweep awaits the Canadiens in Montreal this evening at the hands of the Boston Bruins. So much for the fairy-tale ending to the Canadiens’ 100th season. Serves the Habs faithful right for picking with their heart instead of their head. Take that arseneau, jballin, and datsyukkk13!
The Detroit Red Wings will also have an opportunity to get the brooms out tomorrow night when they’ll try to sweep the Columbus Blue Jackets from their first ever post-season appearance. Two more evenly matched series’ take place tonight as the Calgary Flames try to even up a 2-1 series with the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Washington Capitals try to do the same in New York against the Rangers. We currently have a 5 team tie atop the leader board, but look for that to change over the next few days as points for eliminations will swing the standings. Best of luck fellow poolies!