Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 4/17/12
Pittsburgh_penguins_v_0b7a

 

Have you ever had the feeling that one goalie changes the game on a nightly basis?  Then you would be quite correct as it seems this year's playoffs always has that one game a night where Goalie A is massively under siege and just flat out steals one.  Last night it was Henrik Lundqvist and his effort led the New York Rangers to a 1-0 win over the Ottawa Senators to take a 2-1 series lead.

Was that enough to take home the Fantasy POTN?  You bet your you know what it was.

=============================================

FANTASY POTN:

Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers

What else could be said here?  The guy makes 39 saves and stops 20+ scoring chances from Ottawa.  Honestly, Lundqvist stole the game at least several times in the third period alone.  For the first time that I can remember in the playoffs, Lundqvist was more aggressive, challenging shots, and then making those point blank saves he is known for deep in the crease.  It was a night where most goalies would have given up at least two or three goals.  That was not going to happen on Lundqvist's watch especially after he lost Game 2 which dropped him to 1-4 in overtime decisions.  Ottawa is the better offensive team and #30 will have to win this series for New York.

=============================================

QUICK LOOK BACK:

St. Louis Special Teams

One of the keys going into the Sharks-Blues series was going to be how the Blues surging power play would do against the Sharks and their pedestrian penalty kill.  Last night, we found out who won and that was the Blues as they tallied three markers on the man advantage.  Honestly it was almost not fair as it seemed like the same set plays generated chances over and over again.  San Jose could not stop it even if they knew it was coming.  If the Sharks do not at least plug some of the holes exposed from Game 3 then they are serious danger of losing this series.

=============================================

SCHEDULE TIME:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 TeamsNotes Florida at New Jersey 7:00 PM | Gameday
Nashville at Detroit 7:30 PM | Gameday
Phoenix at Chicago 9:00 PM | Gameday

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia get the extra night off in the schedule to preserve the three game midweek scenario.  Also we are going to pull out a special ping pong set in honor of Detroit and Nashville tonight.  In Chicago, we will see what "extreme circumstances" really mean as the wait to see if Andrew Shaw is suspended continues.  Will Mike Smith play?  He is a game time decision as of press time.

The reality is these little news pieces have thrown the fantasy realm into some disarray for tonight.  If Smith does not play that almost guarantees a Chicago win.  If he is not 100%, it does also.  Either way, there are accusations of sloppy ice in New Jersey because of impatience, etc. This is a playoff year unlike any other because of so many "underhanded" ways of how issues are being handled.  What that does is drive playoff poolies insane.  For example, no one really knows if Daniel Alfredsson is going to play in Game 4 tomorrow (concussion setback) yet Daniel Sedin will play as Vancouver tries to avoid a sweep.

===========================================

KEEP AN EYE ON:

The ice in New Jersey?

Since it has been so much of an issue apparently, it will be interesting if a "sloppy track" will result in more or less goals.  The problem basically comes down to how the ice was resurfaced and the time before the Florida Panthers took the ice.  Common sense dictates that there is a wait time but apparently through miscommunication that did not occur.  The ice had noticeable puddles, etc and it will be interesting to see if it is rectified by the 7pm ET game time.  That type of ice scneario makes skating difficult to say the least but for both teams.  Expect some goals to be scored in this one tonight surely.

KEEP YOUR TOEWS IN......AND PARISE UP?

Jonathan Toews is poised for a breakout game no matter which goalie plays for Phoenix.  It just seems him and even Zach Parise are due to multi point efforts in their respected games.  Both have generated ample scoring chances in their first couple games and it will be interesting to see how it translate to home ice where maybe that shot that hits a post goes in.  The crowds at the United Center and The Rock will be amped up tonight.

===========================================

Good luck everyone tonight as I will be on assignment scouting the Panthers-Devils Game 3 from The Rock.  This will be a fun one.  Thanks again for reading.


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