Archive for the ‘Game Day Preview’ Category

Detroit: Where Jedi gather apparently

Tonight’s game will be the difference between a photo finish and the Detroit Red Wings being on the ropes despite playing very well this postseason. Nashville will need another gem from Pekka Rinne to take this one.

Fast Facts:

- Pekka Rinne has been absolutely phenomenal this series and despite solid performances from the man across the rink, he has stolen a couple of games for the Preds.

- Jimmy Howard has been very good for the Wings and coincidentally stole the Wings a win in game two. These goaltenders can’t afford any mistakes in this series between two of the league’s best.

Pekka Rinne this series: 2-1-0; 2.35 GAA; .928 SV%
Jimmy Howard this series: 1-2-0; 2.70 GAA; .892 SV%

- Hal Gill has been ruled out for tonight’s game as well. Who knows whether or not we see him at all this series. I’m inclined to think he would put this Nashville back end over the top. No new injuries for the Red Wings.

Projected Lineups:

PREDATORS

Sergei Kostitsyn – Mike Fisher – Martin Erat
Andrei Kostitsyn – Nick Spaling – Alexander Radulov
Gabriel Bourque – Paul Gaustad – Patric Hornqvist
Matt Halischuk – David Legwand – Brandon Yip

Ryan Suter – Shea Weber
Roman Josi — Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon – Jack Hillen

RED WINGS

Valtteri Filppula – Henrik Zetterberg – Jiri Hudler
Johan Franzen – Pavel Datsyuk – Danny Cleary
Gustav Nyquist – Justin Abdelkader – Todd Bertuzzi
Drew Miller – Cory Emmerton – Tomas Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom – Ian White
Niklas Kronwall – Brad Stuart
Kyle Quincey – Jonathan Ericsson

Feel free to discuss the game here in the comment section, on twitter using the #BShelf hashtag or on our facebook page.

See what I did here?

The series still looking for its narrative kicks off the third installment of its saga when the Panthers head north to Jersey.

Fast Facts:

- Jose Theodore has been a very underrated goaltender in the playoffs to this point putting up stellar numbers for the Panthers, keeping them in game one and earning full points for the victory in game two.

- Martin Brodeur has been steady for the Devils and, like Theodore, hasn’t done anything to cost his team. Two power play goals came back to bite him in game two and we’ll see if he’s forced to stand on his head a man down today.

Jose Theodore in this series: 1-1-0; 2.52 GAA; .921 SV%
Martin Brodeur in this series: 1-1-0; 2.52 GAA; .898 SV%

- No new injuries on either side. Skille and Bradley out for the Panthers. Tallinder and Josefson out for the Devils.

Projected Lineups:

NEW JERSEY

Parise-Zajac-Kovalchuk
Sykora-Elias-Zubrus
Ponikarovsky-Henrique-Clarkson
Carter-Gionta-Bernier

Greene-Fayne
Salvador-Zidlicky
Vochenkov-Harrold

FLORIDA

Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
Bergenheim-Goc-Samuelsson
Upshall-Mathias-Smithson
Sturm-Madden-Kopecky

Garrison-Campbell
Kulikov-Weaver
Jovanaovki-Gudbranson

Feel free to discuss the game here in the comment section, on twitter using the #BShelf hashtag or on our facebook page.

Bodies everywhere

It’s do or die time for the Canucks right now as a 3-0 deficit to the Kings would almost certainly toll the bell on their season.

Fast Facts:

- Jonathan Quick continues to be the top goaltender of the postseason in my eyes. While the Canucks haven’t thoroughly tested him the way we’ve seen them test other goaltenders this season thanks to their anemic power play, Quick has answered the call every time he has needed to.

- Cory Schneider is being called into action tonight for the Canucks despite Roberto Luongo’s solid play to this point in the series. Schneider will need to match Quick at the other end in hopes that he gives the Canucks the energy boost they need to overcome this slump.

- No Daniel Sedin tonight and he still hasn’t joined the team in Los Angeles. Byron Bitz is still suspended. Andrei Loktionov remains in the lineup for the Kings as neither Kyle Clifford or Brad Richardson are ready to re-enter the series.

Projected Lineups:

Kings
Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams
Dwight King-Mike Richards-Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner-Jarret Stoll-Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford-Colin Fraser-Jordan Nolan

Rob Scuderi-Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell-Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez-Matt Greene

Canucks

Jannik Hansen-Henrik Sedin-Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins-Ryan Kesler-David Booth
Max Lapierre-Samuel Pahlsson-Mason Raymond
Dale Weise-Manny Malhotra-Zack Kassian

Alexander Edler-Kevin Bieksa
Dan Hamhuis-Christopher Tanev
Aaron Rome-Sami Salo

Feel free to discuss the game here in the comment section, on twitter using the #BShelf hashtag or on our facebook page.

Underrated center ice logo.

The Florida Panthers made a game of it after a painfully slow start in game one and they’ll be looking to even up their series with the Devils.

Fast Facts:

- Jose Theodore kept the Panthers within 20 in the first period last game despite getting embarrassed by Patrik Elias on the Devils first goal and facing a barrage of shots while the guys in front of him sorted their problems out. If he gets help for a full 60 minutes he can go toe-to-toe with Marty Brodeur no problem.

- Martin Brodeur wasn’t tested very much early on and made some big saves with the Panthers closing the gap. Playoff win number 100 is now in the books for him and we can just tack it on to his Hall of Fame application.

- No new injuries for either team after game one. Main players out are Matt Bradley and Jack Skille for Florida while Henrik Tallinder and Jacob Josefson are out for the Devils.

Expected Lineups:

Panthers

Tomas Fleischmann – Stephen Weiss – Kris Versteeg
Sean Bergenheim – Marcel Goc – Mikael Samuelsson
Wojtek Wolski – Shawn Matthias – Scottie Upshall
Marco Sturm – John Madden – Tomas Kopecky

Jason Garrison – Brian Campbell
Dmitry Kulikov – Mike Weaver
Ed Jovanovski – Erik Gudbranson

Devils

Zach Parise – Travis Zajac – Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora – Patrik Elias – Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Adam Henrique – David Clarkson
Ryan Carter – Stephen Gionta – Steve Bernier

Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador – Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov – Peter Harrold

Feel free to discuss the game here in the comment section, on twitter using the #BShelf hashtag or on our facebook page.

Justin K. Aller, this is the greatest photo you will ever take

The Philadelphia Flyers shocked most fans and pundits by snatching a 2-0 series lead from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now they return home and will look to wrap it up in front of a very hostile crowd.

Fast Facts:

- The goaltending has been… interesting through two games of this series as Marc-Andre Fleury has been, by and large, bad while Ilya Bryzgalov has started games slowly and peaked into crunch time.

M.A. Fleury: 0-2; 5.45 GAA; .804 SV%
Ilya Bryzgalov: 2-0; 3.93 GAA; .857 SV%

Suffice it to say that Fleury needs to improve by leaps and bounds for the Penguins to have a hope of stealing this one. I’m sure the Flyers would love if Bryzgalov could rob everyone like this in the first period too.

- No new injuries from game two but a couple players are closer to returning. Matt Niskanen will be a game time decision for the Penguins as he recovers from the dreaded “upper body” injury. James Van Riemsdyk – henceforth referred to as JVR so long as I shall live -is also nearing a return, but it remains to be seen whether or not it’s during this series.

Projected Lineups:

Penguins

Chris Kunitz – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Steve Sullivan – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke – Jordan Staal – Tyler Kennedy
Arron Asham – Joe Vitale – Craig Adams

Kris Letang – Paul Martin
Zbynek Michalek – Brooks Orpik
Ben Lovejoy – Deryk Engelland

Flyers

Scott Hartnell – Claude Giroux – Jaromir Jagr
Brayden Schenn – Danny Briere – Wayne Simmonds
Jakub Voracek – Matt Read – Eric Wellwood
Maxime Talbot – Sean Couturier – Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen – Matt Carle
Brayden Coburn – Nicklas Grossmann
Marc-Andre Bourdon – Andreas Lilja

Feel free to discuss the game here in the comment section, on twitter using the #BShelf hashtag or on our facebook page.

The Wings? Winning? Weird.

After a nasty end to game one, the Battle of the Central division continued to thrill the world with another VERY close game in which the Wings pulled out the road split. The Preds will be looking for some of that in game three.

Fast Facts:

- I alluded to how closely these two goaltenders have played each other in my game two recap and the numbers themselves are telling, if not scary.

Pekka Rinne: 1-1; 2.52 GAA; .907 SV%
Jimmy Howard: 1-1; 2.52 GAA; .904 SV%

Not only have they stymied the opposing shooters, they’ve matched each other save for save as well. Whoever makes less mistakes will win this series.

- No new injuries to report from either side that will impact the lineup. Ian White was probable for the Red Wings and will more than likely play with a sore foot. Hal Gill is hampered by a foot injury as well and didn’t skate for the Predators on Saturday, though Barry Trotz acknowledged that Gill’s injury warrants time off of skates.

Projected Lineups:

Nashville

Sergei Kostitsyn-Mike Fisher-Martin Erat
Andrei Kostitsyn-David Legwand-Alexander Radulov
Gabriel Bourque-Nick Spaling-Patric Hornqvist
Matt Halischuk-Paul Gaustad-Craig Smith

Ryan Suter-Shea Weber
Roman Josi-Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon-Jack Hillen

(It should be noted that Barry Trotz had acknowledged potential lineup switches are an option with Colin Wilson, Jordin Tootoo and Ryan Ellis healthy scratches to this point. However, at most recent look, there had been no update on those.)

Detroit

Valtteri Filppula-Henrik Zetterberg-Jiri Hudler
Johan Franzen-Pavel Datsyuk-Todd Bertuzzi
Gustav Nyquist -Justin Abdelkader-Dan Cleary
Drew Miller-Justin Abdelkader-Tomas Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom-Jonathan Ericsson
Niklas Kronwall-Brad Stuart
Kyle Quincey-Ian White

Feel free to discuss the game here in the comment section, on twitter using the #BShelf hashtag or on our facebook page.

Everyone's mouth is open

The Phoenix Coyotes took game one at home on the strength of some good team play and exceptional goaltending and will need a similar effort in the second installment of this series to take a lead into Chicago. Read the rest of this entry »