Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sittin' at the end of the bar... The First Round Is On Me

A few beer-addled first round musings…

-- OK, I can see Detroit scoring four-and-a-half a game in the first round, even with a supposedly elite goalie in Ilya Bryzgalov in the opponent’s net. But hey, Nashville finished 21st in the league in scoring in the regular season and is second in the playoffs (3.67/game). Goes to show how bad Anaheim’s goaltending was. Pekka Rinne will have to find his inner “Pekka Rinne” if the Preds are to go any further.

-- Of the top eight teams in the playoffs in 5-on-5 play, seven are into the next round (DET, WAS, PHI, NSH, SJS BOS, PIT...oops, I meant TBL). Only Chicago has been eliminated.

-- On the other hand, of the top eight teams on the power play, four have been eliminated (ANA, PHX, BUF, LAK).

-- All’s not well that starts well… Buffalo leads the playoff teams in first period goals scored. They’re out. Los Angeles is second. Adios.

-- 279 goals were scored so far in the first round, none of them by Nicklas Backstrom. And while we’re at it, none by the defending Hart Trophy winner, Henrik Sedin, either.

-- Thomas Vanek had five goals in Buffalo’s series with the Flyers, four of them on the power play. He was also a minus-7 for the series (325th of 325 players having dressed). That’s what you call “power play specialist.” Bet it’s not what Lindy Ruff had in mind.

-- Erstwhile Norris Trophy candidate Kris Letang… 11 goals scored against while on ice. No player saw more goals in the first round in so up close and personal a way. But teammates Paul Martin and Pascal Dupuis had just as close a look.

-- If I was to tell you that Alex Ovechkin was in the top ten in hits so far, you’d probably believe me (he is). If I told you Nathan Gerbe – all 5’5”, 178 pounds of him – was in the top-25, you might not (he is).

-- Christmas in April…Wayne Simmonds and Drew Doughty were first and third in giveaways (21 between them). Who was tied with Simmonds for first? Letang (probably going to want to forget this playoff).

-- No time for Nicklas’. Nicklas Backstrom has no points at even strength. Nicklas Lidstrom has one.

-- I’d have gone through a lot of names before I guessed “Tyler Myers” as having been whistled for the most minor penalties (eight) in the first round.

-- 49 games, eight fights. Good? Bad?

-- Penguins got 33 goals from defensemen in 82 games this season. Against Tampa Bay in the first round… none.

-- Speaking of defensemen, didn’t know this until I stumbled upon in, but the Caps got goals from 10 different defensemen this season out of 11 who dressed. Brian Fahey was the only one that dressed (seven games) and did not record a goal. All of them, including Fahey, recorded at least one point.

-- Back to the first round… Not too surprised that the Flyers’ Claude Giroux leads all players in assists. But Mike Cammalleri second? And Corey Perry – the only 50-goal scorer this season – tied with him for second?

-- Think shots don’t matter? Of the top eight teams in shots per game, seven advanced. The outlier among advancing teams …Tampa Bay, who finished dead last in the first round in shots per game (25.7).

And the best statistics table of all on has got to be this one (click for bigger pic)...