Lightning Extend Lead, Islanders Tie Series, Lady Byng Nominees (June 6) – DobberHockey
The Tampa Bay / Caroline game had a lot of goals. Ten to be exact, including eight in the second half alone.
The eight-goal explosion put Carolina up to a 4-2 lead before Tampa Bay came back with three goals to take a 5-4 lead in the second intermission. An insurance goal in the third period sealed a 6-4 victory for the Lightning and a 3-1 lead in the series before returning to Raleigh for Game 5 on Tuesday.
The big Bolts guns in particular got through. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each scored two goals and an assist. Kucherov also took six shots in this game. The other achievement of Stamkos in this game? A minus-2, which gives it a Draisaitl hat trick! How did it happen? Stamkos’ three points were on the power play, which rose to 3-6 in that game, with all of his goals in the second period.
Since you’re now wondering which players have games with Draisaitl’s hat-tricks (goal, assist, minus-1) in the playoffs, here’s the full list.
You will notice that of the six players who have DHT, three are playing for the Lightning. Two more plays for the Panthers, which suggest the Battle of Florida was a high scoring series. With the winner scoring at least four goals in five of the six games, it was. It’s the perfect storm that’s needed for a Draisaitl hat trick.
Let’s go back to the stats you’re probably more likely to follow in your playoff pool. If you’ve targeted the well-rested Kucherov in your playoff pool, it has paid off so far. With 17 points in 10 games, he is currently the leading scorer in the playoffs. Only Nathan MacKinnon (1.86) and Gabriel Landeskog (1.71) total more points per game in the playoffs than Kucherov (1.70). That’s the downside of a dominant four-game sweep over a longer streak, although picking a player from a team that’s virtually guaranteed to win is always a safe bet in a playoff pool.
Tampa’s power play is 5 on 9 in the last two games. Carolina will need to find a way to stop this charged power play in order to avoid elimination in Game 5.
Also for Game 5 do or die, the Canes could go to Alex Nedeljkovic. Petr Mrazek was hit by a terrible start to Game 4, allowing six goals on 26 shots. The reason Rod Brind’Amour probably turned to Mrazek in the first place for Game 3 is that Nedeljkovic is just fine. Of the goalkeepers who have played at least two games, Ned has 14e with a .920 SV%. It’s not bad in itself, but it’s the worst among the starting goalies (not counting Mrazek) whose teams are still playing. This is how slim the margin for error is.
Andrei Vasilevskiy also got off to a very poor start, allowing four goals on 25 shots. Neither of his last two games has been a quality start after making five consecutive quality starts. I have a feeling that Game 5 will have a lot of objectives as well, which might be something to keep in mind if you are making higher / lower choices or selecting players for any type of everyday fantasy game.
The NY Islanders / Boston game was much closer, although the final score of 4-1 didn’t make it look like it. Mathew Barzal scored the game-winning goal with 6:57 to go in the third period, and the then Islanders scored two empty goals to score the 4-1 victory and tie the series with two wins apiece. The series resumes in Beantown on Monday.
After a slow scoreless start to the playoffs and three assists in his first seven games, Barzal now has points in three straight games.
Barzal also prepared Kyle Palmieri on his goal in the second half. Barry Trotz mostly stayed with weak but physical Leo Komarov instead of Palmieri on the Barzal line. Palmieri has five goals in 10 playoff games, so he would represent an offensive improvement there. But Trotz has his system, which we know is not all about attacks. Game 4 went exactly as Trotz would have liked.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s goal in an empty net gives him 10 points in 10 games, which is currently the Islanders’ leading scorer in the playoffs. During his career, Pageau was a 0.44 PTS / GP scorer in the regular season, but a PTS / GP scorer of 0.55 in the playoffs.
David Krejci scored Boston’s lone goal, which was his first goal of the playoffs, as well as his first goal against the Islanders since 2015.
Auston Matthews, Jaccob Slavin and Jared Spurgeon were announced as the three finalists for Lady Byng. Due to the number of Toronto-based hockey writers and because forwards almost always win this award, I’d bet Matthews would win. I realize it’s not just the fewest penalty minutes, but Slavin has a strong case for his minor penalty as he’s often up against the front row of a team. Using the Frozen Tools game log for Slavin and boxing records, I was able to find that his only penalty was March 7 for… puck on glass? What an infamous thing to do! How dare he!
This year’s OHL Draft was unforgettable, as Taya Currie became the first woman to be drafted in that league’s draft. The 16-year-old goalkeeper was chosen in the 14e by the Sarnia Sting. If she doesn’t play in the OHL, she could also play for Canada on the international stage one day.
It sucks when there are 10 goals in a game and neither of your players scores (although Andrei Svechnikov and Anthony Cirelli combined for three assists). But these are goals that we need, so I will try again on Sunday in the Tim’s Hockey Challenge.
Pick 1: Mikko Rantanen – These playoffs have opened my eyes to a player Rantanen’s top flight in terms of the number and quality of his goals. He has scored goals in four straight games after scoring 30 in 52 regular season games (5e in the NHL). Even if you think Vegas is going to tie this series, Rantanen is well placed for a goal in five straight games.
Choice 2: Shea Theodore – A Vegas defender needs to score a goal. Alex Pietrangelo and Theodore are second and third among defensemen in shots during the playoffs, but neither have scored. Their power play time is about the same, but I’m going to take Theodore because he got a bit more in Game 3.
Choice 3: Devon Toews – Same theory as Choice 2, except for defenders PP2 Colorado. Neither Toews nor Samuel Girard have scored a goal in the playoffs, so one of them has to do so soon. Their shot totals are lower than Vegas d-men, but this is also a lower tier pick.