Thursday, May 26, 2016
Morning Player Notes in the Playoffs (May 26)
It's a done deal. There will be no Game 7 in the Western Conference Finals, as the San Jose Sharks have ousted the St. Louis Blues in six games, beating them on Wednesday night, 5-2, to clinch the series.
It was a very stifling performance from the Sharks, from the start of the game, on the shoulders of Martin Jones, who made a number of big stops early on.
The offense had a good grip on this one, taking a 2-0 lead into the 3rd period, it added a couple more goals before the midway point and really put their foot down. Vladimir Tarasenko added his first contributions in quite some time in these playoffs, but it was too little, too late for the Blues.
It was a big night from Joel Ward, who scored a pair of goals, including the eventual winner in the 3rd period, which was good for a 3-point night. Logan Couture continued to roll with another 3-point night of his own, while Patrick Marleau had a couple of assists in the win as well. In the end, Jones made 24 saves for his 2 points.
In the pool, this was an upset of upsetting teams, as the Blues were the favourites in the pool, but that has meant absolutely nothing this year. 61 selections now get removed, but only one more team was taken down to zero picks, which brings that total up to four teams with no stock going forward.
David Backes was the best St. Louis player in the hockey pool, picking up 17 points in 20 games, which includes three game-winners for bonus points. Robby Fabbri, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko each had decent playoff years as well, all finishing with 15 points in the pool as well.
Stuart's lead is now at 27 points and he lost a couple forwards and a defenseman with the elimination of the Blues, while Kristy didn't suffer any losses with the Blues' loss and will enter the Cup Finals with six players, no matter the result in the East. Kristy's lead over Scott is still 10 points, as they have run at an even pace in this round, both teams picking up 41 points and without making up any ground in this round, Scott has much less of a chance of catching his rival for that last bit of prize money.