Cage Match Tournament – Lemieux Bracket, Round 1

steve laidlaw




The Cage Match Tournament keeps on rolling. To keep up with demand, we are picking up the pace and releasing two articles per week. That means the polls are closing faster but it also means speedier results. This is good news for those of you following along.


For you newcomers, let's get you caught up:


Week 1 – Introducing the Bracket

Week 2 – Howe Bracket: Round One

Week 3 – Richard Bracket: Round One

Week 4 – Gretzky Bracket: Round One

On Wednesday we opened the voting in the opening round of the Gretzky Bracket and over the past few days you have cast your votes. As advertised, the Gretzky Bracket was the most competitive yet, yielding our first true upset and some interesting results all around. Here's how it played out:


#1 Henrik Sedin over #8 Joe Thornton – 127 votes to 12 votes

Spring has come early this year. Normally we have to wait until April or May for Thornton's disappearing act but Thornton is treating us to something special this year. His Sharks are in an absolute free fall and may not even make the playoffs. As for his showing in this tournament, while he made noise in his play-in game, Thornton couldn't even make a dent in this here matchup. Be gone Jumbo Joe, we are all tired of you haunting us every year.


#2 Daniel Sedin over #7 Eric Staal – 108 votes to 32 votes

Something stinks about the lopsidedness of this result. Since the lockout Staal has scored 0.97 points per game while Sedin has scored 1.05 points per game. Close.


Both have scored a 100-point season in that time, while neither one has scored less than 70 in a season in that time. They have been two of the most durable and consistent performers in the game. But Sedin is four years older. Not only that but he came into this matchup on a serious slump, while Staal was among the hottest players in the league.


I think Henrik got tired of smacking around Thornton and came to give his brother a hand here. The Sedins came in and tag-teamed the crap out of Staal. Maybe that's all in the game and maybe Staal never would have pulled this one out on his own but he got done cold losing by this much.


But then again, Staal comes from a big family. He should've known better than to take on one of the Sedins because it is impossible to separate the two.


#6 Ilya Kovalchuk over #3 Zach Parise – 83 votes to 60 votes ***UPSET***