Ramblings: Anaheim Eliminated; Pittsburgh Rolls; More on Defence Scoring; Johns – April 19

Michael Clifford

2018-04-19

The second elimination of this postseason came at the hands of the San Jose Sharks as they sent Anaheim packing in a four-game sweep following a 2-1 Game 4 win.

The story of the series was Martin Jones. He allowed just four goals in the four games, allowing one or none in three of them. Not that San Jose didn’t play well but Jones was the reason why this series ended in four instead of six or seven.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Ducks do this offseason. Their core is locked up for a lot of money, they don’t have a lot of cap space, and they have to sign restricted free agents Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase. Even if they aren’t expensive, it won’t leave them much wriggle room. That necessarily excludes a splash in free agency so anything they do will have to come via trade. Is the core good enough to make another run? Getzlaf/Perry/Kesler will all be at least 33 years old next year. Maybe a lengthy offseason is just what the doctor ordered.

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The big news all day Wednesday was whether Sean Couturier would be in the lineup for Philadelphia. He was inadvertently injured in practice by Radko Gudas and was a game-time decision. He was eventually ruled out just before warmups and Nolan Patrick took his spot on the top line.

It did not go well for the Flyers.

Pittsburgh was up 2-0 after 20 minutes and 4-0 after 31 minutes. They were basically on cruise control from that point, with the game ending up 5-0. Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, and Evgeni Malkin each had a goal and an assist while Matt Murray stopped all 26 shots he faced.

The Flyers still have the offence to get back in this series but if Couturier can’t return, things are looking bleak.

To his credit, Patrick played well enough. Regardless of line mates, matching up against Crosby is difficult for any centre, let alone a rookie. If he can hold on to his top power-play status next season, he could have himself a nice fantasy campaign. He’s been impressive over the last couple of months and showed a lot of progression.

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It was a, shall we say, feisty game between the Devils and Lightning last night. Tampa Bay extended their series lead to 3-1 with a 3-1 win. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and