I don't want to say I was a sore loser but I could have been better keeping up with this after I was ousted. For my predictions from round 1 I was only off in two series on how many games the predicted winner would finish. For my series with jNj it went like so:
For the lineups I am using Gretzky - Sandstrom - Granato and jNj subs in Drake for Federov and Lidstrom for Chiasson.
I like how the game begins with Sandstrom lighting the lamp with one of his patented one-timers. A minute later Dino scores, something that is a theme of this series. Tight start, playoff hockey!! I only get one shot in the period and jNj takes three. The second is tight with a few shots each and no scoring. In the third play goes back and forth and two minutes into the third Dino breaks the tie. With a Blake penalty shortly after I had to tie things up with a shortie and it doesnt happen.
LA @ Det
1 - 2
I mix things up and try a bit more defense with Gretzky - Luc - Granato. It seems to be a great decision by Barry Melrose as Drake scores 20 seconds into the game. Dino gets another goal a few minutes later but then the LA O-ffense finally steps up with the next four goals including two from Zhitnik. A minute into the third Drake gets his second and its a one goal game. Forty seconds later Granato gets another for the trick and this would hold the game for LA. Dino gets another tally with 12 seconds left.
LA @ Det
5 - 4
In Game 3 the fireworks continue as the offensive output is more what you would expect from these teams. We alternate goals as first Dino scores, then Luc, Dino again, followed by Granato for two. A lot of action in the first period, maybe not a lot of defense :|. The second jNj gets an early Coffey goal to tie things up but Granato gets another for his second game in a row with a hat trick to take the lead again for LA. Going into the third down one Detroit needs to get serious and things start working for jNj as he score an early 3rd period goal to tie it up and the go ahead thirty seconds later. A minute after Lidstrom gives LA a chance with a penalty but they do nothing with the PP and then a late penalty by Zhitnik turns it into another shortie or lose situation and Detroit finishes the road win.
Det @ LA
6 - 4
In this game I go back to Sanstrom hoping to use his shot to help since Luc does little in the last two. At this point jNj is on a roll. Yzerman score ten seconds into the game followed by Dino nine seconds later and I take the earliest TO i have ever done. Afterwards I get a Gretzky and Granato goal to tie it up and calm it down a bit. At 2:37 of the first Dino score again and eighteen seconds later Yzerman scores. jNj goes a perfect 4 for 4 in the period and things are looking good for Detroit. In the middle of the second we trade goals and then Detroit gets another for a three goal lead. Late in the second Gretzky scores. LA goes quietly in the third with three shots and no goals. On the positive they didnt allow a detroit goal :|.
Det @ LA
6 - 4
Heading back to Detroit jNj has a chance to close it out at home. I decided to try and go back to Luc to see if that will help slow down the Detroit attack. Detroit has quite a few shots in the first and only allow one which is great D considering they were on the PK for two and we go to the second scoreless. Yzerman opens the scoring a minute into the second and we go to the third with five minutes of defense for Detroit for the series win. My best player by far this series Granato has something to say with goals at :34 and 1:46 of the third and LA is looking to go back home down a game. This dream is crushed by Dino again thirty seconds later followed by the Dino winner at 4:08.
LA @ Det
2 - 3
Series Numbers Granato 9 - 1 - 10
Gretzky 2 - 6 - 8
Blake 0 - 4 - 4
Hrudey 21 31 .596 sv%
Yzerman 4 - 4 - 8
Ciccarelli 12 - 2 - 14
Drake 4 - 1 - 5
Cheveldae 16 24 .666 sv%
I was bummed to go out in the first round after making the finals last year. I felt confident to start the season and with some of my favorite players like Sandstrom I was optimistic. I don't think I played my best hockey and I think everyone played really well. It was a lot fun again and I can't wait until the fall classic season. Until then you'll see me around in the early evening looking for exis.