Stiff Bryz grounds Wings... D-Mo the hero... Fleury is shaky (as suspected)... Anderson put O in Atlanta... Campbell practicing... Backstrom & Theo to go... Heatley & Souray get the voice-over treatment
Ilya Bryzgalov came up huge as he stopped 38 of 40 shots to steal game #1 for the Coyotes. He looked very shaky on the Wings first goal but weathered the storm as Detroit had 20 shots in the first period and gave his team a chance to recover.
The offensive star for Phoenix was Derek Morris as he was 1+2=3 with all of the Coyotes goals coming on the PP... this was a nice bonus for those of you that picked D-Mo in playoff pools as it took him 16 games to record three points to close out the regular season.
Jimmy Howard's streak of 15 games without a regulation loss came to an end last night as he was beaten for three goals (all on the PP) on 35 shots in the loss.
MA Fleury was roughed up in game #1 last night as he gave up five goals on 26 shots and looked a little out of sorts... we've been telling you for weeks that he's heading into the post-season really struggling, much different then the last couple of years.
From the U-18s, the big story so far is Johan Larsson, a fringe prospect with the Brynas junior team who has opened up the tournament with a hat-trick in his first game and then 2+2=4 in his second... that should help his draft prospects, we'd reckon.
The Thrashers did a little house cleaning yesterday as Don Waddell got a promotion???... to president, letting Rick Dudley take over as GM and then they fired coach John Anderson. Too bad for Anderson as he really opened up the offense in Atlanta (12th in goals for) and got the most out of players like Max Afinogenov, Rich Peverley, Tobias Enstrom and Niclas Bergfors. Defensively, they were not very good finishing 25th in the league in goals against. If a new, more defensive coach is brought in for next year then this could negatively impact any Thrasher players that you own in fantasy leagues.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Brian Campbell was back at practice yesterday and is talking about returning at some point during the 1st round, so well ahead of schedule... good news if you took a flier on him in a playoff pool.
Good and bad news from Caps practice as Nicklas Backstrom was back on the ice after missing a few days due to an illness and he should be fine for tonight's game but Jose Theodore took a shot off the inside of the knee and had to leave early... he should be fine as well, just a little sore likely.
Milan Michalek left last night's game early with a LBI, possibly he re-aggravated the knee injury that kept him out of nine games near the end of the season.
As suspected, Matt Duchene played last night despite that torso injury and picked up an assist in his first playoff game... we'll be keeping a close eye on him as, for one, he's a fun player to watch and two, figuring out how high his ceiling is next season will be one of our great off-season challenges.
All of the wounded Penguins were able to go last night... Chris Kunitz, Matt Cooke and Brooks Orpik all played in game #1.
What's distracting us today? Many thanks to Stoeten over at theScore for getting us hooked on OttawaGh0st's videos. We've posted them before but we'll officially announce our fandom now. You really need to check out his YouTube channel if you're not aware of his work.
Stoeten posted this one of Dany Heatley demanding another trade yesterday... before the Sharks lost. Somehow it seems even more appropriate now (NSFW):
Heatley gets most of the attention in the videos, but that doesn't mean OttawaGh0st can't drag others down too. Check out this Sheldon Souray video (NSFW):