Let’s play a quick game. Goalie A, in 32 games and 29 starts, won 18 games with a 2.27 GAA and .924 save percentage. Goalie B, in 54 games and 53 starts, had 23 wins, a 2.51 GAA and .918 sv%. Looks like you’d choose A pretty easily, correct? Just 5 less wins in 24 less starts with better percentages. Goalie A is Michal Neuvirth and Goalie B is Steve Mason. I have been calling for Neuvirth to get more action all season (half of those starts were when Mason was out) and after Mason made a fool of himself in game 2 and was lit up for 6 in game 3, Neuvirth got a chance with the Flyers’ season on the line. He stopped 31 of 32 shots in the 2-1 win and kept the team alive for at least a couple more days. Neuvirth played very well on a tanking Sabres team and continued his success in Philly this year. I think there’s a starting goalie here so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with him in the offseason. Here’s what else around the league Wednesday night:
T.J. Oshie – Goal on two shots. Points in three straight for the Olympic hero and I’d guess he extends it to 4 Friday as the Caps close it out.
Claude Giroux – Assist and a shot. He’s pretty much been a non-factor in the series which has to be killing Flyers fans.
Shayne Gostisbehere – Goal on five shots. The ghost is here! It looks like he’s settling into playoff hockey but it could just be because in the other games, his scummy teammates put the Caps on the power play repeatedly.
Wayne Simmonds – Two assists and two shots. Can’t keep a good man down for too long.
Roberto Luongo – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 2-1 win over the Islanders. He’s been hit or miss so far and the Panthers have no chance when he’s miss.
Aaron Ekblad – Assist. Kid is a beast defensively, I’m just not sure how much better his offense is going to get. He’s already a top 20 defenseman so it’s not like it’s horrible but I question how much higher he can go.
Jaromir Jagr – Assist and four shots. <salutes the legend, Jaromir Jagr>.
John Tavares – Goal on three shots. Insert all of the fire emojis here. He has at least one point in every game and I can’t see the Panthers slowing him down.
Jamie Benn – Assist, shot and two PIM. He also has a point in every game this series although it’s not in a dominating fashion like JT. Regardless, he has the Stars in position to end this in 5 and get the Stars some extra rest. They need it for Tyler Seguin especially.
Jason Demers – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Nice depth defenseman to have in real life and in deep leagues in fantasy. Demers hits all of the categories, including the extra ones, fairly well.
Kris Russell – Two assists. Man, I would not want to be the team that gives Russell a big contract in the offseason. His type of defensemen fall off a cliff fast into unplayable territory (see Dan Girardi).
Jason Spezza – Goal and an assist with three shots. His goal went off his skate but who cares, it all counts the same! Spezza had a monster season last year and he’s a safe bet to get close to those totals again next year.
Antti Niemi – 28 saves on 30 shots in the 3-2 win over the Wild, getting the start over Kari Lehtonen. Something tells me this won’t be the last time the goalies switch for the Stars.
Charlie Coyle – Goal on four shots. My favorite streamer until he wants a streamer anymore, Coyle will be a nice target in the mid to late rounds.
Jason Pominville – Goal on his only shot from both linemates, Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter. These guys have been the bright spot for their team in this series, much like they were down the stretch to get them into the playoffs. They’re all interesting for next season in their own way.
Luke Schenn – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. He led the Kings comeback after being 3-0 down but it wasn’t enough. If I had to guess somebody who had 2 points last night, Schenn might be one of the last names I say. Don’t draft him in any league next season.
Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with five shots. Burns doing Brent Burns things. All of the Sharks goals were on the power play for which the Kings have had no answer in the series other than to pray.
Patrick Marleau – Goal and an assist with two shots. He keeps chugging along at 36 years old. Marleau’s value will largely be determined by whether a) he’s still in San Jose and b) if he is, if he’s still on their lethal first power play unit.
Joe Pavelski – Goal on five shots. He’s been a monster in this series just like the past three regular seasons.
Martin Jones – 26 saves on 28 shots in the 3-2 win over the Kings. It’s been a good start to the Jones revenge series but until the nail is in the Los Angeles coffin, we can’t assume anything. Jones has solidified himself as a bottom end #1 or top end #2 next season for 12 man fantasy redrafts.
That’s all for now guys. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. I’ll be back on Monday recapping the action on Thursday through the weekend. I’ll also have some way too early rankings for next season. Enjoy the playoffs; take care everyone!