Tag: Ilya Bryzgalov

Martin St. Louis, Marc-Andre Fleury

Five individual playoff stats you may find interesting


.925 — Marc-Andre Fleury’s save percentage this postseason. It was only .908 in the first round against Columbus, but has risen considerably on the strength of two shutouts over the Rangers. Among regular starters in these playoffs, only Tuukka Rask (.939) and Corey Crawford (.936) have stopped a higher percentage of shots than Fleury.

“I don’t think there was any question he was the best player on the ice,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said after Fleury’s 35-save shutout last night at MSG.

.830 — Ilya Bryzgalov’s save percentage in five appearances for the Wild, by far the lowest of any goalie that’s started a game this postseason. Bryzgalov has faced just 21 shots in each of the two games versus the Blackhawks, and that’s a heck of an accomplishment for Minnesota against a team that averaged 33.1 shots during the regular season.

Unfortunately for the Wild, their goalie has been beaten seven times, including this back-breaker in Game 1:

Nice shot? Absolutely.

Stoppable shot? Without a doubt.

1.8 — Points per game for Brent Seabrook. Nobody boasts a higher number than that. The Chicago defenseman was suspended for three games against St. Louis, but he’s still managed to rack up nine points in the five he’s played. Just another one of those right-shooting d-men that are all the rage these days.

6 — Goals for Marian Gaborik. Nobody has more. The Kings got Gaborik from Columbus in March for Matt Frattin, a second-round and conditional third-round pick. So yeah, not a bad deadline deal right there. Certainly, skating on a line with Anze Kopitar has helped Gaborik, but let’s not use that against him — he was picked up to score, and he’s done just that.

41 — Shots for Rick Nash. Nobody has more. And that’s good, in theory. But did we mention Nash has zero goals and apparently needs to put his “big boy pants” on? Why exactly the shots aren’t going in for the hefty winger is a good question. Some of it’s probably bad luck. But Nash had similar issues in last year’s playoffs when he scored just once on 42 shots, so it’s feasible there’s an issue with the quality of shots he’s getting. Regardless, it’s his job to convert, and for the Rangers’ sake he needs to figure it out quick.

Get your game notes: ‘Hawks at Wild

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild

Tonight on CNBC, it’s the Minnesota Wild hosting the Chicago Blackhawks starting at 9 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Chicago scored two late third period goals to put away Minnesota in Game 2 and take a 2-0 series advantage. The series now shifts about 400 miles northwest to St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild have won all three of their home games this postseason. They have allowed the fewest amount of goals/game of any team in the playoffs at home (1.00), but are tied for the most goals allowed/game on the road (4.33). Their lone win on the road in the playoffs was Game 7 in Colorado when they defeated the Avalanche, 5-4 in overtime.

• Chicago has now won six straight playoff games after winning the final four games in their First-Round series vs. STL. Marian Hossa (0-3) and Bryan Bickell (1-2) both tallied three points in Game 2. For Hossa, it was his second straight game with three points after picking up a goal and two assists in Game 1. He now has 4-8—12 in seven career postseason games vs. MIN, including a trio of three-point performances (also, 2-1—3 on May 9, 2013). Bickell extended his point streak to five games (5-3—8) and is off to another strong playoffs after an impressive performance during Chicago’s Stanley Cup run last year.

• The Wild’s letter players — Mikko Koivu (“C”), Zach Parise (“A”), Ryan Suter (“A”) — have struggled in the two playoff matchups against Chicago this season and last. In the seven games they’ve played against Chicago, they have a combined two points.

• Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has now won a career-high six straight playoff games. During this stretch, he has allowed nine goals (1.43 GAA) with a .951 save percentage. Ilya Bryzgalov has gotten both starts in net for the Wild in this series, posting a 3.54 GAA and a .833 save percentage.

• The Blackhawks haven’t won the first road game in a Stanley Cup Playoff series since Game 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks. Since then, Chicago is 0-8 in series road openers, including a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3 against the Wild last year.

PHT Morning Skate: Habs, Wild look to turn things around at home

Michel Therrien

Tonight’s Game 3 match-ups in Montreal and St. Paul are vital ones for the host teams.

The Montreal Canadiens are trying to shake off the disappointment of their Game 2 loss in which they blew a 3-1 third period and gave up four unanswered goals on the way to a 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins. Home ice advantage could come in handy for the Habs as the crowd at Bell Centre will surely be at fever pitch.

The Minnesota Wild are in a bit more of a predicament down 2-0 in the series to the Chicago Blackhawks. In spite of the losses, they feel like they’re right there with the defending champs. That may have been the case in Game 1, but Game 2 saw Chicago dominate.

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Game 3: Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins [Series tied 1-1] (7:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Canadiens are hoping home ice can help them gain an advantage on the Bruins and after Bruins coach Claude Julien’s complaints about the lack of calls in Game 2 going his team’s way, looking for the officials to bend things more their way in Montreal is an interesting tactic.

Michel Therrien recognized what Julien was doing, however, and this is where home ice comes into play as Bell Centre can be one of the most intimidating places for players and officials alike to play in.

For the Habs, Thomas Vanek got things going with a pair of power play goals in Game 2, but the area they have to get better is 5-on-5. Four of the seven goals they’ve scored in the series have come on the power play whereas all eight of the Bruins’ goals have come at even strength.

Reilly Smith has been big in the first two games with two goals. Boston’s defensemen have been equally strong with Dougie Hamilton having two goals and Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuk with one each.

Game 3: Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks [Chicago leads series 2-0] (9:00 p.m. ET — CNBC)

The mission for the Wild seems simple. After getting run over by Patrick Kane in Game 1, they kept him quiet in Game 2… Only to see Marian Hossa have a big night setting teammates up with three assists. The guy who’s been killing them in both games is last season’s playoff stud in Bryan Bickell.

In two games, Bickell has three goals and two assists. After a regular season in which he had 15 points, having five in two games sounds like a major problem for Minnesota.

Another serious issues for the Wild comes from their star players being shut down. Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, and Mikko Koivu are struggling badly as the three have combined for two assists, both coming on Clayton Stoner’s goal in Game 1. With the series shifting to home ice for Minnesota, those players have to find ways to get free to create and generate opportunities.

People can talk about Ilya Bryzgalov’s goaltending issues all they want, but unless the offense helps out, the Wild are in trouble.