(An ode to that silly toolbox....Round 2 must just about be over).
This is always a fun time when the round is just about over and there can be a look back at what happened. It is a lot like looking at the worst of the last two weeks and go okay, what is the worst of the worst? We try to answer that tough question now with our Fantasy "Tool"Box.
The Fantasy "Tool"Box is named in honor of Patrick Marleau, who seemed to almost always come up just a bit short in the playoffs. By the way, Marleau had zero points in five games in this year's playoff loss to the St. Louis Blues. So here are our nominations for Round 2. We suggest you get the Kleenex if any of these players were in your playoff pool.
Fantasy "Tool"Box Nominees:
Brian Elliott, G, St. Louis Blues
This one had to hurt, especially to poolies who watched St. Louis look so good in Round 1 against San Jose. It was not the amount of goals given up as much as the timing of the goals he gave up. All year, Elliott has kept these gaffes to a minimum but it seemed in this series there were at least one or two in every game. If a team is going to advance in the playoffs, their goaltender has to be able to shrug off a little inconsistent play and Elliott was not able to do so. The two middle games, where he gave up nine goals were just daggers to any hopes of St. Louis coming back. Honestly the damage was done.
Jaromir Jagr, RW, Philadelphia Flyers
It may be kind of unfair but let's group him in with Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, and even Danny Briere. Honestly the Flyers best did not show up in this series at the crucial points of the series. Jagr had just a single point in this series and some did expect a little more based on how Jagr torched New Jersey at times especially on the man advantage. That just did not quite become the factor in this series and for Jagr to flourish, the Devils needed to be a lot less disciplined than they were. There were too many Flyers to choose from in this case.
Andy McDonald, C, St. Louis Blues
This is a tough one to swallow but McDonald had just two points in the four game sweep by Los Angeles and that was all in Game 2. That was nowhere near enough and worse the consistency just was not there. McDonald was keyed on throughout as he was held to only eight shots and just a miniscule two scoring chances. It was not just going to get it done. Truly this was a humbling lesson for every Blues player.
Mike Fisher, C, Nashville Predators
What else could you say here? Fisher just was expected to do more in this type of series and he did not quite deliver late. It was not necessarily bad effort either but Fisher just could not do enough in this series. He did have seven hits in Game 5 but made a couple costly mistakes, one which directly led up to a goal. Scoring just was at a premium in the last three games and Fisher just had that one goal. Simply a couple more points probably gets his off this list but a notable playoff performer has different expectations.
Ilya Bryzgalov, G, Philadelphia Flyers
His name was almost cemented on here the minute he gave that puck up to David Clarkson. The strange thing is when Philadelphia played badly, Bryzgalov was pretty solid to be honest. It is kind of weird how it worked but the Game 4 loss was not on the Russian goalie. He stopped 39 of 42 shots and literally was almost deserted by his teammates for the better part of the first 40 minutes. It just goes to show you how the Flyers team defense was an issue throughout the postseason. However his several mistakes even in this round were costly enough to merit a spot on this list.
OUR WINNER IS...........
Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blues. It may be unfair but there were just too many mistakes to ignore and Blues fans definitely had hope that they could at least advance to Round 3 but they were never in it once that four goal first period happened in Game 2. From there on, Elliott was really not the same goalie and that just killed off the Blues faster than anyone could have ever imagined.
Tomorrow starts Round 3 and we will keep an eye on those fantasy "tool"boxes for you. Stay tuned.