GWMHL

Sawchuk Playoff Preview: Delta vs. Farmington

In DEL, FFS, Special Features on April 3, 2019 at 9:04 am

The series: (1) Delta (51-23-8) vs. (4) Farmington (40-33-9)

Scoring leaders:
Delta: Kucherov (80, 41-62-103), MacKinnon (74, 42-44-86), Hall (76, 33-47-80), Nugent-Hopkins (62, 29-33-62), Staal (82, 31-28-59)
Farmington: Trocheck (82, 45-49-94), Rantanen (81, 30-54-84), Carlson (82, 25-46-71), Miller (82, 28-38-66), Fiala (80, 25-20-45)

Goalies:
Delta: Gibson (43gp, 28-10-4, 2.82, .918, 1so), Raanta (39gp, 22-13-4, 3.12, .907, 2so)
Farmington: Lehner (34gp, 18-14-2, 3.62, .888, 2so), Crawford (28gp, 11-4-2, 2.65, .930, 2so)

Players to watch:
Delta: Delta’s “Big Three” get all the attention, but Jonathan Toews’ first playoffs with the Sturgeon should give him a chance to shine in ways not always captured on the scoresheet.
Farmington: John Carlson gives Farmington one thing Delta doesn’t have — an explosive weapon on the back end. He led all defensemen in scoring during the regular season.

No one was surprised by the emergence of the Delta Sturgeon. After a decade of playoff absence, Delta loaded up in the offseason and were poised to compete with the top teams in the league — and that they did, coming in third overall and scoring 349 goals, tops in the league. They’re as deep as any team in the GWMHL, and while most of their core is untested in the postseason, veterans Toews and Zdeno Chara are hoping to shepherd this young squad to the finals.

On paper, it’s a mismatch. After Vincent Trocheck and Mikko Rantanen, the Fighting Saints are thin up front, and even worse, word is that top goalie Corey Crawford may only be healthy enough to play a handful of postseason games. That puts the weight on Robin Lehner, whose regular season numbers were, to put it kindly, less than scintillating.

But you can’t count the Saints out. First of all, Gump history is littered with first-round upsets. And while Delta has the shinier toys, Farmington has a couple of big guns on the back end in Carlson and Dustin Byfuglien that could make up for its middling forward ranks. They’ve also seen a lot more playoff action in the last few years. The Sturgeon would be wise to not take this first-round matchup lightly.

Head-to-head regular season record:
Delta won the season series 4-1-1, although Farmington stole a 3-2 win on the road in the second quarter — and a road win is all you need to tilt an entire series.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s