JLu's Playoff Preview

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JLu's Playoff Preview

Post  johnlu on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:00 pm

PLAYOFF PREVIEW CHAIN GANG VS ROOSTERS

Season series: Chain Gang 0-3-0, Roosters 3-0-0

How Chain Gang can win this series: Chain Gang will need to do what they do best, and that’s to bring the intensity. Chain Gang’s GM has built this team to be the most intense team in the league. Offensively Chain Gang will need contributions from not only their role players, but especially their stars. Chain Gang’s top line has struggled vs. Roosters in respect to facing the rest of the league. Felix Wong (1g 1a 3gp), Gary Wong (1g 2gp), Winslow Tang (2g 3gp). These three will need to bring their games to the next level and carry this team on their backs to do what they can to advance to the finals! New significant additions in David Luong (2g 1gp) and Ryan Tong (2a 1gp) have played well against the Roosters and need to continue doing that. Role players Felix Cheng(0pts 2gp) and Howard Tsang (2g 2gp) will need to bring lots of energy and put up a point or two on the score sheet against the high energy Rooster team. Chain Gang’s biggest obstacles will be to solve Vezina Candidate David Nguyen and to beat allstar defencemen Ricky Gregorio. Speedy underrated forwards in Joseph Florendo, Kelly Pham and Steve Lai should also not be ignored as these three will capitalize on any chances they are given. Stanley Chan, Andrew Szeto and Kevin Tai are the quite assassins if given any room, they will bury it. Andrew has torched the Chain Gang by scoring 4g 3a in 3gp. If Chain Gang wants to win this series, not only do their role players need to outwork the Roosters, but so do their highly paid stars.

How the Roosters can win this series: If history has any indication of the result of this series, then all fingers point to Roosters to win this. But Roosters should definitely not underestimate their opponents. Chain Gang have a lot of game changing players that can alter a game. Roosters need to continue with their aggressive fore-check and outwork the other team. Roosters team is not made up of many superstar names, but their team is committed to team work and working hard for every little battle and that has gotten them to second place this year. They’ll need to smother Chain Gang players like gravy as not a lot their players are able to create their own shot and not much of their players are stick handlers as well. Force them to be playmakers as that is not their strengths. Taking away their shot can go a long way because every single one of them has a bomb and can score from anywhere on the field. Do expect Ryan Tong and David Luong to be crashing the net as they have been very successful at this. Clearing out any rebounds will be a must as Chain Gang pounces on those juicy rebounds. Scoring will have to be by committee as Roosters have done that all season. Also by continuing to getting into Nick Yatco’s head on and off the field will get him shaky and force him to give up big rebounds.

Chain Gang question mark: Nick Yatco. He’s been the butt end of many jokes and has taken a lot of criticism all over the ABHL forums and on twitter. His mental game has been described as weak and this is probably a huge reason why Rooster players Joseph Florendo, Kelly Pham and David Nguyen have focused on getting into this star goalie’s head all season long. Nick has posted a 5.33 GAA vs. Roosters while he maintains a GAA of 3.72 vs. whole ABHL league as a whole. It is not a surprise he has been struggling against the Roosters but if Chain Gang wants to increase their chances to win, they will need their Vezina Candidate to play to the potential that they know he can play. Other question marks include whether top guns Felix Wong, Gary Wong and Winslow Tang will be able to get their offensive games going.

Roosters question mark: Will Joseph Florendo be able to continue his fairytale season and be able to cope with the added pressure in the playoffs? Will David Nguyen continue to play in Vezina form like he did in the season or will he fail in playoffs like he has in the earlier years of his career? How much will the absence of Paolo Jimenez affect Rooster’s offence?

Chain Gang key stats: After the big trade involving Ricky Gregorio being shipped to Roosters, Chain Gang has never looked the same. Chain Gang has went 1-5-0 after the trade and have not been able to find ways to win since. In those 6 games they average 3.33gf and 4.17ga. Their only win after the post Ricky Era is a 8-2 win vs a depleted Shockers squad that had nothing to play for. This is the coldest team entering into this season’s playoffs.

Roosters key stats: Roosters have won all 3 meetings vs. Chain Gang this season outscoring them by a total score of 16-6. Andrew Szeto and Joseph Florendo led the way with 7pts and 5pts respectively. Andrew has more points in this matchup than Chain Gang players; Felix, Gary and Winslow combined (7pts vs 5pts). Andrew Szeto is riding a 14 game point streak and has only played 14 games this season. Roosters are also undefeated with Ricky Gregorio in the lineup (2-0-2).

Chain Gang X-Factor: Ryan Tong is by far the most intense player in the league. This is a player that all teams don’t want to play against, but would much rather have as a teammate. Ryan Tong brings a very physical game, scoring touch, and some play making abilities to Chain Gang. This work horse will battle every second of the game from whistle to whistle. It will be a great challenge for Roosters to see how they will defend against this atom bomb.

Roosters X-Factor: Stanley Chan & Andrew Szeto are often known as the forgotten men in this deep Rooster squad. While biggest buzz is on Ricky Gregorio, and internet buzz on Joseph Florendo and Kelly Pham, Stanley and Andrew are silent assassins that will be game changers to this series. Stanley amassed 22pts in 14 games and is known to a big offensive threat while Andrew amassed 23pts in 14 games as a offensive defenseman. These two are the Roosters X-factor for this series!

Team Categories
Goaltending – Edge Roosters. While both goalies in this series are Vezina Candidates, the edge goes to David Nguyen has he has been the more consistent goalie. With a 4.15GAA and a record of 9-4-3, David helped secure the #2 spot on the standings by the end of the season.

Forwards – Edge Roosters. Roosters have outscored Chain Gang in all three meetings this year by a total score of 16-6. They are also tied for 2nd in goals in the regular season 5.06 goals per game.

Defense – Edge Chain Gang. Chain Gang has a 3.81gaa. Their defense has been stellar all season. All their players are defensively responsible and they cover shooting and passing lanes well.

Intangibles – Edge Chain Gang. There may be no other team that wants to win more than the top players in the Chain Gang. In Chain Gang’s top 4 forwards, all of them know what it takes to win. All of them have a different gear when there is urgency to win. When the pressure is there, all four know they need to kick things up a notch. I guarantee you that this team will not look like the same team in the regular season. They will be much much harder to play against come playoff time.


Winner and why: Roosters win the series by a total score of 10-8. Roosters have beaten Chain Gang in all 3 meetings and I expect it to continue this way. I see this series to be a very defensive as both Vezina Candidates will be at the top of their game. In the end, I expect Rooster’s depth to be too much for Chain Gang to handle while Roosters will outwork Chain Gang till the last whistle blows.

This is John Lu reporting from TaSN – Edmonton.
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