Oh boy, what an opening round! After four weeks of voting in the Cage Match Tournament we have now pared the field down from 36 to 16. That’s right folks, we’re over halfway there. This past week was quite possibly the most exciting yet. We upped our output to keep up with you fantasy hockey fiends, releasing not one but two polls per week. Not only that but the matchups themselves got super interesting. Over the past couple of days you voted on the first round matchups of the final bracket and it was absolute fireworks.


Steven Stamkos took on Also Ran. John Tavares took on Marian Gaborik in the battle for New York. Anze Kopitar and Jamie Benn duked it out in the battle of non-descript big men. And just to prod at Leaf Nation we had Phil Kessel up against Tyler Seguin. But before we get to results, in case you need to get caught up:


Introducing the Bracket

Howe Bracket: Round One

Richard Bracket: Round One

Gretzky Bracket: Round One

Lemieux Bracket: Round One


#1 Steven Stamkos over #8 Bobby Ryan – 117 votes to 3 votes

This was so embarrassing Ryan is changing his name to Stevenson.


#2 John Tavares over #7 Marian Gaborik – 108 votes to 12 votes

I think we are all a little weak in the knees for JT-Money, couple that with the fact that Gaborik is already weak in the groin and this was no contest.


#6 Jamie Benn over #3 Anze Kopitar – 74 votes to 50 votes ***UPSET***

Kopitar had this brilliant idea to actively campaign for votes but Darryl Sutter quickly snapped at him for being out of position. Even after that I’m still not sure how the upstart, Jamie Benn, pulled this one out. Suffice to say that Benn backers are absolutely basking in that new car smell.


#5 Tyler Seguin over #4 Phil Kessel – 91 votes to 29 votes ***UPSET***

This result is not very surprising so this is hardly an upset (unless your name is Brian Burke – then you are extremely upset bordering on butthurt.)

Here is the updated bracket:


cage match


Now that the first round is entirely complete we are off to the Sweet Sixteen! This week we will have the second round matchups in the Howe Bracket and the Richard Bracket.


#1 Evgeni Malkin vs. #4 Jonathan Toews

While this pool may be all about regular season scoring you can’t help but feel like this contest isn’t just a little bit more intense with two Conn Smythe Trophy winners going at it.


#2 Claude Giroux vs. #3 Patrick Kane

This is a fun little rematch that yours truly already broke down earlier this year. Let me know if I was right or wrong!


#1 Alexander Ovechkin vs. #4 Pavel Datsyuk

This contest is straight out of Russia, which in my mind makes it all the more intriguing.


#2 Sidney Crosby vs. #3 Nicklas Backstrom

This one, on the other hand, is straight out of the quiet room.


Remember to follow those links, cast your votes and make your voice heard!

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