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Welcome to the third week of the Cage Match Tournament! In case you missed them, here are the previous week’s editions:

Week 1 – Introducing the Bracket

Week 2 – Howe Bracket: Round One

Week 3 – Richard Bracket: Round One

 

 

Over the past week you voted on your favourites in Round One of the Richard Bracket, otherwise known as The Hurt Locker because of how many top rated players are currently injured. Last week produced our closest matchup yet, let’s take a look at this week’s results and see if we can’t top it.

 

#1 Alexander Ovechkin over #8 Henrik Zetterberg – 94 votes to 19 votes

 

Ovechkin is the kind of player who can beat other guys in his sleep, which is good because he has been in hibernation all season. Even luckier for Ovechkin, is he got to face Henrik Zetterberg, who for all his talents is looking old and busted. Only Z-Berg in his prime could have had a shot at unseating the Great Eight. At his age, with his worn down body, this was no contest, a mercy killing really.

 

#2 Sidney Crosby over #7 James Neal – 86 votes to 24 votes

 

Sidney Crosby is a pathological winner. This guy has accomplished everything you could want to as a professional hockey player. If there is a pro-athlete bucket list, he has that ledger filled up. But, he’s only 24, so with well over half his career still ahead of him, let alone over half his life he is not ready to rest. So when he found out he pulled a two-seed in this tournament he climbed out of that dark hole he’s been hiding in and got himself cleared for contact just in time to lay the smack down on James “The Real Deal” Neal.

 

The real deal? Naaah, Crosby don’t play that. And a second seed? Please. Crosby could have walked away. He could have left an Orr-esque legacy that simultaneously celebrates his greatness and asks what could have been. But Crosby came back and laid the smack down on Neal. Next victim.

 

#3 Nicklas Backstrom over #6 Martin St. Louis – 80 votes to 29 votes

 

Nicklas Backstrom overcame similar struggles to pull out the opening round victory as did Sidney Crosby, as the Capitals top centerman remains out with a concussion and no timetable for his return. Still he showed enough upside to survive this match up.

 

More than any other matchup this reminds us that this is a young man’s game. At 36 years old, Martin St. Louis keeps pumping out quality production and is currently 16th in league scoring with 61 points in 61 games and yet, he never really stood a chance. This is more sad than anything because if St. Louis keeps hanging on like some we have seen in recent years then he will prove us all way wrong. But then again, maybe the wheels are starting to come off. I fully expect to see you back here again next year, even if it’s to be first round fodder once again.

 

#4 Pavel Datsyuk over #5 Taylor Hall – 60 votes to 54 votes

 

And we have a tie… for the tightest matchup yet! Another young Oiler dared to challenge the establishment and take down a pillar of the fantasy hockey universe.

 

So close young Mr. Hall, and yet so far. Datsyuk is an absolute magician and while it has been several years since Datsyuk actually dominated, he has enough tricks up his sleeve to get past a young punk like Hall. You still have a lot to learn and a lot to prove. We’ll see you next time Taylor, we hope you learned something.

 

Here is the updated bracket:

 

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This week we have round one in the Gretzky Bracket, which may be arguably the tightest bracket out there. This bracket has three of the past six Art Ross Trophy winners and three of the past six Hart Trophy Winners. There are a lot of winners up in here, and that’s why it’s the Gretzky Bracket. Here are the matchups:

 

#1 Henrik Sedin vs. #8 Joe Thornton


#2 Daniel Sedin vs. #7 Eric Staal


#3 Zach Parise vs. #6 Ilya Kovalchuk


#4 Corey Perry vs. #5 Ryan Getzlaf

 

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

 

 


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