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Gopher Sports: Bubble Update 8/31

Who is left in the bubble and who has gone home?

New York Liberty v Las Vegas Aces Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Another couple of weeks have gone by, and the NBA, WNBA, and NHll bubbles continue to find success. We are down to just eight NHL teams left, while the NBA is cutting their list down from 16 to 8 fairly quickly. The WNBA is about two thirds of the way through their regular season as well. Here is a quick update on the Minnesota Golden Gophers stars who remain in their respective bubbles and how they are doing.


Amir Coffey and the Los Angeles Clippers knocked off the Dallas Mavericks four games to two in their NBA first round playoff series. The #2 seeded Clippers will move on to face either the Denver Nuggets or the Utah Jazz in the second round.

As expected Coffey’s time has taken a major hit now that the actual playoffs are underway. Coffey saw action in just two of the six games of the first round series and played just six minutes in those two games scoring just two points on a pair of free throws.


The WNBA season continues to roll on in the bubble at the IMG complex in Bradenton, Florida. While the Minnesota Lynx have had the better season, former Gopher point guard Rachel Banham has been banged up and has not made much of an impact of late. She has returned in the last week that saw the Lynx go 1-2 and averaged just over five points per game over the last three. The Lynx are 10-5 and will play a make up game against the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday night after it was postponed last week.

While her New York Liberty team has not been great this season, Amanda Zahui B has been on fire for her team. Zahui B broke the Liberty’s record for most rebounds ina game on Saturday after she pulled down 21 boards in a loss to the Los Vegas Aces.

The 21 rebounds were all defensive and that set a WNBA records for most defensive rebounds in a game, and most defensive rebounds without an offensive rebound. She then would not talk about her performance post game and instead directed all her responses to race relations in both the US and her home country of Sweden.

She also joined Justin Gaard on the Gophersports Podcast last week as well:


The NHL finished their first round series since we last updated you and we went from seven Gophers remaining in the bubble down to three.

Erik Johnson’s Colorado Avalanche knocked out Phil Kessel and Alex Goligoski and the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 in the first round and have moved on to play the Dallas Stars in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. Unfortunately the Avs face a 3-1 hole in that series against the Stars with Game five slated for Monday night. In nine games Johnson has a pair of assists and is a +3 for the playoffs.

Nate Schmidt and the Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the second round with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and currently have a 2-1 series lead on the Vancouver Canucks in their second round series with Game four occurring late Sunday night. In 11 playoffs games Nate Schmidt has been one of the blue line leaders for the Knights. He has a goal and five assists on the playoffs and is averaging just over 20 minutes a game.

Nick Leddy has helped his New York Islanders team to the second round and is the third Gopher left in the bubble. The Islanders knocked out Travis Boyd and the Washington Capitols 4-1 in the first round and the Islanders currently have a 2-1 series lead on the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round with Game 4 occurring Sunday night. In 12 playoff games Leddy has a pair of goals and assists and is averaging right around 20 minutes per game of ice time for the Isles.

We will see this time next week who is still around in their respective bubbles, and who else has gone home to enjoy the end of their summer.