Angus here - I took a look at what a new ownership regime in Dallas means (hint: good things). Expect them to get back to contention in the West very, very quickly. A Bright Future in Dallas.
Issue with ramblings has been fixed.
I almost don’t want to do the ramblings today, and just ride the wave of awesomeness that Ryan Ma laid down yesterday. What a gem. Seriously, take a look if you missed it (hit ‘next’ at the bottom, or you can always access archived ramblings via the ‘Free Features’ link along the top).
With Brandon Prust suspended for one game, I have a feeling that Brandon Dubinsky returns to the lineup. He’s getting closer and closer. Mats Zuccarello is also close, but will probably need a few days yet.
My take on the Tom Renney move? Well, it wasn’t deserved, I do agree with some Edmonton media on that point, but it was either let him go now… or wait until 20 games into the season and fire him. At least this way, you’re not firing him – you’re just not re-signing him. And I say “20 games in” because I don’t think the kids will go into games thinking ‘win’ while he’s at the helm now. To them, it’s status quo. A new coach will mean a new attitude. It was the right move at the right time. I have more thoughts on this move in the Dobber’s Take section of the forum.
What Mike Smith is doing for the Coyotes is far better than Ilya Bryzgalov ever did – and Bryzgalov was pretty damn good in Phoenix. Smith’s performance is second – in recent memory - only to Jonathan Quick. Smith has faced 151 shots in four games – nine went in. But he won Sunday’s game on his own.
By comparison, Quick has faced 91 shots and has allowed five.
Once Darryl Sutter took over as coach, Trevor Lewis’ ice time shot right up. In the postseason it’s been up around 14 or 15 minutes each game. Prior to Sunday, he had points in three straight. And Sunday he had a team-high five shots on goal. His six playoff points are one shy of his total for the entire regular season. He’s an underrated point producer who has been used on a checking line. But I can see him topping 30 points next year, and then breaking through the following year – his fourth – with something like 50. He should top out in the 45 to 60 range, if he gets the opportunity down the road, stays healthy, and meshes with linemates.
Hockey Pool situation, following up on my note last week (keeper league, 11th year, I’ve never won the playoff trophy, which is called the Dobber Cup – so you can understand why I want it). Thanks to Mike Smith’s shutout (and Vermette’s assist) I am first with 101 points. The lowdown:
First – me. 101 points with Smith, Vermette, Stoll, Del Zotto left
Second place – 95 points with Dubinsky, Anisimov, Stepan
Third place – 86 points with Brown, Williams
Fourth – 75 points with Lundqvist, Whitney, Elias
Fifth – 71 points with Quick, Doughty, Kovalchuk
I think Sunday’s six points put me out of reach on the fifth-place team and fourth-place team. It will also be tough for Brown and Williams to combine for 15 points the rest of the way. Tight!
In the Hockey News office pool, I’m winning. I finished second in the regular season. It was the second time I’ve finished second with those guys, but have yet to win. But with seven of my 12 players still going (Brad Richards, Callahan, Del Zotto, Kreider, Doan, Whitney and Vrbata) I should polish this one off.
Milan Hejduk signs on for another year with the Avs and I have to wonder if this helps the team. They have youngsters itching for more ice time and others ready to make the jump. Each of which this move hinders. He’s not longer a 55-point player and I have my doubts that he gets back to 45.
Imagine if you traded Hejduk after his 98-point season? That’s the pinnacle of ‘sell high’. That’s what we all strive to do. After that season, Hejduk hit 75, 70 and 59 as his three best seasons out of nine.
For some Memorial Cup insight, visit DobberProspects – Brendan or Rich will give you some thoughts/observations late Monday.
The Conn Smythe – who do you got? To me, 1. Quick; 2. Brown; 3. Smith; 4. Girardi.
The Devils have shuffled their lines and the big change will be Jacob Josefson getting back into the lineup while Petr Sykora sits. Adam Henrique will play with Kovalchuk and Elias – and a line like that should finally kickstart Elias.
Evgeni Malkin led the World Hockey Championship (no ‘s’, remember that bloggers/media) in scoring with 19 points in 10 games. He is the first player since Gretzky to lead the NHL and the WC in points. He was also named tournament MVP. To summarize: he’s good.
Beauty goal by Malkin to cap off the Gold Medal win:
Kreider with the nice tip: