My Playoff Draft List is uploaded and ready for your download. Those of you who miss my Ultimate Fantasy Pack, I have a similar offer for you - if you buy the Keeper League Pack and the Playoff List at the same time, use coupon code ULTIMATE and get $3 off. That means that you can get the Prospects Report, the Fantasy Guide, the Preseason Draft List and the Interactive Playoff Draft List for $22.49

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So there's this defenseman Mark Cundari, who's a bit of a tough guy, albeit a small one. The Flames picked him up in the Jay Bouwmeester trade and he promptly posted three assists in two games for Abbottsford. The Flames called him up and he picked up a goal and an assist in his NHL debut. He logged nearly 25 minutes of ice time. Frankly, I look at him as more of a PIM guy for next year, but this offense is intriguing because he does have a bit of upside - and the Flames need a puck-mover. I compare him to Mark Giordano, another undrafted defenseman.

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Kyle Palmieri had 10 points in his first 20 games and he has tallied 10 points in his last 20. Love the consistency and if he can stay healthy I think he bumps the production up to 25 in the first half next year, 25 in the second half.

Nick Bonino picked up two assists in his first game back from a lower-body injury. The Ducks have won 18 of the 24 games that he has played, and just 10 of the 21 that he missed.

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With three points in his prior three games, Blake Comeau earned a promotion to the Cam Atkinson line after Matt

Calvert was injured (broken finger). He saw 15:55 of ice time, but was held without a point.

Mark Letestu picked up three points Sunday, carrying the team to an important win. His 26 points are one shy of a career best.

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I don't want to see the Rangers in the playoffs. Not because I don't like the team. I'm indifferent. In fact, preseason I was perfectly fine with them getting in - they were a huge Cup favorite. No, my reason is this - they don't deserve it. This team was a train wreck for two-thirds of the season. And to see them slink in with a strong final 10 games just grinds my gears. A team that bad for that long during a short season, while other teams that are consistently good but not great will miss - seems wrong. I'll get over it. And kudos to the Rangers for identifying the issues and fixing them - and I think the biggest issue was moving Gaborik out. Even bigger than adding Zuccarello, Clowe, Brassard and Moore combined.

And Brad Richards, who has been equally terrible, has seven points in his last three games. Too little too late to help most poolies, yet it boosts his final statistics up to a level where he'll be held in high regard in next year's fantasy drafts. I hate that too. I won't forget, and I'll remind you of it too. He's been a 45-point player this year, not the 65-point player that he'll wind up being thanks to a strong five games or so to end it.

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Andrei Loktionov was a healthy scratch for two games, but was back in the lineup Sunday and played with Ilya Kovalchuk. He played 12 minutes and scored on one of his three shots on net.

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Carl Soderberg picked up his first NHL point. If the Bruins get eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, he makes a great dark horse for the summer fantasy draft. But if they go deep and he posts a few points, he'll be on a lot of radars. He seems to be adapting to the NHL faster than Roman Cervenka did.

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I still have faith in Jacob Markstrom. I still believe he is the best prospect goalie to own, despite the horrible numbers this past month. The Panthers boast one of the best prospect groups in the league and the team will get better - and Markstrom will get better along with them. The Panthers are tanking and they'll probably get Seth Jones. How good will this team be in four years? Jones, Kulikov, Petrovic, Brennan and Gudbranson on the point. Solid group.

Nick Bjugstad is pointless and minus-6 in his eight NHL games. I still believe in him in terms of what kind of offense he posts - I still think the trajectory will go exactly the way James van Riemsdyk's has.

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In Steve Laidlaw's recent Cage Match, he touched upon John Tavares vs. Steven Stamkos, but refused to touch it based on the fact that the answer was obvious - Stamkos. In terms of fantasy value, he's not wrong. Stamkos holds far more value and if you own him you can ask for Tavares plus more.

That being said, I would rather own Tavares.

If I own Tavares, I won't part with him for Stamkos. If I own Stamkos, I trade him for Tavares (but of course insist that the other GM sweeten the pot - just because you prefer a player doesn't mean you take less than face value to get that player). To me, Tavares is a future 100-point guy who will make a 60-point player (Matt Moulson) into an 80-point player. Whereas Stamkos is a current 100-point type, who will become an 90-point player the moment Martin St. Louis is gone. Oh, he'll still get his 55 goals, but 60 will be hard for him to reach.

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The AHL season is over and not one player managed 80 points. This is because for half the season, NHL players dominated the scoring race, and by the time those players were back in the NHL, the AHLers had a lot of catching up to do.

Chicago's Brandon Pirri, cursed with being in a deep organization, won the scoring crown with 75 points in 76 games. Tyler Johnson scored 37 goals in just 62 games - most in the AHL. I really like his outlook for Tampa Bay. He is one of just two players in the AHL's Top 20 to tally more than a point per game.

Gustav Nyquist is the other one.

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Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and James Neal did not make the trip to Ottawa and will not play. Kris Letang is reportedly "ill" and may miss the game as well. In other news, when the playoffs begin the Penguins will be surprisingly fresh.

Malkin actually participated in a full practice, and Neal participated in some of the practice. Crosby skated prior to practice.

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Lupul with the breakaway goal Saturday, seals the deal for the Leafs:

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Sarich vs. Stoner


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Comments (20)add comment

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... Love the site, enjoy the content but gotta say I really dislike dobber hating on my rangers. smilies/cry.gif
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

islefan31 said:

islefan31
... What, before I wreck myself? I'm talking about the run that has put them where they are. Not saying Tavares isn't the man, but over the past month it's not his line doing all the work. It's been a complete team effort, top to bottom. And the 2nd line has been the main reason for this.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Corstyles said:

Corstyles
Dude Tavares has 6 more goals than Okposo/Bailey/Neilsen have, COMBINED.

Are you seriously criticizing me for giving Tavares credit for the Islanders being a playoff team? You better check yourself.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

islefan31 said:

islefan31
... and Nielsen too. Not sure who Neilson is.lol
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

islefan31 said:

islefan31
Tavares willed it to be so??? Dude, the team is winning because of secondary scoring and really good team defense/goaltending...not the Tavares line. If anything the Okposo/Bailey/Neilson line has been dominant. Look at the #'s during the run and they will back me up. JT is not carrying this team right now and hasn't been for well over a month. And if his line starts clicking again, watch out.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
Bogans Really bro? Of all the Rangers fanboys who have been ripping on Dobber for giving an honest take, your comments were definitely the worst. All Dobber did was state his opinion. If people can't see passed it because they are biased to their team, that is their choice, but don't try to rip on Iggy. He walked a way from a bad, dysfunctional organization that he devoted the majority of his career to, only to see that organization constantly reward him with bad drafting, worse player development, bad trades, bad contracts, and overall wasting his career. If you want to say "with the team he has meant most to" then Iggy deserves a cup in Calgary more than Lundqvist deserves a cup in New York. Iggy never went from great in the regular season to painfully average in the post season like Lundqvist loves doing. The argument most everyone turns to however is who in the league deserves a cup the most, and that is hands down Jarome, no question, no ifs and or buts. He gave Calgary more of his career then they ever deserved, and leaving was the last option that he didn't even want but had to accept.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Disco Stu said:

Disco Stu
Penguins missing two starters tonight The Penguins will not have Kris Letang nor Marc Andre Fleury in the lineup tonight. Letang is suffering from food poisoning and Fleury's wife has gone into labor. Adjust your fantasy lineups accordingly
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

bogans said:

bogans
Rangers undeserving? I gotta point out just how flawed your logic is here. You were totally on the Kings bandwagon last season and their situation was almost the same. The team had an enormous change over in players this season that they were forced to adjust to without the benefit of a training camp. Additionally, they had Gaborik who (although one of my favorite players in the NHL for years, but mostly during his days in Minnesota) had become quite disinterested and jaded. I would say they fought through difficult situations to really come together at the right time.

Last point, if there is one player in the league, at this stage of his career, who deserves to raise the Cup with the team he has meant more to than anyone else it'd be:

Jarome Iginla, oh, no, sorry he left to try and ride somebody else's coat tails to the grail. That'd be Henrik Lundqvist. The guy has been a rock, carrying an entire franchise for years. He deserves to have a deep run, and hopefully get himself a chalice to raise sooner than later. I know he has not been the wall in the playoffs that he usually is during the regular season, but he has shown more and more every year. And this shortened season might just have him at his ultimate at just the right time.

I like your ramblings usually, but think that comment was short sighted.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Corstyles said:

Corstyles
Piling on The Rangers have the 6th best goal differential in the Eastern Conference, and the 9th best goal differential in the entire league!

I HATE the Rangers, but they deserve to make the playoffs.

If we really want to start criticizing playoff teams, the Senators and Blue Jackets are there only because of great goaltending. The Wild are there only because of a fantastic last half of March (they started the season poorly, AND are finishing poorly). The Islanders are there only because John Tavares willed it to be so. The Leafs are there because of James Reimer, and because a medicine man has obviously blessed their sticks with a magically high shooting percentage.
The Rangers are there because they're a good hockey team.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +1

BKD said:

BKD
Steve McIntyre "Mac Attack" was called up before the Boston game, to make it look like the Pens didn't call him up for this Ottawa game. Much fisticuffs will ensue. Fleury may miss the game too, as his wife is due any minute now.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

jsuites said:

jsuites
Rangers I’m going to go out on a limb and say that only teams with enough points to make the playoffs deserve to make the playoffs.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

cvincent14 said:

cvincent14
B Richards I disagree with your comment about Richards. Season stats are up and down and you do not make your stat predictions on 2/3 of the season but on the entire season. Whether a player is streaky or not is different then there overall result.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

RangerFan said:

RangerFan
Rangers Dobber, love your ramblings! Always read them. But I have to disagree with you about the Rangers. I know. You are going to say that I am biased because I am a Ranger fan but I will agree with you that they definitely did not play up to their potential. They were many times when I was screaming at the screen because of how badly they were playing. But there were plenty of times even early in the season when they did play well. Early game against Boston was great to watch and Rangers dominated that game.
Did they really play so poorly? Well, they had a losing record against Pitt, Mon, Ottawa but they had a winning record against Boston, Toronto, Islanders, Washington. And their record against the teams just below them (Jets, Buffalo, NJ, TB) is 8-3-0. So who are these "more deserving teams" that you would put in instead of the Rangers?
Keep up the great work!!
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
Problem with site navigation If I click the 'Next' button it doesn't take me to the Sunday ramblings, but to last Thursday's ramblings.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +1

rangersfury said:

rangersfury
... So by your logic regarding the Rangers did the Kings not deserve to be in the playoffs last year since they were mediocre to bad most of the season but pulled it off at the end to sneak in? And I'm not sure who the good-but-not-great teams who will miss that you mentioned are. Philly with Bryz actively avoiding pucks or the Devils who are a shell of themselves without Marty and Kovy in the lineup? Jets/Sabres/Canes? I'm not upset with your statement (hell, I would have agreed with it for most of the season) but your logic eludes me. Out of all those teams the Rags are the only ones who saw their problems clearly and addressed them to right the ship. Now if they had stood pat and didn't address their issues and still snuck in you absolutely have a point.

Other than that, fantastic ramblings as usual.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +3

Disco Stu said:

Disco Stu
Penguins visit Ottawa tonight The Penguins have recalled tough guy, Steve McIntyre from Wilkes-Barre for tonight's game with the Senators. It'll be the teams first meeting since the Cooke/Karlsson incident back in February. Look for Chris Neil to jump Cooke the minute he takes the ice tonight. Hopefully that'll be the end of it, but knowing Melnyk and Murray, it will go on for the entire game hence McIntyre's recall.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +1

gfunkb7 said:

gfunkb7
... They're victims of circumstances. The product (hockey) has become more unpredictable (NYI, MTL, TOR, ANA, OTT, hell even CLB - for examples), which I think is great for lesser popular markets (ANA, PHO, NYI, CLB) due to some great managing and coaching skills.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... dd97 - thank you

gfunkb7 - Kind of...but key difference - Caps suffered early as they adapted to a coaching system. So in a way I admire them more for sticking to it when everyone (myself included) was pushing the panic button.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +1

gfunkb7 said:

gfunkb7
... With your logic, would you say the Capitals don't deserve to be in the playoffs as well?
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

destructivedevil97 said:

destructivedevil97
... I rarely post on here but I had to today. These ramblings were awesome Dobber, really insightful. I hope to read from you more in the future

~ Diller
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0
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