If your playoff draft is coming up soon, make sure you pick up the DobberHockey 2013 Interactive Playoff Draft List. Details here.
Essentially, you can set the teams you think will win (or use Dobber's picks), and it generates custom player rankings.
Brent Burns looks really, really good as a winger. Almost like Rick Nash with how he protects the puck, drives wide with speed, and uses his size to create separation from opposing defensemen. And he has a phenomenal shot, too.
I'm not sure what kind of offensive upside he has, but Danny DeKeyser sure looks good considering he was playing in the NCAA a few weeks ago. Big, great skater, reads the play well. His offensive upside is still undetermined, though.
He finished with two shots on goal in about 20 minutes of ice time last night for the Wings.
Henrik Zetterberg has entered "beast mode" - he has completely controlled stretches of play over the past few games for the Wings. The good guys are turning it up when they are needed the most.
Oh, and some guy named Datsyuk had two points and seven shots on goal too.
Even without Brown (who was Shanabaned for two games after his Macho Man elbow hit Pominville in the face), the Kings scratched Dustin Penner. Tyler Toffoli skated on the top line, and Brad Richardson was bumped up, too.
I like Kyle Clifford as a future multi-cat guy. He had a goal, three SOG, and five hits in about 14 minutes of ice time.
Toffoli only ended up with 13 minutes of ice time, though.
I liked the lineup Toronto iced last night, even though they gave up five goals and lost. They opted for more skill, scratching/sitting both McLaren and Orr.
Not sure why Mike Kostka played 23 minutes. He's a decent enough defenseman but he was overmatched in that kind of role last night.
Kessel had one goal and could have easily had another if not for the post - he was buzzing for most of the game.
Gee, media, I wonder why Mikhail Grabovski isn't producing? Could it be the ridiculously tough minutes/defensive zone starts he gets? Or the fact he played 11 minutes last night? Buy low candidate this summer in a huge way, as Bozak may price himself out of Toronto.
With three goals, Marty St. Louis now leads the NHL in scoring. If he finishes at the top, he would be the oldest player to ever win the Art Ross (37). Kudos to him for staying in such great shape and being an elite player for so long. Not an easy thing to do in this league. Just goes to show you don't always have to sell on veterans when they hit 30 (or even 35 in this case).
A surprising goal, and a not-so-surprising four hits registered for Lightning d-man Radko Gudas. He is a fire hydrant on skates.
The Canucks are willing to play Frankie Corrado and burn a year of his ELC if it will help them win now.
Washington gave two-year extensions to both Aaron Volpatti and Eric Fehr yesterday. Solid depth signings, but negligible fantasy upside (Fehr goes on a hot streak or two each season).
Some Canuck injury updates:
Schneider is day-to-day with a minor "body" injury. Yeah, that is what they are calling it. Mike Gillis was on the radio and it sounds like Schneider will be good to go for game one. Luongo starts Thursday and likely Saturday too.
Bieksa and Ballard both skated today and should be good to go for game one. Tanev is getting closer but he is still a bit further away from playing.
I was on CTV (Vancouver television) yesterday morning giving some fitness tips on how to warm up, build a stronger core, and more.
Here’s a link to the video if you want to check it out. (Click on Summer Training for Winter Sports on the right side.)
Things got a little crazy at the end of a QMJHL playoff game last night....
Who has been the best Dallas defenseman in 2013? A nod to Brenden Dillon and Alex Goligoski, but the choice has to be Stephane Robidas (in my opinion).
Enjoyed this read on Miikka Kiprusoff and what he has meant to the Flames, by Kent Wilson.
For many years (2004-2007 at least), Kipper was the best goalie in hockey. He stole more games than any other goalie, and he had opposing shooters dumbfounded with regularity.
Today’s team to analyze is the Colorado Avalanche
2013-14 sleeper: Steve Downie
Downie will be a forgotten man at many draft boards this fall as he missed 2013 with a torn ACL. He is one of the best “combo” players in the NHL (points and PIM). He has learned how to tone down the after the whistle stuff, and his line with O’Reilly and Landeskog was one of the best two-way units in hockey in 2011-12.
Downie is a terrific playmaker and should be a contender for 45-55 points and 150+ PIM. Valuable indeed.
Longer term sleeper: Joey Hishon
Hishon returning to the ice this season has been a fantastic story. The former first round pick has been out of hockey for close to two years after suffering a serious head injury at the 2010 Memorial Cup. He was drafted in the first round back in 2010 because of his dazzling offensive abilities, but after a vicious hit in junior his career was put on hold.
Hishon returned to the Colorado organizaton (AHL) this season, and so far, so good. He has six points in nine games with the Lake Erie Monsters. His road back is far from over, and he will always be considered one hit away from being done. But he deserves a ton of credit and praise for how hard he has worked and how patient he has been. I can’t imagine having something you love taken away from you for that long (I am sure at many times he thought a comeback would have been impossible).
Don’t underrate that kind of dedication and focus - all of the greats have both attributes in spades.
Lightning fans are really starting to like defenseman Radko Gudas (and not just for his awesome name).
Gudas is a throwback defenseman who loves to hit. As of Tuesday morning, Gudas had 81 hits in 20 games - third among rookie defensemen in less than half of the games of most of his peers.
He’s 6-0 and 200 pounds - big, but nothing crazy, but he is built like a fire hydrant.
The perfectly timed hit is a bit of a lost art form, especially the type Gudas delivers when he drops down for a hip check, which is rarely seen in the NHL these days. In his two-plus seasons in the Lightning minor-league system, Gudas made a name for himself with his ability to deliver those board-rattling hits that often send opposing players flying head over heels.
I picked up Gudas in my keeper league a few weeks ago for only his hits - I may hold on to him this summer if I can find the room for him on my keeper or farm list.
Jordan Eberle's offseason workout routine:
If you are in a playoff pool, Chris Higgins and Derek Roy may make for a good pair of picks - assuming you think the Canucks will advance a few rounds. Their chemistry is tremendous, and it has been since Roy’s first game as a Canuck.
Higgins seems to be the benefactor of Roy’s fantastic passes at least three or four times each game.
An update on Chris Pronger, including the fact that he still isn’t giving up hope about playing again.
"It's probably a little early to start forecasting any of that stuff," Pronger said. "Obviously, with where I'm at health-wise and my struggles and just trying to continue to get healthy and see how far back I can get. Can I get back to 100 percent? I don't know. Are the odds with me? I don't know.
"The biggest thing on my mind is getting healthy and trying to get back to 100 percent and play again. Barring that, I don't really know. There's a lot of great ideas out there, I've just got to find the one that's a perfect fit for me."
CBC does amazing montages every game - this was one of my favourites (song choice, mostly):
These daily Draft Street contests are easy to enter, and really fun. I have yet to win... but I am feeling some luck this weekend. Check out the details for the Saturday contest here.
Oh, and you can win money. Need I say more?