My Playoff Draft List is updated completely. Fully customizable, instant download, complete with notes - and even a sheet with my own personal picks if you'd rather go with those. Thanks for supporting the site.

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Congratulations to Russ Miller for finishing second place in the Industry Experts League to Kukla's Korner, facing down competition from RotoWire, RotoWorld, Sirius/XM, Yahoo!, NHL.com and others. You can check out the final standings here.

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Niklas Backstrom left during warm-ups last night. As if picking the Blackhawks to win the series wasn't easy enough. But Josh Harding was actually quite fantastic. He took the team to overtime, stopping 35 of 37 shots. No word on how long Backstrom is out - and we'll never get word. Unless he's done for the playoffs. That's the only time the team will bother announcing it. Playoff time!

It was Harding's second game in nearly three months.

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Jonas Brodin played 34:20 in just over 3.5 periods. That's second only to Ryan Suter.

Jason Zucker, in for Pominville, saw over 17 minutes of action - and looked dangerous in most shifts.

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Michael Frolik didn't get going last playoffs until Dave Bolland returned to the lineup. Bolland is expected back "real soon".

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Alex Steen scored twice, including a shortie. Also, five shots. He came to play. But what caught my attention was the play of Jaden Schwartz. His six shots led the team and he saw nearly 20 minutes of ice.

Vladimir Tarasenko was a healthy scratch. It was his first healthy scratch of his NHL career. That doesn't strike me as a Ken Hitchcock move - after all, Tarasenko is a highly-skilled but inconsistent Russian player who…oh wait a minute. Yes, yes that's exactly a Ken Hitchcock move.

Is Nikita Filatov looking for a roommate?

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Brian Elliott was excellent as the starter for the Blues. Halak was the backup, but because he hasn't played in four weeks, Hitchcock decided to go with Elliott.

 

 

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As expected, Jonas Hiller was the starter for Anaheim and he stopped 21 of 22. He won't lose this role until he gets lit up

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Marian Gaborik is reportedly seeing a doctor about an abdominal injury and surgery is a possibility.

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I had the second overall pick in my playoff draft last night. Took Malkin. Toews went first, and I didn't want to risk Crosby, who I figure will miss one game, but possibly as many as five or six. So…Malkin.

When it came to Malkin, I knew that I would probably not get any decent Penguins coming back the next round of the snake draft, which is why picking first or second can be the kiss of death. Advise - you'll have slightly better luck with Chicago players (the other popular team) coming back to you. Because by the time it got back to me, the best player on Pittsburgh left was Jokinen or Morrow. So I took Ovechkin and then Backstrom. So there's two of my three teams that I'll build around, since rosters are 14. The other team will need to be in the West, and hopefully I can get Jokinen and Morrow in a couple of rounds when they're worthwhile (that didn't happen, as they went soon after).

So the West. Forget Chicago. Forget LA. Forget Anaheim. Forget Vancouver. Picked pretty clean after nearly four full rounds. Even San Jose had a couple of guys drafted. But St. Louis was untouched. So even though I pick LA to win that series, it is the one series that I am least certain about - that's why I gave the Blues seven bonus games on my picks for the Draft List that I'm selling.

In these playoff drafts, where you must focus on teams, you have to adjust based on what's available. I entered the latter stages of the draft with five of the seven best Blues, four good Capitals, and Malkin. With four rounds left, I had to decide - pick Niskanen and Bennett…or give up on the Pens. Do I take a sixth Blue? Perron was still there. A fifth Cap? Ward was the next best guy. What about a star on an underdog team? Can't do it - Parise, Koivu, Tavares, Moulson were taken that 10th round, so my star-on-the-underdog trick won't work this time. I looked at Chicago and the dregs that were left - it wasn't too bad. Not as bad as Pittsburgh. I figured I could get all three decent ones that were left, and I was right - Bickell, Bolland and Frolik. If it's a PIT-CHI Final, as I predict, and WSH-STL makes the semis - which will also happen if the Blues beat the Kings, then I'll still have all 13 players.

My final pick, I looked at who was left and based on playing 10 games, who would have the most points? It's traditionally my rolling-the-dice pick, and has won pools for me a couple of times in the past.

Turris? Burns? Saku? Setoguchi? Okposo? These were the best on the "ignored" teams. Nope. I grabbed Galchenyuk. Just looking for nine points with that last pick. I don't like how the Senators players, other than Karlsson or Spezza, don't put up big numbers. Quite a few Montreal players were drafted, but surprisingly not Galchenyuk.

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Steen steals the puck - wins the game in OT:

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A good look at the Backstrom injury:


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Comments (7)add comment

angus said:

angus
... Frolik has developed into a very good two-way/defensive winger, but I don't see any offensive upside from his game.
May 01, 2013
Votes: +1

pts9889 said:

Daydream Nation
... Dobber- what do you see in Michael Frolik? Hawk fans who watch him every game are not pining for him to get a top 6 role. More people want him to get traded since they feel he is overpaid (2.3). I see you listed him as a sleeper in The Hockey News and a while back you were pumping him up for getting a line 1 spot (that lasted about a game). As someone who has watched probably 90% of all the games Frolik has spent with the Hawks, I just don't understand what you see in him.
May 01, 2013
Votes: +0

DarthVain said:

DarthVain
Jonas Brodin Wow! 19 year old defencemen plays 34+ minutes of the first game of the first round of playoffs... not to mention 2+ min of pp and 3+ min of sh. Shows some real trust from the couch!

Also I guess they decided to get their money out of Suter!
May 01, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Gaborik had abdominal surgery a few years ago. Related to his skating stride again, perhaps?
May 01, 2013
Votes: +0

Khanadian said:

Khanadian
Blues I've got the Blues winning the Cup this year so I like those picks smilies/smiley.gif
May 01, 2013
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... 27Blue - not in the least. Why, is that what you got from that? I just stated a pattern, to help with my Filatov joke. I don't think Hitchcock cares if his players are Russian, Canadian or Martian. It was a joke!
May 01, 2013
Votes: +0

27Blue said:

27Blue
... not you too dobber. you really think that tarasenko being russian had anything to do with being scratched...
ughhh.smilies/cry.gif
May 01, 2013
Votes: +0
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