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Two games for Eric Grbya. Ummmmkay. Looks like Patrick Wiercioch will draw in tonight. Big fan of his game. Great puck mover.

 

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The Interactive Playoff Draft List (get it here) has been updated based on the standings as of today, plus Columbus (still in it) as well as injury notes up to the minute. Get it with the Keeper League Pack, use coupon code ULTIMATE, get $3.00 off.

 

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Crosby is BACK tonight for the Penguins.

 

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Scary scene in Montreal last night - Lars Eller was on the receiving end of a massive (clean) hit from Senator d-man Eric Grbya. There was a lot of blood and Eller lost consciousness. I don't really want to post the video as it is kind of sickening. Hopefully he makes a full recovery as quickly as possible.

 

Craig Anderson... 48 saves on 50 shots. In regulation. This guy has been one of the top 'tenders in the league over the past few years. What a great story - he wasn't anything special as a prospect or in the AHL. The power of hard work and self belief.

 

Two points, plus-3, and five SOG for Erik Karlsson. Oh, and 30 minutes of ice time. The scariest part? He didn't have a great game (by his insane standards, of course).

 

What a playoff debut game for Jakob Silfverberg - a goal and a helper, 15 minutes of ice time, and four SOG. He and Zibanejad are going to be great NHL players for a long time.

 

I thought Rene Bourque (goal, five SOG) had his best game in a long while for the Habs.

 

Brendan Gallagher also scored, and he led Montreal with eight SOG. His gritty style of play is made for the postseason. 

 

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The Blues/Kings series is going to go down as the best of the first round by the time it is done. The Kings had a major pushback last night - the pace of the game was incredible.

 

Brian Elliott was very good, stopping all but one of the 29 shots fired his way.

 

Barret Jackman of all people scored a wicked wrister for the GWG. This series features two very, very similar teams. Mobile and big defenses, deep forward groups, and a lot of heavy hitters. 

 

Vlad Sobotka is one of my favourite hitters in the league - he had a helper and five hits last night, and he throws every pound he has on his frame into every single hit. Underrated offense, too. I've been a fan of his since his days with the Bruins., Great and versatile role forward.

 

Justin Williams didn't find the scoresheet, but he had a game-high eight SOG. He gets forgotten about with the other big guns in LA, but he is a deadly shooter and had a great spring for Kings in 2012. 

 

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Not sure what is better... the pass, or the pass reception? 

 


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Think John Tortorella trusts Derek Stepan? Almost 24 minutes of ice time, and he took 29 total faceoffs. Brad Richards played well over 20 minutes too - the Rangers need Brian Boyle to get healthy. Although even then Tortorella would probably play the crap out of his top two centers anyway.

 

Stepan is certainly in the conversation for most underrated player in hockey. Good at everything.

 

Mike Green looked a lot like old Mike Green last night - tons of ice time, three SOG, an assist, and he was an offensive catalyst all game long.

 

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The most recent Studs & Duds post.

 

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A good breakdown of the Steen PPG from Game 1.

 

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Yeah… Justin Faulk is pretty good. I wonder if his agent has seen this?

 

Faulk

 

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Elliotte Friedman’s recent 30 thoughts column, including his NHL hardware picks.

 

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Hockey… in Vegas?

 

 

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A very interesting look at Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Lundqvist – I’d love to see these charts on all players/goalies.

 

Lundqvist:

 

Lundqvist

 

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The Red Wings signed NCAA defenseman Nick Jensen to a two-year ELC yesterday.

 

The 2009 5th round pick had 31 points in 42 games for St. Cloud State this season. Has offensive upside, as the numbers indicate. He joins an underrated prospect group in Detroit.

 

Jensen earned First Team All WCHA honors and was named a First Team NCAA (West) All-American this season.  He was also named the 2012-13 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year.


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A great preview of Sean Monohan, who could go anywhere from top five to top 15 at the NHL Draft this June. He reminds me a bit of Logan Couture – a do-it-all forward who slides a bit down the draft list because of his ability to do everything well (no “elite” or standout quality).

 

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Helping promote a free-to-enter NHL postseason pick ‘em contest. Part of the proceeds go to charity, and there are some awesome prizes (including a trip to Oktoberfest… need I say more?).

 

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Don’t forget to listen to and/or download the latest DobberNation podcast from John Gilbert. Gilbert talks with Sunday rambler Thomas Drance as well as TSN’s Scott Cullen this month.

 

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James van Riemsdyk and Brad Marchand aren’t going to be exchanging Christmas cards.

 

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One reason to look forward to the World Championships – Brian Campbell skating on the big ice.

 

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If you have had success this year (or in past years) thanks to any of the DobberHockey guides, I’d like to hear from you.

 

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Now that the season is over… let’s look back and see where we were right (and of course, where we were wrong). You never learn from your past mistakes unless you look at them and see why you made them. My column from last year on avoiding mistakes in fantasy hockey touches on a few of the most common ones.

 

DobberHockey veteran Pengwin put together a thread to discuss your good predictions here.

 

A few of mine include Brenden Dillon and PK Subban. I put some coin on Subban to win the Norris at 25-to-1, so I have a huge vested interest in the NHL Awards voting this summer.

 

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And, of course… Pengwin also did the same for bad/erroneous predictions.

 

I was too quick to dismiss Ovechkin, bumping him to number two on my top LW list. Now that Ovechkin has moved to the RW, Parise is likely the best LWer… but it was a mistake to slide Ovechkin down. He has handed a lot of us a big serving of crow soup.

 

I was a year or two early on Brendan Smith. He had a great finish to the regular season, but the production just wasn’t there for the first few months.

 

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And here are 10 more of my more fearless (also known as stupid) predictions from before the season.

 

Let’s see…

 

 

Iginla traded… check.

 

Tarasenko leads the Blues in scoring. I swear I had written in fine print “in the first week or two of the season only.”

 

Columbus makes the playoffs… so close.

 

Mike Green leads defensemen in scoring… not so close, but at least he was reasonably healthy.

 

Jakob Silfverberg leads rookies in scoring… nope… but he was a solid rookie this year, even without Spezza as a linemate.

 

Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals… check.

 

Jakub Voracek and Mike Ribeiro finish top 10 in scoring…18th and 11th respectively. Close-ish?

 

Carolina wins the Presidents’ Trophy…. Hah. All you can do is laugh at this one.

 

Three Canadian teams qualify for the playoffs. Nope – four!

 

Semyon Varlamov is a Vezina finalist – picking a goalie who plays behind the worst defense in hockey probably wasn’t the best idea in retrospect.

 

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How did you do with your preseason predictions?

 

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An updated profile over on DobberProspects for Brett Ritchie

 

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In a word… amazing:

 


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Tim Thompson (on Twitter at @b0undless) does an amazing job putting together the CBC montages. I wrote about a few of my favourite ones here.

 

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Some of the similar themes in the comment section have already popped up after one day of the playoffs – people asking/complaining why my ramblings are Canucks-dominant. Here’s why:

 

I live in Vancouver and am paid by two websites to write about and cover the team.

 

Naturally, I watch them play on a closer basis. I am more comfortable providing my thoughts and opinion on hockey I actually watch compared to catching highlights or reading articles and box scores.

 

I always do my best to present my thoughts as unbiased (I am far from perfect, though), and I also try to give some thoughts on the other 29 teams as much as possible, too. If it really, really pains you to read Canucks news, just skip past it. Commenting about me being a homer or only writing Canucks stuff won’t change anything.

 

Thanks and hope everyone has a hockey-filled weekend lined up!

 

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From 2010... I love these CBC montages so much:

 



Write comment
Comments (17)add comment

Hey Robbie said:

Hey Robbie
... I like the idea of the hot/cold maps for the players as well, but I wonder if they are really set up the best way as they appear in the linked article. For goalies, do you think mapping save % by zone would be better than total goals? Depending on what you want these maps to show (eg where should one shoot on this goalie, or what are this goalie's strengths), should these maps be normalized across goalies? As it was laid out, I was not as happy as I was when I saw your link.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... DRW - First off, I agree the Canucks aren't a clear contender. Right now they are a step below CHI/PIT/BOS and probably STK/LAK too.

I am a huge Gillis fan. He hasn't been perfect, but I like his overall views on building a team. The Canucks should have brought in a second forward (they tried, outbidding NYR for Clowe, but SJS let Clowe pick where he wanted to go). They also pursued David Clarkson hard. I think they can still compete in the coming years, but they need to add another forward who can score. The lack of offense in the postseason cost them the Cup, cost them the series against LAK, and was the reason I picked SJS this round.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Principle point of contact = shoulder. Hockey is a fast sport. Looks bad from some angles. Obviously I won't convince you otherwise, but I have shared my opinion on it.

I'd say the vast majority of players (Grbya included) play with respect. They are just a lot bigger/stronger/faster than non professionals. And that leads to bigger collisions/injuries.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

DRWyzerman19 said:

DRWyzerman19
Time for a change in Vancouver Hey Angus

I would love to get your opinion on this.

Living in BC for the last 26 years I have become a Canucks fan (not my #1 team but top 3). I don't think the Canucks are a contender for the Cup this year; they are a solid team but not a Cup team. I think Gillis dropped the ball by hanging onto Luongo for so long. The Canucks needed to add another power forward winger and a 5/6 defenseman.

I really think its time for a major change in Vancouver as Gillis, AV and the Twins have had their shot. Don’t get me wrong Gillis has made some solid trades but they have not resulted in the ultimate prize.

Vancouver has had the benefit of playing in the worse NHL division for the last several years and therefore was never pushed for a playoff spot. That is all about to change heading into next season with a new division and division playoffs again.

If the Canucks go out first/second round do you think its time for an overhaul? I don’t think its rebuild time, just a changing of the guard.

I would love to see a new GM come in and trade the Twins now while they still hold value. Trade Schneider instead of Luongo, as they would get more for Schneider and he is likely easier to trade.

If the Canucks were to make overhaul changes who would you like to see as the new GM? What kind of package do you think they could get for the Twins?
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

solo223 said:

solo223
... clean hit?...any hit that angles the head isn't clean. He could have taken him out without unscrewing the head. It's the exact kind of hit that has to be banned. In 25 years of playing, some in contact leagues, i have NEVER hit anyone's head, high stick to the face of elbow but in the NHL, players have no respect for each other and try to hurt and take out. This mentality of 'clean hitting' is neanderthal at best. I'm disappointed at your view on it, take a closer look without the pink glasses, totally avoidable without taking the brain off the shoulders.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +1

Rodgort said:

Rodgort
canucks "bias" Honestly, who cares. If they are your favorite team write about them, you still do a good job writing on other teams. I know personally I just like to rip on the canucks and their fans too haha, but because they are probably the most hated team in the league you will always get the annoyance factor from people when you write about them
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Dakkster - good call. The way Johansson angles his body to receive that pass... wow.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... I think having cameras to track shot location/quality is the next logical move for the NHL - I know the NBA uses cameras to do similar things.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Wow One of the best ramblings of the year!
So, so, so good. Well done.

I love the heat chart reference for Lundqvist.
Baseball tracks that with pitches.
It escaped me that the NHL analytics-persons could be doing that with pucks.

I wonder how many arenas have dedicated cameras to on-net shot locations.
Probably a really smart location. That's moneyball stuff.
Thanks for that link, the videos, and all the commentary!!!
May 03, 2013
Votes: +1

Ken Shultz said:

kshultz
Hockey… in Vegas? The ECHL "Sin City" Wranglers are still going strong, too.

The games I've been to were all well-attended.



May 03, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
Gryba on Eller Disagree on the "clean" hit. He mostly misses the shoulders and main point of impact is head, even if it was probably unintentional. The facial injuries are caused by the impact to the ice, but even without facial injuries, I think it is still a suspendable hit. I say 2 games.

If he hits the shoulders/body first then it would have been a clean but devastating hit.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +1

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
Great Job I completely agree with Dakkster.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +1

nick12345 said:

nick12345
... agree with the comment below me 100% - ramblings are my first site visit every morning
May 03, 2013
Votes: +1

Dakkster said:

Dakkster
... You always bring a huge wealth of interesting commentary on most teams, Jeff. I just see it as a bonus that you go even more in-depth on the Canucks and the Stars. I don't see how people can get so butthurt about you being a bit Canuck heavy. I could understand it if they dominated your ramblings, but they don't so what's the big problem? It's been a true pleasure to see your writing and analysis progress over the years!

On last night's games... If you could add a video to Steve Oleksy's insane pass to Marcus Johansson, that would be awesome. The pass and Johansson's reception were filthy good.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +3

little_boyes_semin said:

little_boyes_semin
Silfverberg's "playoff debut" Pretty sure Silfverberg played game 7 last year against the Rangers.
May 03, 2013
Votes: +2

The Hockey Hitman said:

The Hockey Hitman
nice ramblings Predictions I was right on:

- Crosby is top scorer if he plays at least 40 games. Four shy but nobody could argue against the notion if he played all 48 he would've won Art Ross.
- Ben Bishop traded to Lightning(called it three weeks before trade deadline)
- Alex Killorn: said as soon as he was called up from Syracuse, he would play too good to be sent back down.
- I said Granlund not ready for NHL yet.
- Confidence in Reimer to rebound in a big way.
- NJ misses playoffs.
- Avs worst team in western conference.

Misses include:
- I said Montreal would be worst team in eastern conference. Oopsie.
- Tampa Bay wins division. Uhhhh, no.
- Said Boucher wouldn't get fired in Tampa and if anything assistants would get replaced in off season. Doh!
- Said Brunner would be lucky to get 10 goals. Wasn't a believer he could stick in Detroit.
- Thought Ryan Suter would struggle immensely for Wild without Weber...which was somewhat true until Jonas Borodin arrived.
May 03, 2013 | url
Votes: +0

campbellkeeper said:

campbellkeeper
... it is very unfortunate that cbc cannot use the hockey night in canada theme song in their montages...
May 03, 2013
Votes: +0
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