From J.P. of Japer's Rink - Henrik Lundqvist's save percentage for Games 5-7: 0.979. Jaroslav Halak's for Games 5-7 in 2010: 0.978.

 

*

Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero, Montreal GM Marc Bergevin and Anaheim GM Bob Murray were named finalists for the GM of the year award. I love the idea of this award, as it is an award that can also be given in fantasy hockey. But I hate the idea of basing the award on one-year performance. The best move that a GM ever makes in his career is almost always going to be a move that you don't notice or see the dividends of until years later. The actual 'best' GM in 2012 we'll know in 2015. How the league should set this up is to vote based on past five years performance (or for newer GM's consider it as far back as possible). Which is why firing Brian Burke was so ludicrous - his body of work hadn't even been completed yet though he still managed to build the worst team in NHL history up to a playoff team).

 

So for my money, I would consider Peter Chiarelli and Ray Shero, as well as Bryan Murray, Ken Holland, Dean Lombardi and yes - Garth Snow. I've never tore a strip off of Snow here because I know that he was just going through a rebuilding process and doing it on the cheap. But landing the likes of Nabokov was a good move, signing Parenteau and Moulson were brilliant (and no other GM would have done it), and remember when they offered all of their draft picks for just one? Ballsy! I like it. 

 

If you're running a keeper league, you should consider having a GM of the Year award. Every year, review moves that were done 10 years prior - so this summer look at who the GMs drafted in 2003 and what trades they made. Pick out the three best, and email your league and have them vote. Present the trophy to the winner at the draft.

 

**

More often than not, I feel like I could win a ton of money if I placed bets on the outcomes I would least like to happen. You?

Generally speaking, I will go for either of my two teams - the Leafs and the Penguins. And then, of course, the teams that best help my hockey pool. And then - the teams that I tout right here on this site, because if I'm right about them, then I look good and if I'm wrong I look bad. Right? So the Caps have to win for the latter reason, and the Rangers (specifically Brassard, as I've said here before I had traded him just before he was dealt and so I bitterly want him to fail) have to lose. And ideally, the games are put away early so I can get started on the ramblings.

So of the above "hopes" that I had, I get a big no, no, no and no. As I said, I could have bet hundreds on the Rangers winning, the Leafs losing, and one of the games going into overtime ;)

/whining

 

 

*

So let's break down the Leafs. For my money, the best players were Cody Franson, Jake Gardiner, James van Riemsdyk, Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski. And I say this knowing that Grabovski had just two assists and was a minus-10. For those of you who didn't watch this series, Grabovski held the puck in the Boston zone more than any other forward. He took more hits than anyone in the series and more often than not he came out of it with the puck.

Reimer goes without saying. To me, he solidified a place in the NHL's Top 10 goalies.

But I can now say that, without a doubt, for all of Grabovski's skill he has hands of stone.

The other player on the Leafs who controlled the flow of the play was Gardiner. He and Grabovski often looked as though they could play keep away all game long and no Bruin would get possession of the puck. Hindsight is 20/20, but play Gardiner instead of Kostka in Game 1 and we could have a different outcome.

*

Leafs fans - Always look on the bright side of life:

*

David Krejci led playoff scoring in 2011 with 23 points. He leads the postseason again with an eye-popping 13 points.

With Wade Redden and Andrew Ference injured, the Bruins were in trouble. And with Dennis Seidenberg injured early in the first period - they were really in trouble. The youngsters Hamilton and Bartkowski combined for 46 minutes of ice time.

Tyler Seguin was taken off the big line, swapping with Jagr who moved up with Bergeron and Marchand. Seguin got his first point of the series though - an assist on the OT winner

*

Onto Washington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of their five players who managed to get three points in seven games - three of them averaged just 13:30 per game. That's right, the minute-munchers were mostly held to two points or fewer.

Speaking of Ovechkin - where did his superstar second-half skills go? Two points in the series and just one goal. Does the fact that he was credited with 13 hits in last night's game make it any better? It's an impressive number that shows compete, but it also shows frustration when you consider the final score and consider that most of those hits were after the game was out of reach.

Here is Ovechkin's reaction, as told by Russian reporters:

“The refereeing... You understand it yourself. How can there be no penalties at all (on one team) during the playoffs?

“I am not saying there was a phone call from (the league), but someone just wanted Game 7. For the ratings. You know, the lockout, escrow, the League needs to make profit... I don't know whether the refs were predisposed against us or the League. But to not give obvious penalties (against the Capitals), while for us any little thing was immediately penalized...”

*

The Adam Oates system took awhile to get rolling and when it did, this team was great. But apparently, the system needs some tweaking for the playoffs.

I'll never forget how Jaroslav Halak stymied the Capitals a few years ago and GM George McPhee decided that his awesome run-and-gun team needed to be a defensive team if they wanted a Cup. Meanwhile, they were already on the right track and probably would have - eventually - won the Cup with their offensive system. They ran into a hot goalie, nothing more. But that knee-jerk reaction is still being felt

*

Brad Richards had just 11 minutes of ice time last night. With the emergence of Brassard, Richards' fantasy output could take a severe hit next season, if he has indeed been knocked down another peg to become the No. 3 center.

Henrik Lundqvist with back-to-back shutouts - a performance worthy of a king. The most reliable goalie in the league could absolutely steal more than a few games (not that he stole last night's games, beach balls could have gone by him and they still would have won).

*

Check out my THN article from yesterday - Boom and Busts for next year.

In the other Game 7 - the London Knights topped the Mark Scheifele-less Barrie Colts 3-2 to win the OHL title. The winning goal was scored with 0.1 seconds left in the third. Bo Horvat scored twice and was named MVP of the playoffs with 16 goals and 23 points in 21 playoff games. Horvat is eligible for this summer's draft and is profiled extensively in the seventh annual Fantasy Prospects Report.

Memorial Cup teams:

London Knights, Saskatoon Blades, Halifax Mooseheads and Portland Winterhawks.

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Brooks Laich didn't get into the game last night. It was rumored he would. Didn't happen. Martin Erat missed the last three games with a wrist injury.

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Bergeron tying goal - and the brilliant coaching move that we've seen before (put Chara in front of the net):

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OT winner and handshakes:

*

Lots of penalties were overlooked, for both sides. Check out this elbow to the face:

 


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Comments (9)add comment

Magicstew said:

Magicstew
... Monty Python - Great clip -hadn't seen in a while.
May 14, 2013
Votes: +0

DRWyzerman19 said:

DRWyzerman19
Least like to happen outcomes "More often than not, I feel like I could win a ton of money if I placed bets on the outcomes I would least like to happen. You?"

This is exactly how I feel all the time! I laughed pretty hard reading this as I have had that thought so many times.
May 14, 2013
Votes: +0

aleco83 said:

aleco83
Reimer I'm a big Leafs fan but I'm personally not impressed by Reimer. I think he happened to matchup really well as a blocking style goalie vs a low percentage shooting team. While he did have some high light reel saves, it wasn't before looking completely baffled as to where the puck was (barring that awesome toe save). The guy gives up a lot of fat, i mean FAT rebounds and is lucky we didn't get blown out way ealier. Did I mention he drops down faster than Felix Baumgartner... Anyways, good on the Leafs for making it that far but he is no top 10 in my books.
May 14, 2013
Votes: +1

jimywho1 said:

jimywho1
Ovechkin is a dbag “The refereeing... You understand it yourself. How can there be no penalties at all (on one team) during the playoffs?
“I am not saying there was a phone call from (the league), but someone just wanted Game 7. For the ratings. You know, the lockout, escrow, the League needs to make profit... I don't know whether the refs were predisposed against us or the League. But to not give obvious penalties (against the Capitals), while for us any little thing was immediately penalized...”

i cant believe hes complaining about refs when he should have had a 5 minute major for his check from behind charge on mcdonagh in the first and then another call for his high hit on girardi to start the second.

May 14, 2013
Votes: +2

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... Re:Leafs, poor faceoffs and soft D zone coverage = mess. Ovechkin's comments are somewhat accurate, teams that succeed with a good PP in regular season can expect to struggle in playoffs where penalties are not called.
May 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Bender said:

baconnol
Dobber / donpaulo So Dobber, if someone doesn't like what you wrote about their favorite team then they should whine about it and you'll change what you said? Any chance you can use the strike through font and leave what you had up there for the rest of us? Sheesh donpaulo, your team just dominated game 7 to advance, I expect you to be happy.
May 14, 2013
Votes: +1

Ed. said:

Ed.
GM of the year...and Grabo GM of the Year sounds like a lot of fun for keeper leagues, but you might have to cut down the window to five years, or three. I have yet to find a keeper where there isn't at least some GM turnover every couple of years, and as such an award set more than a few years in the past would tend to reward guys who are long gone, and exclude most of the current crop of GMs. I can just imagine the cries of "All about the past! Excluding the new guys!".

Grabo...I am waiting to read that he is undergoing offseason surgery for a wrist, shoulder, something like that to make sense of his inability to finish this year. I may be wrong on this, but it does seem to happen fairly often with guys who are coming off a bad year.
May 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
donpaulo donpaulo - right you are. After reading your comment I felt bad for not giving the Rangers enough props. So I went through my ramblings ready to fix the wording and add some nice things... but didn't see where I said they slinked into the second round. I think you're referring to yesterday's ramblings?

The Richards point was to prepare my readership for next year. This is a fantasy hockey site, so I need to slip in a bit of fantasy hockey analysis.
I added your point about Lundqvist
May 14, 2013
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... Ovechkin came out hitting in game 7 but about half of them were after the game was out of reach. He lost possession of the puck on many occasions or was stymied by aggressive stickwork by the opponent. (most often Ryan McDonagh/Dan Girardi) Meanwhile after posting 120 minutes of shutout hockey with the NYR slinking into round 2 we get to read about how poorly Brad Richards is playing ? Add to this that Marc Staal didn't even really draw into the series or how NY won 4 of the last 5 games or how Washington hardly ever had a lead in the series.

Not to sound overly bitter because I really do love dobberhockey but I was sorta looking forward to a Leafs Rangers matchup just to see the vitriol directed at my hometown blueshirts by the 'experts'. Tough day to be a Leaf fan I know, but if anyone can relate its the long suffering rangers who endured years of 1940 mock chants. Losing is an opportunity for improvement. Maybe its too early for encouragement but the Leafs were very entertaining this season and it was a pleasure rooting for them over the Bruins.

Anyone care to name the last goalie to post back to back shutouts in the playoffs without googling it ?
May 14, 2013
Votes: +0
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