A fantastic read by Kirk Luedeke on my favorite prospect at the 2011 Draft - Ryan Murphy.

 

One simple trick to identify sleepers for next season - take a look at the points-per-game stat. Remove the top scorers, any injury prone players and stars who have had injuries (Crosby, for example).

 

Looking at the list, Derek Roy (35 points in 35 games) pops out. Drew Stafford (50 points in 59 games) and Andy McDonald (46 in 55) are also interesting names.

 

Johan Franzen scored five goals against Ottawa back in early February. Since that game, he has two goals total (including one last night).

 

Claude Giroux will approach 80 points this season. As his role with the Flyers continues to grow, where will he end up? It is an interesting debate - there are those who think he would excel on a team with less depth (more ice time), and there are those who think he excels on Philadelphia due in some part to the depth (better linemate quality). Which side of the coin are you on?

 

The Lightning have had a successful season without getting much production from their defense. I am a bit surprised, even with their lack of a top end star.

 

Guy Boucher's system in the AHL worked so well because he utilized defensemen from an offensive standpoint. Hamilton defensemen like PK Subban and Yannick Weber created odd-man rushes, pinched as muich as they could, and supported the forwards more than defenseman do on most other teams.

 

The lack of a true offensive defenseman has probably been the main reason why no one has emerged. Victor Hedman isn't ready yet. Brett Clark is the leading producing defenseman with eight goals and 30 points. There isn't an offensive defenseman in the system close to making the jump, either.

 

Keep an eye on Tampa Bay this summer - they will probably go after an offensive defenseman (trade or free agency). A great potential sleeper pick (depending on who the player is, of course).

 

Kristian Huselius played for the first time in 20 games last night.

 

I am back after spending the past five days in Phoenix – it was rough coming home from the sunny heat to the rain of Vancouver. Monday is usually Dobber's day to ramble but I am covering him off.

 

Corey Perry is three goals from 50 – will he get there?

 

Lubomir Visnovsky scored his 18th of the season last night (a surprise start after he sustained an injury against the Sharks). The mark is a club record for Anaheim defensemen.

 

RJ Umberger recorded his 56th point of the season last night. I had him in the 40's, as I figured he would lose ice time to the young offensive talents. Voracek/Brassard/Filatov all have proven the old adage that hockey is played on ice and not paper is true.

 

Matt D'Agostini has been one of the best secondary scoring forwards in the league over the last 15-20 games. He had two more helpers last night.

 

Marc-Andre Gragnani scored his first career goal last night. He possesses decent offensive upside.

 

Jhonas Enroth is one of the most exciting goaltenders to watch - far from conventional, but he utilizes his speed and reflexes to stop the puck. He only allowed one on 36 shots against Carolina on Sunday.

 

Miikka Kiprusoff showed why he is still an elite goalie last night, stopping 34 of 35 shots. The Flames are barely alive in the playoff chase.

 

Paul Stastny has been shut down for the season by Colorado.

 

Curtis Glencross has only one point in his last six games.

 

I have criticized Mike Smith in the past, but he was sensational for Tampa Bay last night. Smith shut out the Blackhawks in Chicago.

 

Just when I was ready to write him off, Simon Gagne started to score again. He has 11 points in his last six games. Any offensive resurgence he has will directly (and positively) impact Vinny Lecavalier.

 

Corey Crawford has started 24 straight games.

 

Enroth - no helmet, no problem:


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Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Definitely not a weak draft. I have heard many teams say the first two round are deep and will be unpredictable. Lots of quality players.
April 05, 2011
Votes: +0

Eric said:

Hockey Hoser
2011 Draft Depth Luedeke describes the upcoming draft as being deep. Yet all I've heard all year was how weak it was. In fact, it seems almost every year before the draft, so called experts and pundits label it as being weak with no quality prospects outside pick # blah blah blah. Propaganda for the Bruins perhaps but enough already with draft years being weak! It's utter bolony. Unless scouts have a secret time machine, it's foolish to believe words that solidify a players career before even having a chance to hit professional ice. This is definitely a pet peeve of mine in hockey. Makes me crazy sometimes.
April 05, 2011
Votes: +1

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... @Isle B, the Isles should be looking at Dougie Hamilton before Ryan Murphy. Better player. Hell, they should take Huberdeau or Strome ahead of Murphy.
April 04, 2011
Votes: -1

aj said:

hockey4ever
Angus I love that you recognize players and swollow your words after you call them out. They must read your work and realize they have to play harder knowing you'll recant your words. lol
When watching the enroth save watch the replay where Jokinen takes the hit. McCormick knocks him clear off his feet and into another Carolina player. that's clearing the front of the net!!!
April 04, 2011
Votes: +1

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
Ryan Murphy Since the Isles have likely played themselves out of a chance to draft Larsson, Landeskog, Nugent-Hopkins or Couturier, that Ryan Murphy article makes me feel a whole lot better.

April 04, 2011
Votes: +1

Curtis Curve said:

tcescon
GIROUX I'm on the "he's so good he can even make Nik Zherdev relevant again" side of the coin. Point being, put Giroux on a line w/a struggling player and watch that player's game pick up. Zherdev was a +2 playing w/Giroux yesterday. Giroux is the straw that stirs the Flyers offence.
April 04, 2011
Votes: +0

derek said:

buck0198
Marc/Perry Yea Perry's goal was nice last night but Lehtonen did leave alot of near post open...

Selanne almost did it again last nite too...with Koivu running int.
April 04, 2011
Votes: +0

James said:

jimywho1
Lundqvist Lundqvist will be huge tonight. He is always clutch, always making the big saves, and he and the rest of the Rangers know this is a must win game.

Late last season the Rangers and Bruins matched up in Boston for a 2-1 Boston win. I think this will be another low scoring affair, but 2-1 in favour of the Rangers @ MSG.
April 04, 2011
Votes: +1

Michal Sk said:

StevenY
Claude Giroux Which side of the coin?
There is no side of the coin - i think he is one of the players who will be brilliant no matter what...the only thing can stop him is the injury...MVP of my fantasy team has been Sharp, but i lost him just before playoffs...i progressed to the final yesterday and Giroux has been my most consistent, healthy and most valuable player this season considering the pick i used to get him. Most people do not realize it but watch him for a couple of games and you will soon find out that his fantasy value is even lower than the real life one. Sort of player with ballanced all around game as Pavel Datsyuk.
April 04, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

Derrek said:

TangerineDreamTeam
Lunqvist big game either way tonight 3 times this year after playing b2b games, Henrik comes away with a shutout in the 2nd game, what's crazier is...
His first 3 of 4 shoutouts came with losses the day before (and the one win the day before a shutout was a 6-5win) So he plays better in the 2nd game of back to back games? But wait last time he played b2b was this week against islanders... who lit him up and had him pulled. He shut them out earlier this year, he also shut out boston earlier this year.
So tomorrow night, either he performs great, with a max 2GA with close to 40 shots, or he gets pulled with 5+ GAs, no in between with the king!
OFF WITH HIS HEAD!
April 04, 2011
Votes: +1

UKflames said:

UKflames
PHO to WPG Marc said
Try coming back to Winnipeg from Phoenix...


Isn't that what the phoenix players are worrying about this off season smilies/cheesy.gif
April 04, 2011
Votes: +0

Eric said:

Hockey Hoser
Enroth's save Forget the save for a moment, anyone else notice the hit McCormick lays on Jokinen? ouch!
April 04, 2011
Votes: +1

L Pat said:

lhp
the return Glad to have you back Angus. I was missing my nightly fix of ramblings while you were basking in the sun. Us West Coasters get the itch when we have to wait til dawn.
April 03, 2011
Votes: +0

5hole said:

5hole
Wow! And He wins his semi finals with a come from behind victory, being down 6-5 in the series to win it by a penalty 6-5:Best series I've evr been in in H2H!


Score
Capital Punishment
G:25 A:22 +/-:14 PIM:48 pp:14 SH:1 GWG:3 SHOTS:205 W:8 GAA:2.35 SV's:285 SV%:.922 SO:0 SCORE:6

New York Rangers
G:12 A:37 +/-:9 PIM:46 PP:14 SH:1 GWG:4 SHOTS:193 W:3 GAA:1.99 SV's:142 SV%:.934 SO:1 SCORE:5
April 03, 2011
Votes: -1

Marc said:

MGW
Trip Try coming back to Winnipeg from Phoenix...I don't see how Perry won't hit 50. He's on a tear with his 47th being a beauty of a shorty last night.
April 03, 2011
Votes: +0
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