The last two days I have, on Puck Daddy, given you my thoughts on playoff dark horses. The Eastern Conference is here.
Dobber's Interactive Playoff Draft List is now ready for immediate pickup. Buy it here. This document will be updated and re-released on Sunday after those matches are set. As things stand now, I think Nashville has a pretty easy lay-up against the Kings and will finally get to the second round, so that makes my personal picks (included) quite interesting but they would change if Nashville draws another opponent. If you have an older version of Excel and have problems opening this, I will start a thread in the forum and would like to hear your feedback. If you have Excel 2007, some of you may have an "options" window at the top. Click it and enable the macros.
Listen to Justin Goldman at FAN960 at 5:45pm Mountain Time here.
There have been several interesting college UFA signings. Miami (Ohio) lost star forward Carter Camper to the Bruins. Camper had 19 goals and 57 points this past season as a Redhawk. His teammate Andy Miele was recently signed by the Coyotes as well.
The 2011 Prospects Report will have a ton of in depth information on all of the college signings. Look for the Report to be out as the 2011 Entry Draft approaches.
We will be running our annual DobberHockey Playoff Pool contest - details coming soon. Like last year, there will be sweet prizes headed to the winner and runners up.
Check out Hockey Draft Buddy - a smart phone application that makes organizing/sorting/removing players from your draft lists very easy.
Ottawa has extended GM Bryan Murray for three years. No, this is not an April Fools Day joke.
Florida is shutting down Stephen Weiss for the remainder of the season.
Three days of games left... playoff hockey is almost upon us.
The AHL standings - amazing where the Baby Pens are, considering all of the call-ups that Pittsburgh has made throughout the season. Fixed the link - had the wrong one posted earlier.
Die By The Blade takes a look at the top 10 secondary scorers around the league.
The year of the hat trick continues (and continues). Ryan Kesler scored three times last night for the Canucks, the third goal being his 40th of the season.
The second goal he scored was his first even strength goal in 26 games.
Roberto Luongo with a parting gift for his poolie owners – a 29 save shutout. Cory Schneider is starting on Saturday in Calgary to give him eligibility for the Jennings Trophy.
Christian Ehrhoff was the only Vancouver defenseman to play over 70 games this year. Vigneault or Bylsma should be the clear favourites for the Jack Adams.
Last game of the year – what category or which player are you trying to fill or pick up to be the deciding factor? Things got so desperate for me last year that I picked up Steve Eminger in hopes of a few shots on goal (of course, he didn’t deliver).
Dallas is still in the hunt in the West… they won their third straight game last night.
The Avalanche are 4-25-2 in their last 31 games – just embarrassing.
Jamie Benn has nine points in his last 10 games. He’ll finish at or close to 55 points (in only 65 games). Depending on what happens with Richards/Ribeiro, I could see 75 from him next season.
Matt Duchene hasn’t taken a huge step forward this season, but he still has improved 10 points from his rookie campaign. No sophomore slump, even with a team that crumbled during the second half of the season.
Bobby Butler is an interesting study right now – he is getting a ton of ice time (and capitalizing) because the Sens have nothing left to play for. It is easier to play games that don’t matter – less pressure, less stress, less expectations from fans and media.
Still, Butler is producing on a regular basis against NHL competition. It looks like he has earned himself a look at a top six spot for 2011-12. Butler had three points last night and now has 20 in 35 games this season (and six in his last three).
Another season, another PPG pace (or close to) for Jason Spezza. He has missed over 20 games, but will finish just a shade below a PPG. One year when the stars all align (again), Spezza will get his 85-90 points in 75-80 games.
My take on the Raffi Torres suspension – the NHL had to be consistent after throwing the book at Matt Cooke… But two playoff games essentially equates to four regular season games (unofficially). The hit was a head shot, but Eberle was reaching for the puck and it was a hockey play.
Colin Campbell’s inconsistent wheel of justice continues.
James Wisniewski recorded his 50th and 51st points of the season last night. One of the most underappreciated fantasy players in the league.
Alex Edler looked pretty good last night considering it was his first game back after missing 31 with a back injury.
NHL playoff hockey is almost upon us… I think I will speak for all hockey fans when I say how awesome the first round is – four games of hockey on TV every night!
Another great NHL commercial:
Manny Malhotra made an appearance at the President’s Trophy presentation last night – notice neither he nor Henrik touch it: