The Draft list is now fully updated with the playoff match-ups. It is 8:56pm
Announcement: For those few who cannot work my Draft List because your Excel version is older, I have added an older version of the draft list to your downloads. You now have a choice of new (better, nicer) or old. Both should work if you have enabled macros.
Buy the Draft List here. It is more customizable than ever before – you can pick winners from each and every round, you can add games manually to other teams, you can sort in multiple ways, you can also print off “my” picks. The government is trying to get the courts to grant an injunction stopping me from releasing too much awesomeness all at once, so get it before they shut me down! This can be downloaded immediately.
I want to draw your attention to a cheap new tool that is available for the iphone. The Hockey Draft Buddy will track picked players, filter and/or sort in many different ways – the perfect help for you at the draft table. Just 99 cents – does money even break down into such small increments anymore? Anyway, pick it up, or read up on it – HERE.
One tidbit I missed - Jonas Hiller backed up Dan Ellis last night, but that could be an emergency type of situation and with vertigo he could probably grit his way through a period if he was needed to.
Leaf fans, are you disappointed? Had Toronto won just four games last night they would be in the playoffs today.
My THN column yesterday was on some players who I will be avoiding at the playoff draft table – that, combined with the two Puck Daddy pieces I did this past week, plus my Interactive Playoff Draft List – will help you kick ass.
For Dallas to get into the playoffs, they need Detroit to beat Chicago in regulation and they themselves need to win their game against the Wild. If Chicago gets a point, then my Draft List can be finalized for you by around 5pm/6pm. If not, then it will be late tonight.
By the way, I think it’s astonishing that a team needs 98 points to get into the postseason. This is because of the weak teams in the league not getting a bigger piece of the points pie. Five teams with 74 or fewer points.
So the Devils couldn’t lose a game to save their life three weeks ago. But as soon as they were eliminated, well, then suddenly they go 4-7-1 and give themselves the sixth overall draft pick. Well played, Lou. Well played.
Did the Rangers dodge a bullet or what? Their fate was in Carolina’s hands, and the ‘Canes blew it. Mats Zuccarello tallied in assist in his first game back in the NHL. But he saw just three minutes of action, leading me to believe that he will not be a playoff factor. Poolies note.
Just in the nick of time – Chris Drury scored his first goal of the season yesterday. He returned to action after sitting out two months with an injury. He played just eight minutes, but I think he’s being eased back in. He is usually a big playoff performer.
Vinny Prospal has 20 points in his last 21 games and heads into the postseason hot.
The last time Martin Brodeur had a losing record was in 1991 when he was in the QMJHL. He finished 23-26-3. A comeback next year at 39? If healthy, I think he gets back up to 30 wins and a winning record, but just a shadow of what he once was.
Tim Thomas set the NHL record for best save percentage in a season at 0.938. He could have sat out yesterday and had the record, but he chose to go out there and earn it (and he ended up actually improving it). According to my league settings, he had a 106.45 point season, to lead all NHLers. That’s fitting.
For what it’s worth (which is nothing), my league settings also have Corey Crawford at 66.5 points, which is 3.5 ahead of Jeff Skinner. That said, the Calder is definitely Skinner’s. His late-season surge sealed it for him. Grabner should be second and Crawford third. Couture, Carlson, Subban are very close fourth-place finishers, and Kevin Shattenkirk seventh. Then you gotta go Derek Stepan. What a rookie crop! Had Hall and Eberle not been hurt, you would see one or both of them close to the Top 3.
Keep in mind that Bobby Butler was pointless and a minus-11 in his first nine NHL contests. Since then he has 21 points in 27 games and minus-5. That’s a 63-point pace. Put me down for 50 next year.
Patrice Bergeron was rested yesterday. I’m sure that hurt a few pools.
Joe Colborne picked up an assist in his first NHL game and he looked very good beside Phil Kessel. He is a future star and if he looks this good in camp beside Kessel then he is an early Calder choice. The guy has high-end hockey sense and he’s 6-5, 220.
Matt Frattin, another Leafs prospect, was pointless in 15 minutes of ice time. He is ranked 243 on my prospects list, but that list is updated later today so we’ll see where he ends up.
The Senators, if not a playoff team next year, will be close. A new coach seals it. But getting Craig Anderson signed was the thing that they were missing and he’ll keep them in every game. They have enough cap space to add a good player in the summer, plus they will draft one.
How did Al Montoya play one second yesterday? Someone explain that to me, I didn’t see the game.
Varlamov will be Washington’s starting goalie in the postseason. Source: my brain. The argument against it is that he is injury prone. My reply to that – well, if he gets injured, then they’ll pull him. Pretty simple really.
Ryan Miller only played half a game yesterday because the team was being cautious with his injury that he just returned from. Nothing more than that.
Nathan Gerbe had 10 points in his last 12 games.
The Panthers fired a good coach in Peter DeBoer. I hope he is not judged by his tenure with this team. But they have a great GM and I think Tallon just wants his own man there.
Nashville’s top scorer managed just 50 points this season – a tie between Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat. Nice comeback for S.K., who actually led the team in goals when he’s more of a set-up guy. Now that he is their star, look for him to go wire to wire next year, instead of just the final 60 games. He’ll be the first Predator to top 60 points in three years. Mark it!
So did Halak really do so bad this year? He was injured, so factor that in. But in his last three games he allowed just two goals. As such, he finishes 27-21-7, 0.910 and 2.48. He’s a “buy low” goalie this summer, because the Blues will be far better next season. Health is the only question mark. But at his salary, he’ll get a heavy workload. I still have a lot of faith in him.
Matt Stajan, the NHL’s only nine-minute, $3.5 million player.
Corey Perry’s awesome run ends at 98 points. Had he managed three points last night instead of one, he would have reached 100 and that would have made him the Hart favorite. But I think the NHL will go with Daniel Sedin. Personally, I’d go with Perry, but that’s the fantasy manager in me talking.
Ray Emery was out with a lower body injury, so Dan Ellis filled in. As I said on Twitter yesterday, there are three No.3 goalies who have a shot at taking over the playoff job, and my percentage confidence that it will happen: Holtby (1%), Ellis (10%) and Leighton (15%).
Follow me on Twitter, you idiots, what are you waiting for?!?!?!?!?!
James Neal and Jordan Staal were not in practice yesterday. The team did not disclose Neal’s reason, but for Staal it was a maintenance day.
Playoff stud Dave Bolland was back in practice for the Blackhawks. He’s not cleared for contact, but I’m fairly confident we will see him Game 2 or 3.
Pittsburgh prospect Keven Veilleux was suspended for two AHL games yesterday. He has been a bit of a disappointment offense-wise, with just 36 points in 66 games. But on the plus side, he’s healthy and is 6-5, 220. Next year is a big year for him.
Justin Williams should be back for Game 1 for the Kings. What a nice boost…
Jakub Voracek – pointless in 13 to end the season. Nice.
Cal O’Reilly was the Preds in St. Louis, but he did not play. Apparently, he could have.
Carl Klingberg has been recalled by the Thrashers for his first NHL game today. He’s 92 on my fantasy prospects list.
Here’s a Teemu Selanne prediction: he will return.
Teemu drops the gloves! Terrible footage though, didn’t get the whole thing…
T.J. Oshie. Gorgeous! This goal is sweet…