Goldie Says: Very proud to have my playoff goalie previews published on NHL.com today. It's part of a new feature where myself and E! chief correspondent Ken Baker each chose our 4 favorite goalies in each conference. Then we argued why that goalie is more likely to win the series. In the East I chose Lundqvist, Miller, Thomas and Roloson. In the West, I had to defend Niemi, Howard, Crawford and Ellis/Emery. Enjoy!
Just returned from the offices of The Hockey News, where we held our annual playoff draft. I picked ninth out of 12. I carried two lists with me (I ran different scenarios) and went with the one that looked like it had the most players still around by Round 3. I suspect in most playoff pools that Washington and Vancouver will be the hot teams to go. By the time it got to me, three Canucks, two Caps, two Flyers and a Shark were gone. So I took Martin St. Louis. The next most available team, when it came back to me, was Detroit (Stamkos, Zetterberg and Datsyuk were among those who went during that window).
Anyway, in the first six rounds I took, not in this order: St. Louis, Gagne, Malone (TB); Franzen, Lidstrom, Rafalski (DET). At this point, with 10 rounds, I was looking at the best players on an untouched team other than the Rangers or Kings (nobody took any Kings, and only two Rangers went in the final two rounds). I settled on Nashville. I decided to take the three best Preds, and then with the 10th pick take the best available player between my three teams. So I grabbed Kostitsyn, Legwand and Hornqvist (I like Weber over Horny, but someone took him). Then in the final round I had to decide between Hudler and Fisher - but then was told that Hudler just went (I was yapping). So Fisher it is. Four Preds. If Nashville gets to the second round you just know that they'll drag each round out to seven games - so 14 games, that's 10 points a player. Too bad I like Anaheim in that series. But all the Anaheim guys were gone early (to explain my point below about Dave Hodge) so in this circumstance it's okay.
Puck Daddy predictions, including yours truly, can be found here.
The New Jersey Devils moved up to fourth spot after winning the draft lottery last night. So the Oilers maintain their first overall pick. Currently, that pick is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, whom I’ve endorsed for a couple of months now as my favorite fantasy player in the upcoming draft. Landeskog is a very close second and I would have no problem drafting either of them. Hell, if I owned first, I would trade down to second for the benefit of doing such a move (whatever he gives me) and I’ll still be happy with who I pick.
Word out of Philadelphia is that Chris Pronger will not play in Game 1 and his status is Game 2 is doubtful. If the Flyers go up two games to none, I would not count on Pronger playing at all in the first round.
Last day to join my FREE playoff box pool. Simply pick players from each box. Finish first, win a jersey. The price is right: Free. Sign up HERE.
Dave Hodge on TSN last night – he picks the Predators to win the series, but picks Corey Perry in the fantasy draft. He tried to justify it, but to me it just smacks of showmanship. He wanted to be contrarian by picking the Preds…but he didn’t really believe it. You don’t pick Corey Perry 14th overall if you think he is going to be out in the first round. If I pick a team to win that series, then I take those players. If I pick an upset, then I wait until the latter round to take those players but I still take them.
I’m not always right. Hell, I’m wrong 48% of the time. But I back up what I say by “doing”. I said that I liked Jordan Eberle to win the Calder trophy this year and that as such Taylor Hall would get close to 70 points along with him. I went out and drafted Hall in a one-year league as if he would get 65 points. I was wrong, but the point is I said something and I acted accordingly. I won’t advise you or give you my opinion if I won’t do it myself. That, you can bank on.
I’m only sharing this news in the off chance that you missed it, but the Stars fired coach Marc Crawford. He has missed the playoffs for the last six seasons that he has coached – four different teams. He really should be done now. Why hire him yet again when there are so many good candidates out there?
Jack Capuano is now the Islanders’ head coach – with the interim tag removed. Lucky him – this team is ready to finally take a big step forward, and he’ll get all the credit.
Stan Bowman could tell him what that’s like.
The Coyotes have recalled Oliver Ekman-Larsson from the AHL.
On July 1st, two Brinks trucks will turn onto Brad Richards’ street and back into his long, wide driveway (he’s rich, and rich people often have long, wide driveways). Brian Burke is driving one truck and Brian Murray the other. He’ll sign with one of those teams and I really believe it will be the Leafs. The cap space is there for both teams and they’ll be very aggressive with their offers. He’s the only difference-maker on the market and they’re the only teams with the budget/space. You do the math.
Available for the iphone. The Hockey Draft Buddy will track picked players, filter and/or sort in many different ways – the perfect aid while you are scrambling at the draft table. Just 99 cents - pick it up HERE.
Well, I was wrong. Michal Neuvirth will get the start for the Caps. Then again, I was wrong last year when I said Varlamov would start. They went with Theodore. Oh wait a minute, wait a minute – in the end I was right.
Ovechkin’s Capital One commercial:
I had this up before, but it’s not like there were NHL highlights! Zach Parise as a detective – and the Easton EQ50 skates as his partner!