What Carey Price has done this season is sensational. I am one of his biggest critics (well, used to be), but he stepped into an absolutely horrid situation (Halak being traded away) and has played elite level hockey all season long. Can't imagine the pressure he was under, especially last fall. Stuck to his guns and it worked out.


Two games for Bobby Ryan - fair.


Chara is out for the B's tonight.


Duncan Keith played close to 28 minutes last night. He finished minus-2 and had a very sloppy game. Obviously the big minutes are taxing him.


Another interesting thing – it is hard for Chicago to rest its top players, since they play in so many different situations. Toews and Sharp in particular were seeing regular time on the PK, and then were put out right after once the team was back at even strength to try and generate some offense.


Chicago’s best forward last night? Not Kane, Toews, or Sharp. Not Hossa either. College star Ben Smith scored twice and had a few great chances for a third as well. He isn’t big, but is slippery and smart with the puck. The Hawks have a keeper.


Smith was also the goat on a few of Vancouver goals, but he was creating offense and making plays with the puck all game long.


It will be interesting to see where Smith slides in next year. I doubt Troy Brouwer is back. Jeremy Morin is pretty close to a lock for a roster spot as well. Looking far ahead, sure, but playing well now bodes very well for his chances at a spot come training camp.


I'm not sure if Edler only likes to hit in the playoffs, but he picked up right where he left off from game one. He threw four or five punishing checks - the biggest on Patrick Kane early in the first. Edler did the same last season against LA in the first round before slowing down with the physical play. His value as a defenseman goes up in leagues that count hits as a stat (something I am seeing more and more of).


I am for counting hits as a stat, because it is a positive measure, as opposed to PIM, which can be positive (good fight, penalty to save a goal) or negative (lazy, undisciplined, whatever). The unfortunate thing is the hit stat is not recorded equally across the league - some arena statisticians are a bit more reluctant to hand them out than others.


The empty net goal for Tampa Bay was scored by Mattias Ohlund last night. Why so significant? It was the first goal Ohlund has scored as a member of the Lightning, ever since signing there in the summer of 2009. I wonder why Brian Lawton is out of a job?


Getzlaf, Ryan, and Perry absolutely thrashed the Predators last night.


Kudos to Washington, who are showing that they can play their defensive system effectively in the postseason. It may only be the Rangers, who look as if they don’t even want to score, but impressive nonetheless.


Michal Neuvirth has allowed only one goal on the 47 shots he has faced through two games. As I wrote yesterday, Neuvirth is 16-0 in playoff rounds since coming to North America (OHL and AHL).


Raffi Torres is eligible to return for the Canucks next game. I’m not sure who comes out, as the bottom six has played very well from top to bottom through two games.


Mikael Samuelsson missed last night’s game with what the team is calling the flu. I suspect he is injured, as he has been nursing a minor hip/abdominal issue for most of the season.


Sergei Kostitsyn has been extremely impressive for Nashville through two games. His first full season with an average offensive club saw him hit the 50 point mark and lead the team in scoring.


Mr. Art Ross with a beauty last night:


Ryan stomping on Blum – suspension?

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Comments (11)add comment

Carson said:

... Ryan: Huge fan, but after I seen it yesterday, I was a bit taken away. Like, that's a hell of a dirty play. 2 games in a series of this importance, bang on. Stupid play.

Boston - there go my pools! Flat and more flat. Why not role 4 lines like all year rather than depend on 17 and 18 that clearly cannot do it. Also, Kaberle has to be much better. Karma is a bitch for Recchi and his stupid mind games.....
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Michal Sk said:

... kjazz - we did not remove PIM from our league, but we added both, hits and blocks - it increased value of steady defensemen and also made it all even more interesting than before. As it is very deep league so even players we ignored before are valuable now.
Angus, Dobber - thanks for the ramblings all season long, i managed to win pretty tough league this year and i have to say daily reading of your site played big part in my success smilies/smiley.gif
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

kjazz said:

Hits vs PIMs as a stat
I am for counting hits as a stat, because it is a positive measure, as opposed to PIM, which can be positive (good fight, penalty to save a goal) or negative (lazy, undisciplined, whatever).

My sentiments exactly. I'm commissioner of a league, and I've been pushing hits to replace PIMs for a while now, for these exact reasons. Unfortunately the managers in my league---while hockey fans, and active in the pool---do not think about hockey as much as I do, and are resistant to change a stat that really is most associated with fighting. Trying to argue to remove it is like trying to argue with them to remove fights from hockey. Don't get me wrong, I like fights in the game, but as a fantasy stat category, I can't stand it (although, one good aspect of it is it does make certain players more valuable that would have been useless). Sure, you can draft for PIMs to some degree, but there is an element of randomness to it that's annoying. My strategy (in a rotisserie league): Not to worry about PIMs during the draft and just start rotating goons in and out of the roster around late December/early January. I've done this a few years in a row now, and each time I've started in bottom 5 in PIMs, and ended up in top 5 (out of 15).

Anyways, I gave up trying to replace PIMs, and instead convinced them to add Hits as a separate category. Good enough for me!
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Mr Sausage said:

Ryan Wow. That could of been much worse. I don't care if it's the playoffs. He has to get 2 games MINIMUM! What if he would of slashed some tendons and Blum missed the rest of the postseason? That stomp was pretty high up on the skate. If Raffi Torres got 2 playoff games for his hit on Eberle, Ryan should get even worse. That stomp was much more dangerous than the Torres hit imo. I'm sure we'll see the NHL waffle and Ryan will get only 1 game.
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Trevor said:

... Re: Smith
In the final 2 minutes of the game... Who did Chicago put out? Ben Smith and Michael Frolik. Because they were relatively dominant offensively last night.

Re: Ryan
As much as I like Bobby Ryan, that was a boneheaded move and ABSOLUTELY deserves a suspension. How long? In my opinion it was dirtier than Stoll's hit on White, but it didn't cause an injury to Blum. I think he'll get 1 game.
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Greg Hambly said:

Ryan Has to be a suspension on Ryan...absolutely no excuse for this one! He purposely picked his foot up and stomped down with the intention of kicking another player with a razor sharp skate blade...personally, he should be done for the series...no reason for this kind of nonsense in the game.
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Newey said:

... Is the ice in Van. a mess or is it just me?....also I agree with Mason on Ben Smith, he was in the right place a few times which is great but his two way game is quite bad.
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

... Mason - I liked Smith's game. Edler goal - bad bounce. He could have played the point a bit tighter, but not a colossal error. Sedin goal - that is the C's job to pick the trailer up, unless I didn't read the play right. He didn't play it well, but again you have to judge him based on expectations.

Ian - forgot to finish my thought! Added now.
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Chris said:

Ryan -suspesion Stupid move and there's no way to justify it as anything but intent to injure. He should be gone for 1 game.
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Ian said:

April 16, 2011
Votes: -1

Mason Black said:

... Ben Smith was horrific last night!!!
Clearly responsible for two goals AGAINST. He found himself in a good position twice and was able to bury both chances. But don't think for a second that means he had a solid game.

Ben played really well for the Hawks the last few games of the regular season, but has been absolutely horrible in the first two games.
Now that he scored two goals there is no way they can sit him!
April 16, 2011
Votes: +0
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