The goal scoring over the past week has been incredible - so much for tight-checking, low scoring playoff games.

 

Teemu Selanne had a great game last night - he seems to be skating better than ever. Incredibly impressive this late in the season for a 40 year old - his emphasis on fitness is paying off in spades. It is easy to tell which players train properly as they age (Chelios, Lidstrom, Selanne).

 

Eddie Lack was fantastic for the Moose last night (a bit of a bounce back game after a rough outing earlier in the series against Lake Erie). He recorded the shutout against a superior Monsters club.

 

Sergei Shirokov scored a goal for the Moose - he's been solid all season. His NHL window is closing, though.

 

The Dobber Nation page on the left (Radio Show) will be fixed ASAP. Some formatting errors reset the page on Friday, unfortunately. The latest installment is a good one - some great insights on the Devils, prospects, and the always entertaining Sean Leahy from Puck Daddy.

 

Nashville is starting to see why three NHL teams have soured on Shane O'Brien - great locker room guy, but he takes absolutely boneheaded penalties on a consistent basis. Not a formula for success against the likes of Perry, Selanne, Getzlaf, Ryan, etc.

 

Ray Emery's lateral movement is horrendous - he was never the quickest goalie, but the hip surgeries have definitely set him back. Considering where he was at a year ago, his game looks pretty good, though.

 

The number one team need in the entire league right now? A top line center in Toronto? A goaltender on Long Island? To me, it is a puck-moving defenseman in Columbus. Having talented young forwards and no one to get them the puck in the right areas makes little sense.

 

Keith Yandle is a restricted free agent this summer. How much does Phoenix/Winnipeg have to cough up to keep him? $5 million per? $6 million per? More?

 

If the Leafs somehow miss out on Brad Richards this summer, who does Brian Burke go after to center his top line? Stephen Weiss? Are there any other first line centers who could potentially be had?

 

Philadelphia has now used all three of their goaltenders in the first round. If they end up losing the series, do they finally cave in and acquire a legitimate starting goaltender? I don’t like the way they handled Bobrovsky – his leash was awfully short considering how solid he was during the regular season.

 

Tyler Ennis reminds me more and more of Patrick Kane every time I see him. Small, quick, impossible to hit. Escapability is a great word (even if it isn’t a real one) to describe his game. Right place at the right time for the OT winner, but he was buzzing all game long.

 

Marc-Andre Gragnani scored a goal (his fifth point of the playoffs) last night. After a dazzling AHL campain in 2010-11, he is a logical choice to step in and play on Buffalo’s top power play unit. Gragnani is a solid defenseman with a hard, accurate shot from the point and the ability to move the puck quickly.

 

Claude Giroux was simply magnificent – two assists (could have had two more if not for Ryan Miller) in 25 minutes of ice time. Far and away Philadelphia’s best player with Pronger out.

 

Paul Gaustad won 17 of 24 faceoffs, recorded an assist, and played 22 difficult minutes. One of the more underappreciated forwards in the game.

 

Not counting Jason Pominville who left due to injury, only two forwards played less than Brad Boyes for the Sabres (Mike Grier and Cody McCormick).

 

Great timing for the NHL to announce Roberto Luongo has a Vezina finalist yesterday.

 

Would it be a shock to see the Oilers take Ryan Strome at number one? Probably – I think Nugent-Hopkins or Larsson will end up going to Edmonton… but Strome is an intriguing player. Could have the most offensive upside of anyone in the draft (outscored Nugent-Hopkins at even strength in 2010-11 as well).

 

My Left Wing Top 10 list out Sunday – Datsyuk has been moved off the list as I have been informed that he fits in as a center on a more regular basis. Guesses? Taylor Hall is on the list.

 

Obviously most NHL players take fitness very seriously, but there aren’t many who train harder (and smarter) than Duncan Keith. I marvel at his work ethic.

 

History (and Duncan Keith) rises to the occasion – these past two games could be the best two of Duncan’s career. No Seabrook, no problem:

 

Bobby Ryan.... wow. Made David Legwand look absolutely awful:

 


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Comments (12)add comment

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... My comment on Shirokov - more relating to lack of available roster spots in VAN.
April 24, 2011
Votes: +0

Thieving Giraffe said:

Thieving Giraffe
Proper Training Selanne's great, but you missed the best example... Ray Bourque, 28:31 TOI/game at 40 years old, for the Stanley Cup win!
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
Shirokov Curious about your Shirokov comment, Jeff - is he not NHL ready?
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Austin said:

austeane
Philly goalie Schnieder and Samuellson for Carter and a third.
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Massimo Cinelli said:

rticinelli
Yandle The real interesting thing with Yandle this summer isn't how much money he gets, but how long of a contract he signs. I have a hunch he'll opt for a 1-year deal, and then go UFA next summer. Possibly heading back home to Boston? Only time will tell, but if he signs a 1-year deal I think the writing is on the wall for his future in Phoenix/Winnipeg.
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Ryan Strome first overall? Why is this even being brought up? He'll be a 6-7 pick.
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Connolly Solid rambling. I'm looking forward to the top 10 LW list. smilies/wink.gif
Tim Connolly may be a veteran presence that Burke might explore. He's played his entire junior & professional career either in the state of New York, or two steps outside of it... Toronto wouldn't be that much of a stretch.
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Dylan said:

Falk
Bear Mountain Wow, Duncan Keith needs to stick to playing hockey. Those lifts were terrible!
April 23, 2011
Votes: -1

Jason Banks said:

Jason_Banks
Nick's list Looking over that list is rather fun... Flyer fans ran thier 3 most solid goalies (at that time in thier careers) outta town, Chechmanek (didn't care for him but he was big but got the job done) Esche (up and down, but can't argue with his results) and Martin Biron...

Biron is/was the best goalie on that list at the time he was there, he was nothing short of solid for Buffalo for many seasons and was great for Philly, quiet but got the job done, Philly should have stuck by him longer.

As far as getting a better goalie, I dunno if they should... Bobrovsky as pointed out, needs to be given a chance and a longer leash next year, he earned his spot. And as far as Back-up Leighton has proved his worth too and I feel should be retained and left as the backup... Goaltending is thier main weakness, but I see growth in thier starter (altho expect the sophmore slump) and they have a solid capable backup...

Also They have some decent Goalies in the system, Backlund can be a decent 3rd stringer if he accepts that role, 6-4 Goalie Brian Stewart was great in the the ECHL and has upside, Also Jakub Kover and Joacim Eriksson are in Europe and one of them has to come over next year...

The Free Agent list outside of Bryzgalov is rather thin, there are alot of old goalies which you never know what you can get outta them, and then there are alotta midlevel backups... For Philly to go out and get a good solid starter they will need to trade for it...
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

AFlyers66 said:

AFlyers66
JVR While I fully agree about Giroux, watching JVR take that next step in his development is very cool. Much like Giroux took off in the heat of the playoff run last spring, JVR is a beast out there, hitting everything that moves and creating offensive chances with creativity that he would have never even tried just 2 or 3 months ago. His confidence is growing. Get him in your keeper league if you can.
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0

Nick said:

pouliasn
Flyers Tenders Since the 1997-98 season the Philly Flyers have used 10 different goalies in the playoffs...

1997-98 = Sean Burke
1998-99 = John Vanbiesbrouck
1999-00 = Brian Boucher
2000-01 = Roman Cechmanek
2001-02 = Roman Cechmanek & Brian Boucher
2002-03 = Roman Cechmanek & Robert Esche
2003-04 = Robert Esche
2005-06 = Robert Esche & Antero Niitymaki
2006-07 = missed playoffs
2007-08 = Martin Biron
2008-09 = Martin Biron
2009-10 = Michael Leighton, Brian Boucher & Johan Backlund
2010-11 = Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher & Michael Leighton
April 23, 2011
Votes: +1

lcbtd said:

germant
Goalie Bob I think Bobrovsky used up a lot of his leash during the tail end of the regular season. Had he been lights out from start to finish, he still might e playing.
April 23, 2011
Votes: +0
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