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: