Dobber: My picks on Puck Daddy can be found here.
Quick breakdown of my series predictions:
WSH in 4 - Tampa Bay has a great goaltender, but their defense is too slow to contain Washington's deep attack. The Bolts barely survived against a decimated Penguins squad.
BOS in 7 - I don't like Boston's offense, but I like it better than Brian Boucher. Flip a coin here. Philly could take the series over if Tim Thomas doesn't shine.
VAN in 7 - If Luongo plays as well as Rinne, I like Vancouver's chances. Nashville needs a big series from the Klein defensive pairing.
DET in 7 - Went safe with all the game seven picks. Another series tough to call. San Jose's lack of depth on defense scares me against the Wings, even if Zetterberg isn't 100%.
James van Riemsdyk led all NHL players in shots on goal in the first round (43). He was probably Philadelphia's best forward as well. We could be witnessing his coming out party.
Dobber: The Fantasy Prospects Report is now available for presale. I've also set up this year's Keeper League Fantasy Pack and the 'C' version of the Ultimate Fantasy Pack. As I pound through this FPR, I'm getting pretty pumped - not only are we doing 10% more prospects, and not only are we incorporating my new 3YP projection stat... but with two more writers on board, the opinions get more focused and to me that's a good thing.
The panel's picks for Round 2 will be posted later on this morning.
Dallas first rounder and blue chip goalie prospect Jack Campbell was absolutely ventilated in the OHL playoffs last night, allowing 10 goals on 35 shots. Why was he left in there?
Dwayne Roloson does it again – 36 saves for the shutout in game seven. Doesn’t get any more clutch than that. He wasn’t facing Pittsburgh’s top guns, but they still have some talent and Roloson absolutely slammed the door shut. He has Washington’s number too, so it should be interesting to see if he can steal a game or two for the Bolts.
Norris nominations – Weber, Lidstrom, and Chara. I would have included Yandle and Visnovsky over Chara and Weber, but that may just be me. I love Weber (both in fantasy and real life), but he isn’t even the best defenseman on his team many nights. He’s bigger, stronger, and better offensively than Suter, but I like Suter’s positioning and consistency more.
I absolutely love PK Subban. He oozes individuality (in a good way). He was all over the ice last night – diving for loose pucks, scoring a huge goal, delivering massive hits, and skating miles and miles. He is already Montreal’s best defenseman (and arguably best skater)… the upside is immense. It is going to be a lot of fun watching him develop.
Question my friend posed to me this week – if you could build a team around one defenseman right now (age, salary both count), who would it be? My choice – Drew Doughty.
Manitoba goalie Eddie Lack carried the Moose past the Lake Erie Monsters in the first round. He leads all AHL goalies with a dazzling .940 save percentage. The Monsters were heavily favoured as they had their full attack while the Moose were missing Hodgson and Oreskovich, who are up with the Canucks.
WHL playoff update – the Kootenay Ice have won 10 straight games, led by Cody Eakin. Eakin has been arguably the best player through the first two rounds in the entire league. Eakin is a 3rd round pick of the Capitals back in 2009.
Another Ice player to keep an eye on – Sabres prospect defenseman Brayden McNabb. McNabb is 6’4”, well over 200 pounds, and is having an offensive season to remember. He scored 22 goals and recorded 72 points in the regular season, and has 18 points through 13 playoff games.
McNabb has averaged well over 100 PIM in his last three seasons as well. A potential multi-category filler from the defensive position? Keep an eye on him if you aren’t already.
Ice forward Max Reinhart scored five goals last night (including two consecutive SHG). The Ice won 7-2 and are moving on to the next round.
Lack has gone from unknown to one of the best goaltending prospects in the world in less than a calendar year. He’s still behind Luongo (and Schneider, for now), but if he keeps improving the Canucks will have another valuable trading asset.
If Schneider is traded this summer (50/50 to me), Lack could be backing up Luongo next season. Sticking with Schneider – Philadelphia and Tampa Bay are the two most logical destinations to me. I don’t think the Canucks want to keep him in the West, or I’d toss Colorado in there as well.
Amazing how one goal can change so much. I wonder what the papers would have written about Roberto Luongo had Burrows not scored here?
Shades of Steckel on Crosby…. Andrew Ference with a very bizarre hit on Jeff Halpern. Not surprisingly the concussion protocol wasn’t followed. For the rules to be effective, the players have to take responsibility for their own safety. The league can only do so much: