Angus here - my May edition of the 15 Points to Consider will be out on Friday. As usual, jam-packed with information.
My THN column from yesterday on Claude Giroux.
I’ve been a little late with these lately, but it’s that time of year again – May through September most of the news filters in later in the morning. By July, the bulk of the news is in the afternoon. But there’s still hockey going on and there’s always a thing or two to comment on just from those. I should also add that my wife is having a baby (hopefully mine) later this month. Another girl! So there will come a week when, without warning, Angus covers off my days.
I can’t believe the Fantasy Prospects Report is only 27 days from release!
Ryan Kesler beat the Preds last night. Points on all three goals, including scoring the OT winner. He is a 75-point player no matter how cold his numbers are. I remember trying desperately to acquire him at the 20-game mark when he had just 13 points. He just finds his stride and boosts the numbers up to where they need to be. Hell, if he had 10 points in 70 games, he’d get 65 points in the final 12.
Goalie watch – Rinne stops 44 of 47; Luongo stops 28 of 30. As I’ve been saying, Luongo’s shots (and shooters) have been of lower quality, too. As a goalie, who would you rather have shoot on you? Sedin and Kesler, or Kostitsyn and Hornqvist? The Canucks opened things up a bit more and I think that’s the only way to beat this team – lean on Luongo a little bit and pepper Rinne with shots. They should open it up even further – trade chances. If they truly trust Luongo, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Bruce Boudreau should not lose his job. Even after a sweep. Why? Because I don’t believe that changing to a defensive system was his decision. I believe that the GM, coach and owner all sat down and made the decision together – to win in the playoffs, you have to focus on defense. And based on the last 20 years or so of hockey, that is absolutely the case. But I believe the Caps could have changed that. Last year they had the bad luck of running into Jaroslav Halak. But otherwise, they were destined for the Final. This year, would playing the same run-and-gun get them further? After the fact (nearly) we can say “yes”, since the defensive system isn’t getting them anywhere. But it’s not Boudreau’s fault. So he doesn’t deserve to be fired, but perhaps it would be for the best – if there’s a coach out there with the right system, then that’s the move the Caps will make.
Is Alex Ovechkin doing enough? Five goals, nine points (minus-2) in eight games? The new system has obviously stifled him. I think he has another gear. Does he have four games worth of another gear? I think he can win them two games before they’re put down.
Is it time for a goalie change? Michal Neuvirth has allowed 10 goals on 66 shots for a .869 SP. Yeah, the Caps’ system has held the Lightning to just 22 shots per game. On paper, that system is working.
Making a great showing for himself in his first NHL postseason is Marcus Johansson. He has six points in eight games. I remember in the 2009 Fantasy Prospects Report I surprised most readers by sticking Johansson in my Top 20 keeper league forwards to own in that draft year. He was 20th. Most felt that he was too much of a defensive forward and that he would top out at 55 points. Now I think most feel as I did at the time – this guy can get to 70.
By the way, the guy I had last year at 20 in the FPR was Joey Hishon – a player whom onlookers feel the same way about as they did Johansson. Will I be right a second time? Of course I will. The odds of my rightness is very consistent (52% - LOL)
The most disappointing player to me in the postseason for the Caps is John Carlson. Granted, he has been adequate, but two points and a minus-1? He was much – much – better last year. In fact, if he has four points instead of two, and he is plus-3 instead of minus-1...the Caps are up two games to one right now. This is just youth talking, though. He’ll bounce back next year.
I still can’t decide who I like as a more likely 70-point defenseman if I had to choose one – Carlson, Karlsson, or Subban. Flip a three-sided coin!
Steve Downie...wow. You know, give the Capitals a Steve Downie and they win the Cup. This guy is stepping UP. Ten points, plus-7, 20 PIM in nine games. They don't have a Steve Downie.
Simon Gagne was not in the lineup last night and he probably won’t be there for Game 4 either. Why bother? They are not in danger at this time, may as well wait until next round.
Detroit’s attempt to get back on the winning side of the ledger will include Kris Draper getting back into the lineup and Datsyuk and Zetterberg being separated again.
Michael Del Zotto underwent surgery for a sports hernia. The surgery was successful (I know you were dying to know). He will be ready for training camp.
Sprained neck for Adam McQuaid.
Toni Lydman underwent surgery on his right shoulder. He will be sidelined for five months, putting him out of the mix for training camp.
Bobby Butler had a fantastic season in the AHL with 33 points in 47 games – 22 of them goals. He was also a plus-5. He performed well in the NHL too, after the first few games. But in the postseason for the Baby Sens he is a minus-7 and that’s nearly bad enough to make you overlook his seven goals in 12 games. He’ll be full-time in Ottawa next season, getting looks on all three of the top lines, probably ending with 20-plus goals and maybe 15 assists.
TSN is reporting that Jeff Carter is a possibility for the Flyers tonight. Everyone is so hush-hush about these things though...
Jordan Eberle gets snubbed by this pretty girl:
Stamkos! How hard was this shot? Think in terms of light beams (to quote NHL Slapshot):
This penalty - seen a minute into the clip - put Weber in the box and led to the OT goal: