The Prospects Report is a little over three weeks away. Pick it up today in advance...
I've been following the AHL playoffs closely - some tidbits:
Carolina's farm team was shutout by the Baby Pens last night. The Charlotte Checkers feature about six or seven future Carolina regulars - Justin Faulk, Zac Dalpe, Zach Boychuk, Drayson Bowman, Riley Nash, and Mike Murphy, to name a few.
Baby Pens goalie Brad Thiessen is having a sensational playoff run - he was the best goalie in the regular season as well.
Robin Lehner had a 36 save shutout to get the Sens past Johnas Enroth and the Portland Pirates. I'd expect Lehner to start 20-25 games next year behind Craig Anderson. Same goes for Enroth in Buffalo, but more likely 12-15 starts.
The odds of Cory Schneider getting dealt this summer… probably 60/40 (for and against). By the deadline next season… 90/10 (assuming Luongo is healthy).
I think the Canucks will be targeting an entry-level forward. Jacob Josefson on the Devils is a name who may draw interest, and the Devils would certainly have a need for a potential future franchise goaltender.
The Canucks won’t have a ton of cap space so they probably can’t take on a big contract coming back, although they could always offload money elsewhere.
Bruins impressively sweep the Flyers – was Tomas Kaberle even playing? Looked meek all series.
Claude Giroux will probably get fined for a dirty hit on Bergeron – head shot, left his feet. Giroux is one of my favourite players, but looked like a head shot to me.
Sticking with the hit, Bergeron has to be aware that a player is coming. These head shots are awful, but some percentage of the blame has to be on the player (in some cases), no?
Bergeron immediately left the game – would be a huge blow obviously if he can’t go in round three.
Loving David Krejci’s game right now – the Bruins top line dominated all series long. Without Pronger, the Flyers struggled to deal with Lucic and Horton down low.
Dennis Seidenberg led all Boston skaters in ice time (nearly 30 minutes, three more than Chara). Fantastic UFA signing – Boston has a great mix of puck movers and stay-at-home guys on each pairing.
Johnny Boychuk will be a solid fantasy option largely because of his massive point shot (which he showed off last night).
Once again, Kyle Wellwood has elevated his game in the spring. He has 19 points in his last 32 playoff games, and San Jose’s third line has been great in both rounds.
It means nothing at this point, but Tim Thomas absolutely owned the Lightning during the regular season.
Ty Conklin had 48 saves for the American team against Canada yesterday – the game was very lopsided (taking a look at the rosters, not much of a surprise).
The best American skater was forward Derek Stepan, far and away. For Canada, Brent Burns and John Tavares impressed. Tavares will score 40 next season. Burns would get a lot more praise and media attention if he played in a larger hockey market – such a fun player to watch.
Ryane Clowe had three helpers for the Sharks last night. He’s not exactly young (nor is he old), but I think the best is still yet to come.
Dan Cleary had his best game of the playoffs yesterday. The Wings need other forwards aside from Datsyuk and Zetterberg to step up.
Franzen is clearly struggling with his ankle injury, and both Filppula and Hudler have been invisible.
Todd Bertuzzi showing shades of his past dominance:
Cody Franson’s missing puck trick: