Fantasy Prospects Report is only 23 days from release – I feel like I’m so far ahead in writing/editing this, but that date is fast approaching…and this is the best one yet – lots of positive feedback on my new 3YP statistic so I added it to the player analysis in this document. There are also about 10% more profiles than ever before!
How did I know Joel Ward was gonna be a playoff stud? Some players just have it written on their face – the gritty, hard-working 40- or 50-point players always seem to find that extra gear in the postseason and become 70-point players (or better). Three points last night gives him 12 in 11 games. He had 29 in 80 games during the season! Seven of his 12 points have come against the Canucks.
What do I keep saying about the Predators and why they are difficult to contain? They have lines that take turns getting hot. Round 1 it was the Fisher/Kostitsyn /Hornqvist line. Round 2 it’s the Legwand/Ward /Tootoo line. Yes, yes, I know that Trotz shook things up last night and mix and matched – so Kostitsyn played with Ward and Legwand, while Erat played with Fisher. But the point remains the same.
That being said, it doesn’t look like Ryan Kesler will let the Predators win. He has nine points in the five games so far, with eight of them coming in the last three.
Luongo should be buying Kesler dinner. Three times this series, Luongo has faced 23 or fewer shots – the other two games went to overtime. Let’s not be clapping Roberto on the back for bouncing back this Round. He hasn’t. The team in front of him has been fantastic. I never thought I’d see the day where a great goaltender like Luongo would Chris Osgood his way to a Stanley Cup ring behind a great team.
It’s amazing how the NHL works to stop the Green Men from doing what they are doing by limiting their actions (don’t touch the glass, and don’t do head stands, etc. BUT the NHL will gladly promote the Green Men and their antics on NHL.com.
Rangers signed prospect Roman Horak to an ELC. Horak is ranked 158 on my Fantasy Prospects List after a strong WHL campaign.
The Ducks have signed free agent goaltender Iiro Tarkki from out of Finland. Now their goaltending question marks are answered. I don’t know anything about him, other than he will be 26 in the summer and had decent numbers in the SM-liiga (2.44, 0.919). To compare, Niklas Backstrom’s last year there was 1.68 and 0.940.
A late-blooming meathead, Kyle Hagel, has punched his way onto an NHL contract. The Blues signed him to a one-year deal after he managed 245 penalty minutes for Rockford of the AHL. After a tame career in college, he started fighting in the ECHL and has been working his way up.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@DobberHockey) probably heard me lashing out at the whiners who knee-jerk complain – after-the-fact – about Philly’s decision making. Here are Paul Holmgren’s mistakes:
- He signed Michael Leighton without a thorough physical. Had one been properly done, they could have avoided that mistake. Signing a healthy Leighton would have worked, trust me.
- Loyalty to Jeff Carter. Trade Carter last summer and land a top young goalie and possibly a prospect and/or pick. You don’t need Carter, you have enough top forwards.
That’s it. But that being said, at the trade deadline – with his mistakes decisions having been made – he was right to not get a goalie. Don’t forget that on February 28 Bobrovsky was 23-9-4, 2.46 and 0.918. With a veteran backup and those kinds of numbers, would you go and get a (fourth) goalie? So then Bob goes 5-4-4, 2.93 and 0.906 and that’s the GM’s fault? No – and in fact, the Flyers would have swept the Bruins if Pronger was healthy and Chara was hurt. Then all the whiners would be Boston fans complaining that Rask should have been in net instead of Thomas! LOL – think about it: Pronger at 100% is awesome. Boston without Chara is just a really good team (instead of awesome).
And the whiners about the Capitals needing a shake-up – they had four crappy games! I love the knee-jerk reactions. It was a knee-jerk reaction that caused them to be swept this y ear, did you know that? One year ago they were stopped by a hot goalie. If there was no Halak, they could very well have won the Cup. But because of a hot goalie they changed their entire philosophy (that’s the knee-jerk reaction). Hell, if they kept the same run-and-gun style as last year, perhaps they would have gone through TB this year like a hot knife through butter.
The point of the last two rants is this – if you have a plan, stick to it. You have five or six years in your window. Sometimes bad luck will make a Cup impossible. Sometimes it won’t. But don’t change the plan. You can’t predict your best player (Pronger) getting hurt. You can’t predict running into a hot goalie (Halak). Those things happen, go at it again next year. But tweak, don’t change. If you fail and you run into none of the bad luck I noted above, only then do you find out – too late – that your plan was wrong. The next GM will rebuild and have his own plan. Dobber for GM!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there – and don’t forget to call yours. I’m seeing firsthand what a mom goes through even before the baby is born – my wife is 8.5 months pregnant and moving around slowly while the baby inside her boots at her stomach! So it doesn’t just start at birth.
Craig MacTavish to coach the Wild?
More shoulder problems for Eric Fehr, who has had surgery on both shoulders before. He will undergo another one on his right shoulder this week.
I always love a good story about fighting idiots who put you through red tape, and this is no exception – Puck Daddy’s piece on a TB home-owner who is supporting his team.
Semyon Varlamov wants to stay in the NHL, but he wants to be a starter – may not be about money, but opportunity. Interesting interview with him by the Washington Post.
O’Donnell vs. Horton:
Staffan Kronwall with an awesome deke in the WC. Yep, you read that right – STAFFAN: