Toronto! Thursday, June 16 is looking like the date of the next DobberHockey event. For more information and to weigh in with your thoughts/vote on the date/place - details are here.
Breaking: Nick Kypreos is reporting that Brian Rafalski will retire this week due to nagging injuries. Unexpected to say the least, but this should help the likes of Kronwall, and Kindl move up a rung on the ladder. If the Wings lose Lidstrom too (unlikely) then they could be in trouble. (edit: Ericsson is a UFA)
Since the Blackhawks have signed two goaltenders in the past several days, I should probably comment. Alexander Salak’s deal is one-way, which means he will be the backup to Cory Crawford. No disrespect to Marty Turco, or…actually, lots of disrespect to Marty Turco… but this is a huge upgrade. (On August 2, 2010 I said “Turco's skills have eroded and there are a dozen free agent goaltenders cheaper and better.” So don’t say I didn’t warn them!) Salak will probably enjoy a 35-65 split (percentage, not games) with Crawford. But there is a small risk of a coup. Salak could be this year’s Halak to Crawford’s Price. So be prepared. But the money invested in Crawford will see to it that he runs the show in the end, because the team would just do what Montreal did and remove the controversy via trade. But if all of this does happen, it would cause havoc to the season ahead for Crawford owners.
What I’m saying is, expect the 65-35 split. But if another Halak/Price situation rears its ugly head, then expect it to play out just like it did in Montreal. That means don’t bail on Crawford, it would just mean a tough year.
On a related note – if you rank all 60 goalies in the NHL and you feel that your goaltender is the 15th best goaltender…it may not be the greatest idea to go out and sign a goaltender who is young and up-and-coming. Unless you have an elite goalie, someone in the Top 6 or 7, you should probably sign a veteran backup who is happy with his role and has no designs on a starting job. Alex Auld, Brent Johnson, etc are examples of this. Examples of young, up-and-coming backups include Michal Neuvirth (became a starter), Jaroslav Halak (became a starter), Tuukka Rask (became a starter and later a backup again). As you can see, the young backup often steals the starting job/causes havoc. Bottom line: Salak may be too good!
Interesting to see Vancouver take five penalties in a row and then San Jose take six in a row. Therein lies the difference – San Jose had their penalties happen very close together, giving up two-man advantages.
Sami Salo played 23 minutes for the second game in a row. Prior to that, his playoff high was 19:28. All four of his playoff points (three last night) have come on the power play. That puts him fifth on the team in PP points, but he is seventh in PP ice time. With Samuelsson out, there was more PP time to go around and Salo saw over four minutes.
Cody Hodgson saw just 5:02 of ice time. He’s been getting valuable exposure to the NHL postseason…but nothing beyond that. It should give him the lift he needs to win a job in training camp.
Much better, Roberto. I’ve been a critic all postseason, so I need to give positive credit as well.
San Jose held Vancouver to just 13 shots on goal, while getting 35 shots on Luongo. I don’t have the exact data in front of me, but I would guess that 10 of those 13 shots were on the power play.
Ben Eager was a healthy scratch for the second game since costing the team.
I just picked up on his – James van Riemsdyk still leads in the NHL postseason in shots on goal with 70. Daniel Sedin is next with 67. Dan Boyle third with 63, including nine shots Sunday.
Stop sucking the fun out of hockey trash talking. All it takes are a few crybabies…Tampa fans did not like this Boston Bruins’ promotional sign that listed things that don’t exist: Loch Ness Monster; Big Foot; Tampa Bay Lightning fans. They protested, the sign was taken down. Ga-ga goo-goo, the babies got their bottle. My gawd, they can’t be hockey fans if they don’t know what it’s like to rib a buddy who is rooting for the other team…thus proving the point of the sign?
Detroit prospect (and Val’s brother) Ilari Filppula will give up on the NHL and go back to Europe. As I noted in yesterday’s ramblings – Europeans need to give it 30 months over here or not bother coming. Because 99% of the time they won’t get NHL action the first year and if they do it won’t be much. The second year, if they still don’t see NHL action but feel like they’re close – then give it another training camp. There’s your 30 months.
I don’t think Angus noted this – maybe he did, I didn’t read every one of his ramblings top to bottom – but Anaheim signed Emerson Etem to an ELC and the Rangers signed Christian Thomas to same. Both players are profiled in the Fantasy Prospects Report. In fact, here is a preview of this year’s note on Etem, never before released:
After his impressive rookie campaign with the Medicine Hat Tigers, in which he scored 37 goals and 65 points in 72 games, Emerson Etem was plucked by his hometown team, the Anaheim Ducks in first round of the 2010 draft with the 29th pick. Etem picked up the pace in 2010-11 notching 45 goals and 80 points while leading the WHL in short-handed goals with nine. A product of Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, known for producing stars like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise and Jack Johnson, the 18-year old has also spent the past three off-seasons taking a train more than two hours each way to workout with California-based trainer T.R. Goodman and several former and current NHLers including Chris Chelios, Mike Comrie and Mike Commodore. Etem could be skating on a line with Ryan Getzlaf or Bobby Ryan as early as 2012-13.
Upside: First-line winger (40-35-75, 30 PIM).
Certainty (NHLer; Upside): 85%; 50%
3YP: (25-30-55, 20 PIM)
There are 400+ more profiles like this one of drafted and undrafted players in the DobberHockey Fantasy Prospects Report (fifth edition). Released June 1. Buy it here. The 3YP is taking an average of their “likely” three best seasons in the NHL. So you get two numbers – best-case scenario is the upside, the likely is the 3YP.
Here is an interesting Q and A by reporter Jeremy Rutherford and some Blues’ fans. Among the tidbits that he writes – Paul Kariya is still not cleared to play; Vladimir Tarasenko will take a “vacation” before deciding on the Blues or the KHL.
The Coyotes signed Ethan Were to an ELC just days after acquiring him from the Rangers. He is profiled in the Prospects Report.
Time for a little plug for EA Sports, since I enjoy their NHL Slap Shot and it actually played a role in my losing 25 pounds and kinda getting back into shape (I play the Wii game while riding the bike). Here is a screen shot – a player is actually running the goalie. And here is their blog, where they plan to release a reveal video this week. The Winter Classic will be another new feature for them in the game.
Wow – Mikael Granlund will remain in Finland next year, according to his agent. Reason: army obligations.
WOW!! This was close. Awesome acrobatics – Ballard on McGinn:
A Kesler dive. I’m disappointed in a player whom I like a lot. Kudos to him for egging Clowe on. Jeers to him for folding like a cheap suit from a tiny little love tap: