Dobber here. Please bear with us as we go through some cosmetic changes. And the new banner is one we made several months ago - it is a placeholder until voting for players in the banner is complete. The nav. menu up top will soon be different and have drop options, and the nav menu on the left will soon go away (when the top menu is ready).
David Krejci's hat trick last night - the first from a Bruin in the postseason since Cam Neely back in 1991.
Lots of impressive offensive performances last night: Lucic had a pair of points and played his best game of the playoffs.
Stamkos, Purcell, and St. Louis all had monster games for the Bolts.
Both Thomas and Roloson were below average. Roloson looks gassed, and Thomas is getting ventilated by the snipers on Tampa Bay.
Owen Sound is struggling without their star Joey Hishon, who remains out with a concussion.
I could probably write a full piece on the Detroit defense situation heading into the summer (and I may at some point).
Assuming Lidstrom returns, you are looking at a top six featuring Lidstrom, Stuart, and Kronwall. I don't see Ericsson returning. Kindl should be there, as should Brendan Smith. Do the Wings go with two rookies? If they are smart, they open up the wallet for a d-man who can log heavy minutes (with a PK focus) and they let Smith learn and grow from Lidstrom on the PP and at even strength.
Kindl is NHL ready - he is a smart player, but he lacks Smith's offensive (and overall) upside. He should develop into a steady 4/5 defenseman capable of playing in a variety of situations.
Smith is a stud. Dynamic offensive talent, plays with an edge, and can skate like the wind. He plays a pro game - a little rough around the edges, but he plays with a lot of confidence.
Knowing Detroit, I wouldn't be surprised to see them sign/bring in two defensemen and let Kindl and Smith battle it out. However, I'd find a way to get Smith in there. I think a year of learning from Lidstrom would be invaluable to his development.
My top 10 keeper league centers - no Kesler, no Thornton, no Toews. Any guesses? Out on Friday afternoon.
The Predators are going to everything in their power to match a potential Weber offer sheet, according to coach Barry Trotz.
Kyle Okposo signed a massive five year extension. Cap hit? Not so massive - $2.8 million. He hasn’t proven anything but that is a great dollar amount for a future star forward. Okposo does everything well – he just needed time to develop (and for his linemates and teammates to develop as well).
At the low end, Okposo will be a 25 goal scorer who can play in every situation. At the high end, he’s a 35-40 goal guy.
As per his own twitter, Oskar Osala is playing in the KHL next season. Osala was playing for Carolina’s farm team (originally a Washington prospect, he was acquired in the Joe Corvo blockbuster of 2010).
Great scouting report on Beau Bennett from Mike Colligan, friend of DobberHockey:
Concerns...Very raw. Effort along the boards and in the dirty areas isn't consistent, right now he's convincing himself to battle hard instead of instinctually doing it (same concern with Tangradi by the way). Needs to add upper-body strength, maybe the biggest concern when I saw him with pro's at the camp last summer, was getting tossed. But these are all normal issues that can be addressed as he develops.
Will just take time to develop (something most teams in the Top 20 don't have the luxury of with a 1st rounder). Kyle Turris development is a good comparison example (and of what not to do with Bennett), Turris finally looks ready to break out next year in my opinion .Coyotes rushed Turris because they had to and they learned, was talking to the Asst GM last week and he said they told Kyle in 09-10 that he wasn't getting recalled no matter what he did.
I think that's what Pens do with Bennett, very very slow, couple years at Denver, couple in AHL, no pressure, no opportunity even to come up.
On the plus side, Bennett's very very creative. Can make things happen with the puck, great hockey sense, slows the game down like a Datsyuk, can snipe and thread the needle. With added strength on a 6'1 frame he has all the tools you can't teach .Everything he needs are things that can be added in time.
He was a gamble, he's a project. Might never find that edge/grit, but I love the upside.
Teddy Purcell – sometimes it pays to be patient. I was really high on him two years ago, soured on him a year ago, and considered him a lost cause at that time. He lacked the physicality and consistent edge required to play and succeed in the NHL. How things have changed.
Purcell isn’t tough by any stretch of the imagination, but he is rangy, skilled, and has a wicked shot. He’s been one of Tampa’s best forwards all spring. LA must be kicking themselves for giving up on him early, no?
If he played in a bigger market, Oliver Ekman-Larsson would be getting more attention heading into 2011-12. He had a solid rookie season all things considered (lack of ice time, lack of a role, inconsistent shifts). He’s big, gritty, fast, and skilled. A lot like his teammate and future PP partner Keith Yandle.
Prospects Report…. Getting closer! Some past teasers:
Ryan Callahan, RW
His heart and work ethic shot him up the Rangers’ depth chart until he finally landed a spot on the NHL roster. That spot is there to stay, as Callahan will become a full-fledged NHLer this year. The AHL All Star will do anything to get his team a goal – there is no corner he won’t go into and no net he won’t sit in front of. The Rangers plan to play Callahan on a scoring line. He gets better every year (he was drafted in the 15th round into the OHL – 15th round!) and that will surely continue at the NHL level. Despite his rough style, he seems to be quite durable. He did have knee surgery in the offseason of 2006, but has yet to have an injury make him miss significant time.
Potential: Second-line player (30-35-65+, 110 PIM)
Stefan Elliott, D
Scouting Report: Looking for a Mike Green-esque dark horse? A sublime skater who loves to jump up into the play, Elliott is more than willing to get back and play defense. All he's missing is the strength to match up against bigger players.
Notable Numbers: Finished in the three-way tie for 6th in points among all WHL defensemen.
Potential: Elite #3 D, PP QB (15-35-50)
Years Away: 3
Cody Eakin, C
Scouting Report: While Cody Eakin knows his speed and hands can overwhelm even the WHL's fleetest-of-foot defensemen, the diminutive center is well attuned to the fact that the best scoring chances can't be had without taking a hit or two. Thus, instead of driving wide and trying a tricky deke, it's common to see Eakin barrel full-steam ahead into the opponent's zone. Potential injuries caused via this style of play are a legitimate concern, but excellent core strength and agility - not to mention vision - allow Eakin to see and avoid a big collision before it happens. And think of it this way: while a player of Eakin's size has a slim chance of cracking the show, a perimeter player of his size has almost no chance.
Notable Numbers: Eakin came in second during the fastest skater portion of the Top Prospects Game, but that'sokay; he still lapped the rink in 14 seconds.
Potential: Second/third scoring line winger, 30-25-55
Years Away: 3