Top five trade values on the Canucks (with some trade thoughts regarding Kesler, Edler, the goalies, and more).
Here's an interesting read on Phaneuf, and a bit more support to my thought that he is incredibly underrated as people tend to focus on solely the negative aspects of his game.
Phaneuf isn’t the best defenceman in his Conference, but he is by far the best defenceman on his team. The Leafs’ problems stem from the fact that they don’t have enough blueliners they can trust, not too many. When they traded for Jake Gardiner and Joffrey Lupul in 2011, they paid a significant price in François Beauchemin.
Beauchemin has turned up on a few Norris ballots while Lupul spent most of the season on the injury shelf and Gardiner either in the minors or a healthy scratch. The fates, and Carlyle’s reluctance to play the talented Gardiner, are making that deal look better for Anaheim every day even though it really, really, really shouldn’t be close.
And I'm not trying to get inside your brain and change your mind about Phaneuf. He does lack hockey sense and he doesn't always make the safe/smart/right play. But he has done a really good job in a no-win situation over the past few years, and he has really worked hard to shore up his weaknesses.
Great night of hockey on Friday evening. Some thoughts on the three earlier games (LAK/STL updates will come on Saturday AM).
Mike Ribeiro was a beast for the Capitals. Winning draws (went 19 and 8 on the evening), drawing penalties, creating chances, and of course, scoring the OT winner. What a performance from him after a pretty quiet first four games of the series.
The Rangers really struggled offensively. Brad Richards and Rick Nash didn’t do much of anything, and that’s an expensive duo to have silent on any night.
McDonagh and John Moore (the goat on the Ribeiro winner) combined for 11 blocked shots. It is a strategy that of course cuts down on scoring chances, but the Ribeiro OT goal happened because the shot was blocked and popped over to Ribeiro before Lundqvist could react.
Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Ryane Clowe played a grand total of 1:55 last night. Someone wasn’t ready to return I suppose. Clowe was smoked early on by Jason Chimera, who received a boarding penalty on the play. Chimera had a few hits that were borderline boarding penalties last night (including a mammoth shot on Anton Stralman).
Hagelin was the only Ranger to have more than three SOG (he ended up with five).
Karl Alzner doesn’t get a lot of press on DobberHockey, as he isn’t an offensive defenseman. But he was a rock last night – the assist on the winner, and almost 30 minutes of nearly mistake-free hockey.
Marcus Johansson looks good on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom, but he needs to use his speed on a more consistent basis to drive defenders back. If and when he does that, I could see an offensive breakout coming.
Wild finish in Detroit – Henrik Zetterberg (who else?) scored the OT winner about a minute into the extra frame after the Ducks scored twice at the end of the third to tie the game. Corey Perry (again, who else?) got away with a blatant trip on Bobby Ryan’s tying marker.
Emerson Etem isn’t playing a lot, but he had a goal and an assist. He is such a powerful skater – kind of like a really fast young horse who hasn’t quite learned to control himself yet. He’s got monster offensive upside once he polishes his game a bit more.
Justin Abdelkader had a goal in 18 minutes of ice time in his return. If he sticks on the top line for all of next season, how much does his offensive value increase? We know he can hit and rack up PIM – multi-category sleeper?
Z and D combined for six points. They willed Detroit to the victory in this one. Zetterberg has more points than any other NHL player in postseason games since the 2002-03 season. And he has the best and most consistent beard in hockey.
I imagine Toronto was pretty wild last night. The Leafs held on thanks to some big saves from James Reimer to force a Game 6.
Short rant on Dion Phaneuf. This guy plays ridiculously tough minutes. Every single game. And he is expected to lead his team and put up points, too. He isn’t the perfect defenseman, but he has really, really improved his game since coming to Toronto. Less big hits = better defensive player. He handles the media and the pressure of playing in Toronto very, very well too. And he’s one of the best defensemen to own in any fantasy hockey league format.
My rant was inspired by this column, FYI. One I disagree with vehemently, of course.
Jake Gardiner led all Leafs in ice time. What's up with that, Randy? This guy was a healthy scratch for reasons we will never know. Not amazing/great defensively, but a gamechanger with his skating, puck rushing, and confidence.
Tyler Bozak had a goal, but he was killed on faceoffs and took a delay of game penalty late in the contest. Grabovski needs to play more than Bozak. Simple as that.
10 minutes and no points for Nazem Kadri.
Jagr had a game-high seven SOG, including a glorious chance to tie the game in the final few seconds.
Loved this – creativity, hands, skill. Imagine if he pulled it off?
Doubling up on teams to analyze again today – we have the LA Kings and the Minnesota Wild
2013-14 sleeper: Tyler Toffoli
Toffili is pretty well known to DobberHockey regulars. He is one of the most offensively skilled prospects in hockey, and the Kings are going to give him a shot to earn a top six role next season. He is learning the left wing, as Dustin Penner is likely headed to the open market, and the team moved Simon Gagne to Philly a few months ago. If Toffoli gets on a line with Carter/Richards or Kopitar/Brown, he should be in the rookie scoring race.
Longer term sleeper: Linden Vey
Like Toffili, Vey is a phenomenal offensive talent who dominated the CHL ranks before turning pro. He made some big strides in the AHL this season (his second year as a pro), and he finished with 67 points in 74 regular season games for Manchester.
He may be in tough to earn a roster spot in the immediate future, but he also has top six upside. Good hands, good speed, phenomenal hockey sense. These guys usually find a way to make it.
2013-14 sleeper: Zack Phillips
I was going to give Charlie Coyle some props here, but I think he is pretty well known at this point. Phillips projects as the ideal number two or three center behind Koivu/Granlund. He’s crafty, skilled, and he reads the game really well. He’s not physical and not the fleetest of foot, but again, his hockey sense is terrific.
His numbers weren’t great as a rookie pro (eight goals and 27 points in 71 games), and he may not get a full time spot out of camp next year. However, the Wild have to cut some salary, and inserting a few rookies into the lineup may be the way to go. If he can handle third line minutes, he could be their guy.
Longer term sleeper: Erik Haula
The leading scorer at Minnesota this past season (51 points in 37 games), Haula made his pro debut with the Houston Aeros recently, and finished with two points in six regular season games (and two more in five postseason games). He’s not very big, but he has a ton of offensive ability. The Wild are very deep up front, with Coyle, Granlund, Phillips, Bulmer, Zucker, Haula, and a few more guys, too.
Like many Finnish forwards, Haula is scrappy and works very, very hard. Could be suited for a third line wing spot in the future, with some decent peripheral numbers.
As Dave Stubbs writes, there were many silver linings to Montreal’s season,despite the first round flameout.
Where will Michael Ryder go? He’s a UFA, and should have no trouble generating interest. He is exactly what you want from a second line winger. He won’t hurt you defensively, he’s consistent, and he can score goals and generate offense at even strength and on the power play.
Montreal really missed Alexei Emelin after he hurt his knee in April. I was a bit surprised by how much they missed him, actually. I always thought he was a good young defenseman, but without him the defensive pairings really lost some of their balance.
Montreal has a great core in place, though. Eller, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, Prust, and so on. Grit, skill, tenacity. You can see the team Montreal is trying to build up front. It won’t come over night, but many of the pieces are there. Galchenyuk is going to be a superstar in this league.
Lots of surgeries right now – Pekka Rinne had hip surgery to repair a common goaltender ailment, while Colin Wilson got both of his shoulders cleaned up and worked on in the span of a few weeks.
Perhaps the hip was bothering Rinne this season? It is the same surgery Tim Thomas had in 2010, before his Conn Smythe/Vezina season.
Wilson will be out for up to six months – may miss the start of the season. He’s a good player and could slide on draft day. Could be a good late round pick, especially if you can stash him on the IR.
Michael Russo asks –what do the Minnesota Wild do next?
The core pieces are in place, but they need to add depth on the back end, and more scoring up front. Heatley and Setoguchi are not answers. Spurgeon is an underrated defenseman, but the Wild need more help.
They have some young guys in the way. Coyle and Granlund should be on the team next year. Granlund wasn’t ready this season, though. Brodin and Suter are a great pairing, of course, but they can’t do it all on their own.
PM Bouchard and Matt Cullen are UFAs. I doubt either return. Cal Clutterbuck is an RFA and will need a nice new contract, probably in the $2-3 million per range. Do the Wild use an amnesty buyout on Heatley?
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Stat of the day: Zach Parise had recorded at least one SOG in 244 consecutive games before being held without one on Thursday night. That is almost three full regular seasons. Wow.