An absolutely dominant performance from the LA Kings last night.
Three Kings made my top 50 NHL trade value rankings - Kopitar (8), Doughty (11), and Quick (37). If Doughty isn't the best two-way defenseman in hockey, he's right there in the mix. What a defenseman he has developed into.
The pairing of Dan Boyle and Matt Irwin were ventilated by the Kings - tons of scoring chances against, no match for the big and strong forwards on the forecheck.
Antti Niemi was also spectacular, keeping San Jose in the game as best he could. I'd say the Kings had about 10 or 11 Grade A scoring chances, while the Sharks maybe had one or two.
Trevor Lewis - another former 1st round pick who has developed into a really good role player. You don't want role players when you draft these guys, but it sure beats a complete bust. I mention a few more later on today.
This is way, way, way overdue. I apologize as I thought I had covered it already. A huge DobberHockey congratuations to all of our fantasy hockey league winners. Jake S (known as Smack on the forum) won the Experts league with a stellar fantasy performance.
Wales - Steve Woodhall – (promoted from Entry last year)
Campbell – François Gaucher Chicleteur)
Patrick - Simon Castonguay
Norris – Chris Clarke (ccsitdown)
Adams – Brandon Nihmey (Horrorfan)
Smythe – Nick Aumont
Well, buckle up, Avs fans. Things are about to get very interesting. The team announced the hiring of Patrick Roy as coach (and VP of hockey ops). The latter tag allows Roy some input on how the roster is constructed (and also allows for a bigger paycheck I would imagine, as well).
Roy has had a lot of success in the QMJHL as a coach, and he is known for his outbursts (just as he was during his day as a player). He wouldn't have taken this job without the level of input Colorado is letting him have on team building matters.
If nothing else, they will once again be interesting and relevant. Too many years of futility in Colorado.
How does Greg Sherman feel, I wonder? Has to be a bit intimidating to go into a hockey ops meeting with Roy and Joe Sakic.
This is definitely worth expanding into a full column - but does Alex Radulov make a return to the NHL now with Roy in Colorado? Nashville has tried to trade him unsuccessfuly over the past year or so. Would Radulov be willing to forego the final three years of his deal with CSKA?
Jonathan Toews completely unraveled last night – three consecutive penalties (one of them was an embellishment by Abdelkader) – he needed teammate Brent Seabrook to come over to calm him down in the box.
Detroit has completely frustrated Chicago – fantastic coaching by Babcock, and the kids on the back end – Ericsson (who I used to rag on), Smith, and Kindl have all been fantastic. Danny DeKeyser is eying a return from a broken thumb, too.
Danny Cleary scored a goal and he is also having a fantastic series. Interesting to see some former 1st round star prospects evolve into great role players (Cleary, Pyatt, Malhotra, Galiardi, James Sheppard, etc).
Kindl also scored a goal – he had five shots on net – his point shot is heavy, hard, and accurate. Not sure if he has much offensive upside, but you never know with these Wings.
Jimmy Howard deserves a ton of credit, too. 28 save shutout – and he earned it.
Torey Krug scored his third of the postseason – he has a bomb of a point shot.
The Best Bruin was Tyler Seguin – the puck finally went in for him, and he only played 12 minutes, but it was a highly effective 12 minutes. He also ended up with six SOG.
Matt Bartkowski played over 21 minutes last night, and he looked really good, too. He’s comfortable jumping into the play, which is great to see from a rookie defenseman.
Derrick Brassard played almost 26 minutes and ended up with two helpers – think he likes playing in New York?
Carl “awful on the power play” Carl Hagelin also had a goal. He was effective all game long.
John Moore is another Columbus castoff who looks great. I guess castoff isn’t the right word as they were moved for a star winger…
Derek Stepan’s emergence as a legitimate NHL star continues. Two more points last night, and he was a factor almost every time he was on the ice.
It’s also really fun to watch Rick Nash play in games that matter (while not wearing a Canada jersey). He only had an assist, but he was dominant with his size/skill, and went toe-to-toe with Chara on more than one occasion.
Thoughts on the late game up soon.
Assuming the Rangers buy out Brad Richards this summer ($24 million spread over the next 14 years…), where would he go?
Let’s see, what teams could use a top six playmaker with a track record like his?
Off the top of my head – Vancouver, Toronto, Dallas, Anaheim (if Koivu isn’t back), Buffalo, Chicago… I think you are getting the point. Richards could be in high demand this summer (again, if bought out), and he will probably won’t need top dollar to sign anywhere, considering he will still be getting a nice little annuity from New York for a while.
Number 2 is my favourite here:
Could Jhonas Enroth be the Buffalo starter? He thinks he can.
He took another huge step this month. Enroth was named the top goaltender at the world championships after leading Sweden to the gold medal. He went 5-2-1 with a 1.15 goals-against average and .956 save percentage as the co-hosts knocked off Canada, Finland and Switzerland in the elimination round.
“I’ve been growing a lot,” Enroth said. “I want to play more. My goal is to be a starter one year in the NHL, and right now Ryan is the starter here. It’s kind of hard to take the job from him here, but we’ll see what happens.”
I’m a bit surprised Flames prospect Danny Taylor didn’t get an NHL look – he has signed to play in Sweden next year.
The 27-year-old Taylor was a star with the Abbotsford Heat this season, earning the No. 1 job over Barry Brust and celebrated Flames prospect Leland Irving. He posted a 2.05 GAA and .922 save percentage in going 18-10-2 with the AHL team in 2012-13. With the Flames, Irving saw action in just two games, recording a 3.00 GAA with a 1-1 record (his first NHL win came in a 4-2 triumph over Vancouver on March 3) and .912 save percentage. He was waived when the Flames added veteran Joey MacDonald.
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins completed the improbably 3-0 series comeback against the Providence Bruins on Wednesday night.
The Baby Pens and Syracuse (Tampa Bay) will now face off in the AHL’s Eastern Conference Final, starting this Saturday night. We are all well aware of Tampa Bay’s top young prospects, and the Penguins team is very veteran-laden. However, one guy to keep an eye on:
Brian Dumoulin has seven points in 10 postseason games (former NCAA star, two-way defenseman, great skater)
And in the AHL’s Western Conference Final, Grand Rapids and Oklahoma City will do battle (Detroit and Edmonton affiliates).
My latest fitness post – applying progressive overload (layman’s terms – making your workouts harder) to your training.
Garth Snow… GM of the year? He has made some fantastic moves for the Islanders, as this post highlights.
The trades, the patience, working out ways to get talented players in the fold and even managing whatever budget Wang is giving him. Snow has done just about everything you could want from a GM in his circumstances. This even as once-heralded names like Ryan Jankowski left the organization, and as outsiders have claimed that the Isles are spending little to no money on scouting.
Where the cookies are kept:
Took a few questions from yesterday's comments section:
What are your expectations for Brendan Smith next year?
More in line with what I had expected from him this year. He is a high event defenseman - risk taker, skilled, dynamic. Let's go with 5-8 goals and 25-30 points along with solid BS, PIM, Hits, and SOG.
Will Ryan Strome make the Islanders next season and what impact?
I'm not sure. He's good enough, but the Isles have a bit of a logjam at center. If he does make it, I'll say 15 goals and 40 points. In a third/second line role.
After Drouin and Mackinon is Barkov as far ahead of the next forward as the other two are ahead of him? the Is he even the clear cut 3rd overall forward in the draft? And do you take NICHUSHKIN seriously now that he wants to play in NA next year?
I don't know much about Nichuskin, but I have heard only good things. The usual Russian questionmarks surround him, though (as they do every single young Russian). I really like Sean Monohan, too - reminds me a bit of Logan Couture/Jonathan Toews. Not a "wow" player but good at everything.
Barkov is a stud. I'd say he is the clear cut third forward to take in fantasy drafts.
Do playoff players like Krejci, Pavelski or M.Richards actually gain keeper value from post seasons like this?
It depends (easy answer, I know). Pavelski does this every year. Richards too. I think it is important to see how their roles change and to look at underlying numbers (shooting percentages, ice time, PP ice time) - if those numbers are the same and the production is up, I'd consider it a great trend for the future.
Without waiting for the guide...what are your 3YP for Drouin/Mackinnon/Jones/Barkov
Assuming the draft goes Jones to COL, MacKinnon to FLA, Drouin to TBL, and Barkov to NSH...
My three year upside for the following players (somewhat realistic numbers, and different from Dobber's 3YP)
Jones 8-10 goals, 35-40 points
MacKinnon 30-35 goals, 70-75 points
Drouin 25-30 goals, 80-85 points
Barkov - he isn't as polished as the other two - but Nashville is desperate for offense. Could see him hitting 20 goals and 50 points within the first two years. Nothing to write home about, but for Nashville....
Will the Canucks finally draft a player out of the WHL?
Who knows. Their WHL scouting has been horrendous. Missed a ton of early prospects, late round gems (including Brendan Gallagher, who spent four years playing in this city). They need to overhaul their WHL scouts, or at least find a way to tap into a fantastic resource that they are completely overlooking. It's embarassing.