Kris Letang’s injury – day to day – is officially lower body. And his leg bent a little funny when he was run into the boards by Zubrus (I think it was because of the stupid touch-icing race – pretty sure, in fact now that I remember it). But I’m still a tad concerned that it’s his head. Again, this will be a concern for the next year or two, anytime he gets hit in the head. He is definitely a Band-Aid Boy though – certified, now updated.
Speaking of Band-Aid Boys, how about that Taylor Hall? After shoulder surgery, he is looking at nearly six months of rehab. It may cut into his training camp time, but shouldn’t. It will be close. But I remember in January advising a friend to trade him for the win. He insisted on hanging onto him because he’s a future superstar. I just told him “two injuries in less than two seasons – I’m worried he’s a Band-Aid Boy”. I talked him into it – and today he’s walking away with the title and Hall has had two more injuries.
It’s like the Leafs have been trying to get into the draft lottery over the last two months. Well played. Well played. At this point, they’re in the lottery and with a few more losses they can easily get the second overall pick. That’s really the only way they can get a superstar – a Top 2 pick. And this team won’t be good without a) a superstar and b) a stud goalie. Neither grow on trees. But seriously, they’re a contender if they had Henrik Lundqvist and Zach Parise. Two players to get from Bottom 3 to Top 3. But that ain’t happening. However, getting a Grigorenko and making a bold offer for a bright young goalie like a Cory Schneider and you’ll finally take that step forward.
There was speculation that the Leafs could make a play for Zach Parise this summer, as well they should. As I said, superstars don’t grow on trees so if you can get one, you should. Brad Richards is not a superstar. Zach Parise is. So you pretend to make a play for Richards, without really “trying”, so the whiners are satisfied. And then you make a serious play for a real superstar a year later.
They say James Reimer had an upper body injury. Jonas Gustavsson gave up three goals pretty quickly and wouldn’t you know it – Jussi Rynnas gets in and stops all 10 shots. The Leafs – Zero “A” or “B” goalies, but five “B-“ or “C+” goalies in their system. Weird, and tough scenario to be in.
Jussi Jokinen has eight points in his last six games.
Caps fans have to be pissed off. Are you kidding me? That was Game 7 of a playoff series right there. Up against Buffalo, at home, and they blow it badly. So McPhee, how is that “let’s stop the run-and-gun offense and tighten up and focus on our defense” thing working out for you? I keep shaking my head at this. They face one hot goalie and decide to revamp the entire system. Stupid. And I’m hearing Dale Hunter may step down this summer if they miss the playoffs. Apparently he’s quite happy in London with the Knights.
I started watching the Caps game, turned to the Penguins when the Caps were letting the Sabres walk all over them. Then I switched to the other big game of the night – Nashville vs. St. Louis. At this point, these are my two favorites in the West to go deep. The game made for a great preview – St. Louis dominated, but the Preds are still meshing.
Another shutout for Brian Elliott – the 15th for the Blues this season.
Viktor Stalberg had seven shots on net last night and has 15 shots in his last three games. Great season, and the key for me is that he’s stayed healthy, which gives him the time he needs to develop and reach his potential.
Stamkos two goals…Malkin two assists. Time has run out to close this gap in the scoring race and barring an injury, it’s obviously Malkin’s.
Two names on the scoring summaries that I haven’t seen in awhile thanks to injuries – Alex Steen and Rich Peverley.
Benoit Pouliot has 12 points in his last 10 games and plus-10 in that span, plus-19 on the year.
The Flyers signed prospect Nick Cousins to an ELC. He is ranked 185 on my Prospect Rankings, still several years away. He led the Soo Greyhounds in scoring with 88 points in 65 games (sixth in the OHL).
Ilya Bryzgalov has a chip fracture in his right foot. Apparently he’ll only miss a few games, if that.
My column for Puck Daddy yesterday.
The Wild signed prospect Jason Zucker to an ELC. He sits 139th on my prospects list, but with several young potential stars on the way he probably won’t make the team next year or the year after. However, he’s with the club now and may see a couple of games down the stretch to show what he’s got and get a leg up. He’ll need a leg up, with Granlund on the way and both Coyle and Larsson looking strong.
Reilly Smith has solved his visa issues and is available to dress for Dallas tonight. Something to keep an eye on.
Logan Couture has seven points in his last 13 games since his good buddy Jamie McGinn was traded.
Brendan Morrison has been scratched 18 times by the Blackhawks. Found that interesting.
For more tidbits on last night’s games, take a look at today’s Studs and Duds
Tough finding clips these last couple of days… here’s Gudbranson vs. White:
Pominville putting the nail in Washington's coffin?