Ilya Bryzgalov was named as the NHL's First Star for March - in 13 starts, he had a 1.43 GAA and a .947 save percentage.

 

Nick Grossman is out for a week or two (of course he is, he is a Flyers defenseman after all). Sounds like he will be good to go for game one of round one, though.

 

Happy Birthday to Darryl "the Dobber" Dobbs!

 

Angus here - subbing in for Dobber today.


From the Twitter of Jonathan Willis: “With tonight's win, Dubnyk is now 0.500 on the season (20-18-2). Khabibulin is 15 games under 0.500 (12-20-7).”

 

Tim Thomas was sensational at MSG yesterday, stealing two points for the Bruins. Boston clinched second in the East.

 

Tomas Fleischmann is on pace to play every game this season, and he’s going to break the 60 point mark, as well. Pretty solid season, and Florida’s gamble is paying off (to date, at least).

 

The Oilers put rookie Teemu Hartikainen on the top line with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle, and they were rewarded. The Finn had two goals (both in the first period).

 

Ryan Getzlaf led the Ducks with six shots on goal. None of them, however, ended up in the net.

 

Getzlaf has ONE goal since the All-Star Break. 32 games. Beyond awful. Imagine the backlash he would be getting if he played in a bigger market.

 

Last night could have been Devin Setoguchi’s best game as a member of the Wild – tons of scoring chances, and he showed a chippy edge as well. He finished the game with three points and four shots on goal.

 

Nick Leddy – assist machine. He has 37 on the season now – 15th among all NHL defensemen.

 

So that Radulov sure is struggling to adjust to the NHL…. Some were worried he would try to be too fancy or his game wouldn’t translate – talent knows no languages or ice surface sizes. The guy can flat out play hockey at an elite level.

 

I’d be very afraid if I were Wings goalie Jimmy Howard – Radulov looks poised for a big first round (assuming Detroit and Nashville meet up… Chicago could find its way into the picture too).

 

Top WHL scorers through round one of the playoffs:

 

Ty Rattie and Sven Bartschi have combined for 12 goals and 24 points in four games. Rattie had 10 games in that span.

 

Emerson Etem had seven goals and five helpers in a four game sweep. He’s going to be in the NHL next year.

 

Brendan Gallagher has five goals and 10 points through the five games of the series (also has 14 PIM). He’ll also be in the NHL next year – it will be interesting to see how the Habs fit him in. Such a smart player.

 

Game six between the two teams was last night, but it wasn’t over at the time I wrote these ramblings. I’ll update the results later on today.

 

Dorsett’s 12 goals and 218 PIM is one of the better under-the-radar fantasy seasons I have come across. For a pure PIM player (Dorsett’s fantasy hockey role, at least), 12 goals of production is quite impressive.

 

Henrik Sedin has been really good lately – much stronger with the puck and more decisive offensively. 12 assists in the last 10 games – he won’t even hit 15 goals, but he is a lock to win the assist crown again.

 

Sedin has had at least 55 assists in each of his past seven seasons.

 

Weber and Suter – on pace for a combined 27 goals and 99 points.

 

Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo – on pace for a combined 21 goals and 96 points.

 

I’d expect Yandle and Ekman-Larsson to be battle Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk as the highest scoring defensive duo next season.

 

For all of the flack he gets (including from me), Patrick Marleau is fourth in the entire NHL in goals over the last three seasons (109).

 

Over the last three seasons, Henrik Sedin has 44 more assists than any other NHL player. Pretty impressive.

 

Burrows, Sedin, and Sedin are 1-2-3 in combined plus-minus for forwards over the past three years, too. Plus-83, 82, and 80, respectively. Shows the even strength dominance that the trio has had over that time.

 

Alex Semin is in fourth at plus-65, just to show that plus-minus is far from the end-all, be-all measure of defensive acumen (with the right context it is useful, though).

 

Parise and Ovechkin are the only players in the league to record at least one shot on goal in every single game this season.

 

An interesting stat – Patrik Elias is third in the league in terms of percentage of games with at least a point (over 70). Malkin and Stamkos, unsurprisingly, are one and two.

 

Interesting idea – why doesn’t the NHL award the draft lottery’s highest odds to the 17th best team (the team closest to making the playoffs without getting in), and the second best odds to the 18th best team… and so on. Reward teams for trying to win and trying to get in the playoffs.

 

May open a can of worms for some other issues, but I can’t see a team in playoff contention purposely losing games, even for a crack at a really good prospect.

 

A professional sports organization openly accepting losing and tanking is an embarrassment to the sport. Pittsburgh sucked for a few years, but they righted the ship with smart veteran signings and a stable base for the young talent to grow – same thing in Chicago.

 

So…. Flyers vs. Penguins, anyone?

 

I only caught the tail end of the third period, but I saw about three games worth of rough stuff and action.

 

Highlights of the game include Giroux and Crosby going head-to-head (Giroux is like a slightly worse Crosby at everything, and I mean that as a compliment), and Scott Hartnell impersonating a fan who was impersonating Hulk Hogan.

 

Giroux’s line: one goal, two assists, 20 minutes of ice time, and 14-for-28 at the faceoff circle.

 

Crosby’s line:  two assists, seven shots on goal, 22 minutes of ice time, and 15-for-30 at the faceoff circle.

 

Another late season game full of PIM – how many of you had your playoff week decided by the game yesterday?

 

Voracek has quietly had a very strong season for the Flyers – he had three points and four shots in only 14 minutes of ice time yesterday. He’s going to be a mainstay in the top six next season, and could be the top line winger with Giroux and Hartnell (assuming Jagr doesn’t return – I haven’t heard much either way on the issue).

 

Couturier’s understated rookie season continues – it is incredible that a playoff calibre team is leaning heavily on a teenager as their main match up forward. He had a helper in 18 minutes last night, the bulk of it spend checking Malkin.

 

Kyle Turris had quite the afternoon for the Sens, who clinched a playoff spot. Two goals, two assists, and eight shots on goal.

 

Spezza missed the game due to family reasons – Jesse Winchester took the bulk of his ice time and faceoff situations (and he went 10-for-14 on the draw).

 

Daniel Alfredsson also missed the game with the flu.

 

With a strong finish to the season, Mark Streit could hit 50 points. He hasn’t been his usually dominant self this season, his production is still quite good. I think he’s in for a big 2012-13 season, especially with the talent he has to play with up front…

 

… Assuming the Isles actually become a good team at some point.

 

Such a sweet goal from Radulov...


Write comment
Comments (23)add comment

pbhockey4 said:

pbhockey4
... @ Isle B.

Maybe you didn't intend to bash Angus personally, but the tone of your post, more specifically the first couple sentences made it seem like you did. If you didn't mean for it to come off that way, my apologies and no big deal...but as an outside observer your negative tone made it seem like you were bashing Angus personally (the sentence that starts with "This is just a bad conservative notion..." is not the most constructive way to disagree with someone. Either way, in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure Angus, Dobber, and co get plenty of negative/overly critical comments because that's part of the deal, and if you didn't mean for it to come off like that, then it's a moot point.

As for the ESPN article, the one that I was referring to and hyperlinked was the 5-year lottery system, which would help reduce tanking and promote the true "bottom of the barrel" teams. I totally agree with your comments about the different sports franchises over the years and the cyclical nature of many, as well as the Avs/Nordiques fortunes. However, my argument wasn't operating under the assumption that the 17th place team gets the 1st overall pick, etc, etc. Thus, though the Avs may not have gotten Landeskog last year in the 5-year lottery system, they still would have gotten a fairly decent first round pick. It's not a perfect system, but in the short term it awards teams that still fight and claw for every point while simultaneously helping out teams that commit to rebuilding and often stinking for 3-4 years. Also, this system would place more emphasis on scouting, development, player movement, and the value of draft picks, which could be a good or bad thing depending on the organization (a last place finish wouldn't guarantee a top blue chip prospect the following year).
April 02, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... @Pbhockey4

How did I bash Jeff Angus personally? My comments were completely specific to his idea that there is a tanking problem in the NHL that needs to be resolved and that giving the best team out of the playoffs the first overall pick is a viable solution. The ESPN article was both specific to systemic realities of the NBA (namely, the way the league's salary cap functions and the incredible impact one single player can make) and was nonsensical in its own right with a faulty premise that seemed to boil down to 'the Sacramento Kings haven't drafted particularly well lately, so why waste a high draft pick on such a lousy franchise?'. Sports franchises' successes are largely cyclical. Sure, there are a handful like the Red Wings, Yankees, Spurs and Patriots that manage to stay in the upper echelon for over a decade and then there are a handful like the Islanders, Pirates, Wizards and Redskins who have had almost no success for well over a decade. However the other 90% wax and wane cyclically and this is largely because the worst teams get the high draft picks. If the Nordiques didn't get top picks after dreadful seasons 20-25 years ago, they never would have been able to draft Sakic, Sundin and Lindros and they would not have had a sustained run of excellence from their last season in Quebec until the end of Joe Sakic's career. Since then the Avs' fortunes have waned but if they don't get the chance to draft Duchene and Landeskog then it would take them forever to get better, interest in the team would eventually wane and there would eventually be no more Avalanche.
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

pbhockey4 said:

pbhockey4
tanking Not sure why so many people are so adamantly bashing Angus's lottery idea...while I wouldn't vote for his proposed system, I think that he brings up a good point. And while there are teams out there that might not be tanking, I'm sure every Columbus fan is finding solace in the likelihood of getting Nail Yakupov, much like I was happy that the Avs were able to grab Landeskog after their horrid 5-25-2 post all-star break tank job last season. I'm not saying that the players themselves are purposely tanking, but rather that the coaches/management set up the tanking. When the upper levels set up a culture of losing, it's hard for any player or players to right the ship and try to get things going. Didn't Vinny Prospal make some comment to that effect earlier this season? I think the important part of Angus's idea is that there needs to be a system that provides penalties for tanking and incentives to win even when the playoffs are not a possibility. As happy as I was to get Landeskog last year, what the Avs did was absolutely pathetic and embarrassing to watch...definitely not good for the sport of hockey or the city of Denver. If a system can be created to provide incentives for teams to put their best foot forward regardless of their playoff hopes (management included), I think it would be great for the game of hockey. I think Screaming Jawa was on to something, and would suggest something like this article (taken off the tanking article that he posted): http://espn.go.com/blog/trueho...ar-lottery

Sure, the players might not want to tank, and it may be entirely the front office's fault for any team that "purposely" does it--but that doesn't make it excusable nor does that make the idea of tanking any more philosophically "good." I don't know if there's an easy to fix to the problem, but that doesn't mean we should deny that a problem exists and bash Angus personally (talking about you Isle B.). At least he had the balls to throw out an idea...all you did was try to make him look like a fool.
April 02, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... better idea: relegation playoffs. let's go!
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Screaming Jawa said:

Screaming Jawa
Tanking I'd agree that the players do give it their all. They're professionals and don't like to lose.

However, it's not the players on a team who tank, really, it's the front office. Management either doesn't help put the team in a position to win, or they prevent winning in order to get better picks.

I believe this article was posted somewhere on this site, recently. Its focus is on the NBA, but it's a good read:
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/39318/tanking-is-the-tip-of-the-iceberg
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Darcy S said:

swamp_mule
lottery What professional sports organization is "openly accepting losing and tanking"? The players still play for pride and try to win and mgmt and coaching can only do so much to try and influence the outcome. Not a well-thought idea ...
April 02, 2012
Votes: +1

mick said:

hawkdog
burrows pretty impressive plus/minus for a guy who plays the PK but not the PP (for the most Part)
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Bender said:

baconnol
Great Ramblings I also disagree with the lottery comment, if a team is bad then they are bad and changing this wouldn't help. I'm also curious where Radulov plays next year, sounds like he might spend one more year in Russia? Although if he just left, how could they force him to buy out the last year of his salary like they say?
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

steve laidlaw said:

metaldude26
Grossmann It's Grossmann with two N's. Normally I wouldn't make a fuss but he played like ten years with his team and the NHL misspelling it with one N. After the trade to the Flyers he felt it was important to correct the mistake and I think he deserves to have it spelt properly.
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... It's called an opinion. Mine and yours differ. Thanks for presenting your case, Isle B.

Pengwin - do you have a quota of one negative critique per day? If so, you are right on course.

Louis-Alexandre - fair point. I think Gallagher is more NHL ready than Leblanc, but he won't see a big role. He is able to play more of an energy role which is why I like his chances at making the team.
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... That is not an interesting idea. This just seems like a bad conservative notion filtering down throughout the culture to infect and affect even conjecture as to how sports leagues operate (and I thought you were spared FOX News north of the border!). Where are all these tanking teams anyway? Didn't the Leafs just beat the Sabres in a game the Sabres absolutely had to have? Didn't the Wild just beat the Kings in a come-from-behind shootout win, costing the Kings a critical point in the standings? Didn't the Islanders just sweep the Pens in a home-and-home, ending any hope the Pens might have had at 1st in the East and the President's Trophy? Aren't the Blue Jackets on a 3-game winning streak? Aren't the Oilers 6-2-2 in their last 10? In general aren't the rosters of the 10 or so teams eliminated from the playoffs filled with players who are soon-to-be UFAs and RFAs, players gunning for bigger roles next year, late-season callups looking to prove they ought to stick in the NHL, recently traded players eager to turn the page and start fresh, players trying hard to get their legs back after stints on the IR and long-time veterans who may be playing the last games of their careers and players? Do you think Teemu Selanne would waste his time playing at half speed? Do you think Jordan Eberle or Phil Kessel or John Tavares don't want to score anymore goals this season? Do you think any of these players are jaking it just so their franchise has a few more lottery balls in a drawing a couple of weeks from now?
April 02, 2012
Votes: +1

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Mercy... come on Interesting idea – why doesn’t the NHL award the draft lottery’s highest odds to the 17th best team (the team closest to making the playoffs without getting in), and the second best odds to the 18th best team… and so on. Reward teams for trying to win and trying to get in the playoffs.

Come on, Angus... do you actually think that NHL players on bad teams aren't trying their hardest? Let's just keep shoveling dirt on the bad teams.

Did you watch any of the Columbus guys giving it their all over the last week?
These guys still want to win... they are still trying.

{shaking head... awful, awful, awful idea.}
April 02, 2012
Votes: +2

Lukasz said:

pahlsson26
Getzlaf part 2 here's a recent example of Getzlaf's luck

video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=169409
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Jeremy Wark said:

jer_33
... Add a clause to the lottery draft that says you can only win it once in any 5 year period, following 5 seasons you get no chance.
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Lukasz said:

pahlsson26
Getzlaf Before this season, Getzlaf has scored 126 goals on 997 shots, which is a 12.6 shooting %. This year, he scored 9 goals on 182 shots, which is a 4.9 shooting %. I think he'll bounce back next season. He's had incredibly bad luck this year with hitting posts, missing empty nets, being robbed about dozen of times by many different goalies. Also, he's averaged 2.30 shots per game this season, but in last 22 games it's been 3.18, so it looks like he's finally inclined to shoot the puck more often.
April 02, 2012
Votes: +1

JD said:

JD88
Suggesting ONLY! I love that you highlighted the names with links LOVE IT!!!!!Can I suggest though that you make it so that when you click on the name it opens in a new tab / window instead of changing the page??? Like I said just a suggestion and again LOVE the links!!!!!
April 02, 2012
Votes: +1

Louis-Alexandre Jalbert said:

louisjab
Brendan Gallagher I don't see him with the Habs next year. The team is notoriously slow with its prospects (only PK Subban forced the hand of the management) and the two top lines are already set for next year (Cole-Desharnais-Pacioretty and Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta). I'm not even talking about this year first round draft pick who could be fast-tracked. Even if he makes the team, he wouldn't see much ice time, like Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc this year. Maybe he would be better playing first line minutes with the Bulldogs for a year.
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

flex22 said:

flex22
Number One Pick As an Oilers fan who has had a hard time cheering for my team to win as I wanted that number one pick the last couple of seasons, I much prefer this idea, Dobber:

http://www2.canada.com/story.html?id=6247584
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

hazetech said:

haze_tech
... I have two small question for you Jeff,

I know you see almost all Canuks game. What about the Sedin/Sedin/Burrows. My impression is that they won't be togeter for a long time. Do you have the same impression.

Then, for Getzlaf, what is your call for the next season. Do you think he will keep this mediocrity ? This guy is a quite good multi-cat player (PIM). But it seem that his points are constantly going down. Is it just a bad year ?

By the way, thanks for your good job !
April 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
Defensive scoring And Karlsson and Gonchar are on pace for .....? Oh about 118 points.
April 02, 2012
Votes: +1

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... and this is what people were referring to when they said Radulov might take time to adjust (and he still might -the games right now are virtually meaningless)

McPhee talking about Kuznetsov:

“He should be here next year. He’s ready to play here and he needs to play in a better league,” McPhee said prior to the start of Washington’s game against Buffalo on Friday night. “Sometimes when you’re not playing at the highest level you can develop bad habits. We don’t want that stuff to become engrained — so get him to the best league you can and get working with him.”

For Radulov it's different because he already played junior and 2 years of NHL over here.
April 01, 2012
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... I don't see anyone in the NHL taking. Year after year tall the shitty teams win at the end of the year. Look at the Wild, avdn even the Oilers the last little bit.
April 01, 2012
Votes: +1

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... If Voracek had better touch with the puck, he'd be 80-90 pts easily. His hands are his weak point however. As a long time fantasy player, heavy PIM games late in the season is not unusual.
April 01, 2012
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy