I love the community here, and the commenters are fabulous! Sometimes, as is the case with Hakan Loob (great handle by the way) below, they go off the deep end. "Overrate the Penguins much, Dobber?" I doubt it, Hakan. It's possible, but I doubt it. Your argument - "they're a fourth place team!". My argument - "...without Sidney Crosby for 60 games and Kris Letang for 40". Come on man! I love a good discussion, but this is no contest! A better argument would be - what about the Red Wings of the late 90's? You'd have an excellent case there, and judging by the last three games you'd have a winning case there. But with everyone healthy, the Penguins are - on paper - one of the two or three best teams that have stepped onto the ice in 20 years. That's the problem with paper - it burns! It crumples! But, seeing the forest through the trees let's get to what my point was - Pittsburgh is a good team, even the most negative Pittsburgh hater has to grudgingly admit that - and nobody would have placed a single dollar wager on a Philly sweep. Nobody.
I try not to see through rose-colored glasses when it comes to teams, but I also try not to dive overboard off a sinking ship either. I give things time and assess over the long term. I was one of the very few last summer who loved what the Flyers did. Big picture!
It's looking like my Fantasy Prospects List will be up later today, as I'm full throttle into it this morning. Sorry for the delay - a record-setting delay, as I've never been so late. But with the end of the season, the upcoming launch, and then I was away on the weekend... this slipped through the cracks. If I were to guess, I would say 5pm ET.
Vigilante justice. That was my theme here yesterday. And then we watched the Penguins/ Flyers game. Crosby fights Giroux – the only way to get two bigger names is if Gretzky and Lemieux laced up the skates again. Letang gets kicked out of the game. Timonen gets kicked out of the game. Asham out of the game. Yeah, that’s the first period.
The Pens result is the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen in hockey. To me, the Penguins have the best team that I’ve seen in twenty years – the skill, depth, grit, coaching and everyone’s healthy. They aren’t having problems scoring. In fact, despite Philadelphia playing almost perfect defense and Ilya Bryzgalov being very strong in net, the Pens are still scoring a lot of goals. But the Flyers have been so aggressive and persistent on the forecheck that it’s making the Penguins defense look weak. I don’t think the defense has been that weak – I just think the Flyers have been that strong. And when you add in the fact that Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t stopping beachballs right now, you have a team in trouble.
With Fleury – and I said this during their Cup run – you know when he’s on. You know it right away. And you know when he’s off. If a player rushes down the wing into his zone, you’re either confident that he’ll stop it or you’re pretty certain it’s going in. Can’t put my finger on why, but it’s true. You know right away, your gut tells you on the first rush. Fleury was pulled after the second period. Brent Johnson gave up two goals, but at least the gut feeling wasn’t telling me “it’s going in” every rush anymore.
It was Matt Read’s turn to be awesome. Braydon Schenn took Game 1, Sean Couturier took Game 2. Now Read. So there you go – he’s played 82 NHL games now, has 26 goals, 24 assists and 50 points. Nice start. More to come.
It seems like more, but only twice in Daniel Briere’s NHL career did he finish a regular season with more than a point per game. Yet in the playoffs, he has 101 career points in 100 career games. Money.
Lost in the shuffle was the fact that Pascal Dupuis’ 19-game points streak came to an end.
As I noted in my THN article out later today – with Kevin Klein, Mike Fisher, Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn all tallying points Sunday, there are only three Preds left who have yet to get on the board after three games – Ryan Suter, Roman Josi and Jack Hillen.
The Detroit- Nashville series is another good one that I wish was in the third round. The seeding system is messed up. Just go to two conferences.
Pekka Rinne faces 17 shots and loses, but then faces 43 shots and wins. Thrives on action.
Carl Hagelin was suspended for three playoff games for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson. This could mean Chris Kreider gets in – or not. I’d love to see it though. Matt Carkner was suspended for one game for using Brian Boyle as a punching bag.
Things I didn’t know – Chris Stewart was a healthy scratch for Game 2. Just read that. No explanation for why his game has fallen off.
Toronto goalie Ben Scrivens led the AHL with a 2.04 GAA and won the “Hap Holmes Award”, which is their version of the Jennings. Chris Bourque won the AHL scoring title, while Tampa’s Cory Conacher was the top goal scorer (as well as the AHL MVP and rookie of the year).
I think Conacher is worth drafting for what he could do in the 2015-16 NHL season. I hope he gets a chance to make the big club in the fall.
Andrei Loktionov, thanks for donning the jersey. That 3:45 you played was crucial (not).
Cory Schneider got the start and took the loss, despite his team outshooting Los Angeles 41-20. A goalie duel.
I posted this yesterday, but will re-post in case you miss - This week, I hope to re-launch the Dobber sites and introduce to you a new website. While that is being done, I am addressing some security issues (just some idiots planting harmless but annoying spam on some pages). I’ll also be addressing recent issues that have come up with regards to accessing the site via mobile phone. For what I figure has been about 10 days now, some of you have been unable to access DobberHockey. For now, give DobberHockey.mobi a try.
Tentative re-launch and new site launch was tomorrow (the 17th). I will delay this until Thursday the 19th – which is still tentative, but the fact that I’m spouting dates should indicate that things are close. You will love the new website though, I guarantee it.
I could show 50 great clips of this game, but this is a fine example of the Pens/Flyers series to date. Terrible Fleury… and lots of scrapping: