Braden Holtby – 44 save win. He has been beyond sensational for the Caps. When Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth went down, so did the Caps chances of winning, in most people’s eyes. Holtby has given them the stability between the pipes they have lacked for much of the year.
He is exactly what I love about sports – the unpredictability, the feel-good story, the underdog who comes in and steals all of the attention.
Speaking of – consecutive OT game winners for Mikkel Boedker. To date, his NHL career has been a disappointment based on draft ranking. This could be a break out series/postseason for the skilled Dane winger.
Corey Crawford probably would like both goals back, but they all count for the same on the score sheet.
Antoine Vermette had a helper and a massive 11 hits for the ‘Yotes.
Brandon Saad’s game line – no points, no shots, 13 minutes of ice time. He played his shifts with Kane and Toews.
Mike Smith was once again sensational. Kudos to Phoenix for recognizing his potential to fit their system – he was cast aside by the team with the worst goaltending in the league this season. Smith may not have been a fit in Tampa Bay, but you can bet many in that organization are kicking themselves.
Just when you think Martin Brodeur is done…..
Zach Parise was everywhere for the Devils. He had a goal, three shots on goal, and five hits.
The AHL postseason is underway…
Teemu Hartikainen had five shots and a goal for the OKC Barons. He’ll be on the Oilers next season, and could be in the top six. Edmonton loves his mix of size, skill, and two-way play.
Anton Lander also had a goal and five shots for the Barons.
Joe Colborne had two helpers for the Marlies, as they took their first game 4-3 over Rochester.
Florida prospect Nick Bjugstad hasn’t decided if he is going to turn pro yet.
“A source close to Bjugstad said he remains undecided on what he will do, leaning one way one day, the other way the next day, so he is giving himself more time to be sure.
The Florida Panthers, who took him in the first round of the 2010 NHL draft, have told him the decision is his. He could have already signed with them and been playing for the Panther's AHL affiliate, San Antonio.”
Bjugstad projects as a point-a-game center capable of playing in all situations.
Congrats to Reagan (known as Rayzin on DobberHockey) for winning $100 to The Fan Zoo. Someone will be in touch with you to give you your price.
“If the Lightning do pull off this trade it will not help the defense in front of goal, which was just a big of a problem this season as the goaltending. Instead of pulling in a true, top-pair defensemen they would have to rely on internal players or second-tier players similar to ones already on their roster. Should Hedman be part of the package heading back to Vancouver an argument could be made that the defense would be weaker. Bringing in a world-class goalie doesn’t do any good if he has to make 35-40 saves on a nightly basis. That’s a recipe that will lead to a lot of 5-4 games.
What pieces would the Lightning have to send back to Vancouver for their embattled goaltender? Probably one of their first round picks this year or next year, a high-caliber prospect and a roster player with a significant salary-cap number. At first blush, Lecavalier would be the albatross contract going the other way, but there is no way the Canucks take the $7.7 million hit for a player that doesn’t really fit into their line-up. Their top two centers (Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler) are signed long-term and Lecavalier won’t be brought in to be a third-line pivot man.”
Now that Mark Scheifele’s OHL season has ended, he has been assigned to Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate. It will be interesting to see how he handles the pro game. The IceCaps are facing off against Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse in the first round of the AHL postseason.
Scheifele likely won’t suit up until game three though, as the first two games are in Syracuse and he doesn’t have a Visa to play in the States.
Ivan Telegin, Scheifele’s Barrie teammate and another Winnipeg prospect, injured his knee during the final game of the Colts playoff run and won’t report to the IceCaps.
“During the season, Silfverberg scored 54P (24G, 30A) in 49GP and was named the league's MVP--a feat he followed up by earning playoff MVP honours, as well. He had 20P (13G, 7A) in 17 playoff games, his 13 goals surpassing the record set in 2005 by none other than Daniel Alfredsson.``
Lidstrom's coach, Mike Babcock, covered both sides of the coin when he was asked about it today. "I'd be shocked if he retires," Babcock said. "But I've been shocked before."
Due to a Coldplay concert, the Canucks and Kings won`t play game five until Sunday. Not sure the extended break benefits either team.
Rookie Zack Kassian will likely sit out game five – he has looked overwhelmed with the speed of the NHL game. To be fair, he is seeing very, very limited minutes, and it is tough to do much when your job is to chip the puck in and skate to the bench. That being said, the Canucks may opt for more of a veteran presence with Byron Bitz.
This doesn`t change Kassian`s long term value at all – he wasn`t expected to play much of a role in the run this spring. Makes the Cody Hodgson trade more interesting, as he would be a nice piece on Vancouver`s second PP unit. He would have had serious troubles at even strength against the size of LA`s centers, though.
Speaking of Vancouver prospects… NicKlas Jensen`s AHL debut has gone about as well as anyone could have anticipated. He plays the game like Rick Nash (not the same upside, obviously) – big, good skater, and very patient with the puck. His upside is intriguing – I didn`t think he looked out of place during preseason action last fall.
Jensen had two goals in Chicago`s first playoff game against San Antonio after recording a hat trick in the final regular season game.
Slava Voynov has been LA`s most dangerous defenseman this series – he is better defensively than you would think, too (playing with Willie Mitchell definitely helps in that regard). He`s big, a good skater, and confident with the puck on his stick. The Jack Johnson trade opened up a spot for him, and he is more than ready for it. He may overtake Drew Doughty as LA`s go-to offensive guy if Drew can`t right the ship next season.