Happy Mother’s Day for all the mothers out there on Dobberhockey. Also a timely reminder for those who happen to have “forgotten” it was Mother’s Day today.
Huge Game Seven win for the Rangers as they won a tight-knit series against the Caps. They’ll face the Devils on Monday night at MSG.
Rangers are now 5-0 in Game Sevens at MSG, which could influence the next series if the Devils and Rangers get to Game Seven.
Teams scoring first are still maintaining a healthy win percentage 45-23 (66.2 percent).
The numbers are normalizing in terms of home ice advantage. Home teams are now 31-37 during these playoffs. The first round went 18-30 in favour for the away teams, while the second round went 13-7 in favour for the home teams. Which way does the puck bounce in the third round?
Defense taking over during the playoffs or is it just better quality goaltending? Regular season goals per game (5.08), compared to post-season goals per game (4.94). .914 SP for goalies during the regular season and .920 in the playoffs.
With four “defense-first” teams making the conference finals, how will this shape fantasy hockey next campaign? My initial thought is that it’s going to be negatively affected, because of the “copy the winning formula” mentality. We’re slowly returning back towards the “dead puck” era of the NHL again. The point-per-game players are going to be dwindling and obsolete fairly soon.
I put the over/under for the remaining three series of the playoffs at 75. Over or under?
The difference in the Caps/Rangers series for me came down to Game Seven. The “stars” from each team were expected to be the difference-makers. Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto combined for four points along with 16 SOG, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 23 shots that he faced. On the flip side, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Semin and Mike Green combined for zero points and nine SOG while Braden Holtby turned aside 29 of 31. Edge to the Rangers, hence they won.
So what happens to the Caps in the off-season? Alex Semin, Jeff Halpern, Keith Aucoin, Dennis Wideman and Tomas Vokoun are all UFA. Mike Green will be a RFA. Green, Semin and Vokoun are probably the only note-worthy names to keep an eye on.
Despite his injury history, Green’s skill-set will be highly sought-after. He could be a boom-or-bust candidate for any team willing to offer sheet him to put the Caps in a tough spot.
Does Semin walk? There have been numerous reports from fellow team mates regarding his “care factor” and with just four points in 14 playoff contests (34 points in 51 career playoff contests), it’d be hard to argue what Matt Bradley said about him is completely false. Would any teams even want him? Where would be a good fit?
With Holtby’s great playoff run, you can safely assume that Vokoun will be out of the goaltending picture for the Caps next season. There will be a few teams looking at snagging his services and offering him a long-term offer in the off-season (Leafs!!!!).
Dale Hunter non-committal on returning to the Caps for next season.
Update on the DobberHockey Playoff pool. “Johnny Noreau” leading the way with 184 points while still with nine players remaining. “David Lynch” coming in second just two points behind but also has nine players remaining. “Michel Sengsay” rounding out the top-three with 176 points and 11 players remaining. Leading the “expert” crew Tim Lucarelli closing in on the top-five with 171 points. Yours truly with 142 points, but still have a few Devils remaining to help catch me up. Dobber with 108 (shakes head...)
Adrian Aucoin out of tonight’s Game One contest.
The New Yorker a bit harsh on Martin Brodeur.
“Martin Brodeur’s accomplishments are many: he has won more games, and recorded more shutouts, than any other goalie in history. He owns four Vezina trophies, three Stanley Cup rings, and two Olympic gold medals. Yet he has not, as Devils fans know, been an exceptional playoff goalie, the kind who steals batches of games in which his team appears obviously overmatched. For all those Cups, he has not, for instance, been awarded the Conn Smythe trophy, which recognizes the postseason M.V.P., and which goalies win disproportionately.”
Which falls fairly closely in line with Dobber’s opinion of him. Lucky, yours truly thought differently. I’m calling it again, Brodeur for Conn Smythe!
Brodeur’s career regular season stats vs. the Rangers: 46-29-15-5, 2.12 GAA along with a .918 SP. 3-3, 1.99 GAA along with a .916 SP vs. New York this campaign.
NHL.com has a great breakdown of the series.
Sergei Fedorov reportedly set to become GM of KHL’s CSKA Moscow. Impact on the NHL could be huge if home grown Russians are deciding to return home and beginning to run KHL clubs. They would have more “star/status” power to keep potential younger talented Russian prospects at home instead of sending them off the NHL route, which would make the KHL an even bigger threat to the NHL.
Ouch! Imagine rocking up to work to find this on your desk. Only problem is that it’s only 1000 fans, the Jackets averaged 16,123 per game (still about 1400 more than Phoenix), this season, until that plummets to say 10,000 or the owner has lost complete faith in GM Scott Howson, it’ll remain status quo in Columbus. Which makes it near impossible to answer the following question, does Rick Nash stay or go?
Eric Dahatschek of the Globe and Mail speculates why Ryan Suter will remain in Nashville and makes some “key” arguments. If Suter wants to go to a “championship” team, well there’s been eight winners in the last eight seasons, so what determines if they’re a championship team or not? If Phoenix wins the cup, does Suter automatically go there because they are a “championship” team? Also 20 of the 30 NHL teams recorded 88 points or more, so a team that “missed the playoffs” could easily have made it in with a couple of wins instead of losses. LA would have been out if it with three less victories. My guess is he follows the money, the team that “Jerry Maguires” their way to Suter will win out.
Bruce Boudreau re-ups with the Ducks for another two years, which is a great signing for the Ducks. The Ducks were 27-23-8 with him at the helm (over a full 82-game season, which would have been equivalent to a 38-33-11 record). Look for them to be back into playoff contention next season as the cavalry of Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelly and Peter Holland arrive.
Ilya Bryzgalov saga in Philly is starting to get interesting with GM Paul Holmgren’s rebuttal. I’ve brought this topic up before in the forums back in January. When he’s on his game, Bryz is one of the best goalies in the world, but when his head is not in the game, he stinks. Just look at his splits in terms of wins and losses. In wins, he has a 1.81 GAA along with a .936 SP. In losses, he has a 3.44 GAA along with a .865 SP. There’s such a disparity in numbers that I don’t know if he’s consistent enough to be considered “elite”. I mean you can look at Lundy, Pekka Rinne, Jon Quick and to a certain extent Roberto Luongo, you could make reasonable cases for those guys to be considered “elite”, but could you make a similar case for Bryz?
Bryz’ 17-19-3 playoff record along with a 2.81 GAA and run of the mill .908 SP isn’t exactly a strong case to prove otherwise. So did Dave Tippet and the Phoenix defense buoy his stats to make him a better goalie than he really is the last couple of seasons or does Bryz have something more?
Not a lot of press coverage of the WC in Helsinki/Stockolm, so I guess I’ll do the reporting for them.
Canada is now 5-0-1 at the tournament after an 8-0 victory over the powerhouse team from Kazakhstan. The top-three scorers in the tournament are Evgeni Malkin (12 points in five contests), and Loui Eriksson and Henrik Zetterberg (both with 10 points in six contests). Leading the way for Team Canada, Duncan Keith (nine points in six), John Tavares (eight points in six) and Jordan Eberle (seven points in six).
Something looks off when you see Keith (a defenseman), leading the scoring for Team Canada.
Canada is through to the quarter-finals as they wrap up the preliminary round of the tournament on Tuesday against Belarus.
Not very many “big” matches remaining. US vs. Finland and Russia vs. Czech today are the only notable ones before the elimination round.
Interesting names (who are not in the NHL), to note.
Damien Brunner (undrafted), has six points in five contests in the tournament. He posted 60 points in 45 contests and tacked on 14 points in nine contests during the playoffs of the Swiss-A league. He could possibly become an NHLer one day.
Sabres’ second-round pick from the 2005 NHL Entry draft, Phillip Gogulla, also has six points in five contests for the German National team. He finished the 2011-12 DEL season tied for 11th in league scoring. At 25 years of age, he could still have a shot in the NHL, but I wouldn’t count on it.
A name that I’ve heard of before, Alex Popov, is also amongst the group with six points in five contests. He’s currently playing for Omsk of the KHL and at 31-years old along with a KHL contract till 2013-14, he probably won’t make his way to the NHL.
In terms of goalies, Jakub Kovar (Flyers’ fourth-round pick from the 2006 NHL Entry draft), is having a great tournament. He maintains a 1.30 GAA along with a dazzling .952 SP in three contests for the Czech team. Kovar’s following along the same lines as fellow Czech goalies, Dominik Hasek, Roman Cechmanek, Tomas Vokoun, Ondrej Pavelec, Michal Neuvirth and Alex Salak, which is starting to become a surprising “hot-bed” for developing goalies. In my humble opinion, it’s the new Finland.
Undrafted Slovakian goalie, Jan Laco, is also having a great tournament with a 1.50 GAA and a .937 SP in four starts. He spent this season playing in the KHL in a split-time role. If Laco can establish himself as a true number one in the KHL, then you can expect a few NHL teams to come calling in the next few years.
Good read for us “stat junkies” thanks to Doulos.
Don’t forget to vote. There hasn’t been a goalie since John Vanbiesbrouck in 1997, so my vote would go to Lundqvist, just to be different.
You knew this was eventually going to happen. Time to get the GFs/wives to sign up...
Make sure you head over to Dobber Prospects and give that a good gander. Brendan Ross and company are the best in terms of fantasy prospect knowledge on the net.
Should you be so inclined, follow me on Twitter if you think that my article/tweets are useful.
Who says the WC is a "soft tournament"? Just ask Franzen