Some updates from the AHL last night:

 

Nazem Kadri had two helpers for the Marlies, as they took the opening game over OKC.

 

Matt Frattin and Joe Colborne each scored goals, as did Jake Gardiner. Gardiner's goal was a beauty.

 

Ben Scrivens had a 31-save shutout for hte Marlies.

 

Philippe Dupuis, who was pretty much useless for the Leafs, has been good for the Marlies. He had three shots on goal, finished plus-3, and like Kadri, added two assists.

 

Cory Conacher's goal slump continued, but he had two helpers for Norfolk.

 

Dustin Tokarski stopped 29 of 30 shots. He and Jaroslav Janus have been splitting duties.

 

Ryan Kesler won't rush back from injury this time. He was guilty of coming back too soon this past season, and never really got going. 

 

 

“With the program I have, the fourth-month period is when you can really start pushing the envelope and even if it goes until December, I’m not coming back until I’m 110 per cent when I know I’m ready and able to play my game"

 

Not only is Kesler going to wait until he is 100%, but he is going to all the way to 110%. Bionic man?

 

Missed the Kings/Coyotes game... had my first slowpitch game of the season. Interesting stat line for those keeping track at home: 3 for 5 with four errors. Angus wasn't made to play short stop...

 

So… how about those Kings?

 

Daymond Langkow scored the lone Coyotes goal – he saw over 20 minutes too. He was the beneficiary of the Martin Hanzal suspension.

 

Dustin Brown (nine) and Drew Doughty (eight) combined to throw 17 hits. Dustin Brown has to be the Conn Smythe favorite right now.

 

I wonder if we will see more teams leak fake trade rumors before the deadline? Brown obviously took them to heart – he has been a different player since early March.

 

Trevor Lewis is flourishing under Darryl Sutter too. The 2006 1st round pick is a big, skilled guy. He hasn’t brought the type of offense to the NHL that the Kings were hoping for, but he could be a decent depth sleeper to watch for next season and beyond.

 

What a difference a coach makes. Dwight King has flourished under Darryl Sutter. The former Lethbridge Hurricane scored 24 goals in the AHL in 2010-11 (the offense is there), and he had five goals and 14 points in only 27 NHL games under Sutter.

 

In the playoffs, he has five goals through 12 games.

 

King knows his strengths and plays to them. With the talent LA has up the middle, he’ll always have a good center to play with.

 

I wonder what happens with Andrei Loktionov next year? Does he go back to Russia? Does LA make room for him? Do they trade him? At this point he is probably the furthest thing from the minds of Kings fans, and for good reason – live in the now and enjoy the moment.

 

However, for poolies looking for a future 60-80 point center, Loktionov is intruiging. He’s impressed me in limited viewings.

Ben Scrivens is playing great hockey for the Marlies – does he factor into the Maple Leafs plans next year? James Reimer is a great young goalie, but he was killed by two things – injuries, and Ron Wilson.

 

I am a big Brian Burke fan – I think he acts with integrity and he has a vision for that team – his big hiccup was showing too much loyalty to Ron Wilson. Wilson’s act wore thin.

 

Speaking of acts wearing thin…. I’m taking halfway through next season for the end of John Tortorella in NY. He is taking pressure/attention away from his team, but he is acting with zero respect/integrity.

Cory Conacher has only one goal in 10 playoff games after winning the AHL MVP title. Not the best showing for him, especially since he has hopes of a top six spot in TB next year.

 

Standard H2H league (with SOG, PIM, FOW, Hits) – keep two of Purcell, Booth, Ladd, or Chris Stewart. I am leaning towards Booth and Purcell.

 

I’m working on a piece covering the Dallas Stars – a lot of potential for good things there, both on and off the ice. The Bob Gainey hiring is an interesting one – he seemed to fumble it a bit in Montreal recently, but he has a track record in Dallas and is one of the most respected men in hockey.

 

Just as Mike Milbury is known as the guy who traded Luongo and Olli Jokinen for peanuts (as well as the guy who beat a fan with his own shoe), Gainey could be regarded as the guy who traded Ryan McDonagh for the worst contract in hockey. He does have a Cup and was a respected player, but that deal set Montreal back a few years. The comparison to Milbury isn’t fair (it isn’t fair to compare anyone to Milbury), but Gainey didn’t exactly leave Montreal on great terms.

 

Hal Gill is funny. Also – I didn’t know Cory Cross had several identical siblings?

 

 

Gill

 

Zack Boychuk was once a promising prospect. What has happened?

 

“The biggest disappointment with Boychuk this year was that he played in only 16 games with Carolina. His ELC expires after this season and he just turned 22, so this looked like it would be a pretty important year for him. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out as planned and it was just more of the same of him not being able to make an impact at the NHL level. You can make the argument that Boychuk never got much of a chance this year because when Paul Maurice was coach, Boychuk was glued to the fourth line and played more than 10 minutesin only two games.


Boychuk's first look under Kirk Muller came in late February and he got to play in only three games before he was abruptly benched and sent back to Charlotte.”


David Booth has drawn the ire of many Canucks fans (myself included) for his lack of production. However, that ire appears to be misguided.

 

“Behind The Net doesn’t have cap-hit numbers, but here is a list of forwards who got more time-on-ice per game and scored at a lower rate than Booth. There are 111 players on this list:”


The Oilers have decided not to renew the contract of Tom Renney. Who is the likely replacement candidate? Brent Sutter’s name has been mentioned a few times, and he worked with Kevin Lowe at the World Championships.

 

Speaking of the World Championships, another pathetic effort from Canada in an important game. It starts at the top, and team captain Ryan Getzlaf took a selfish penalty late in the game (five minute kneeing major), and it cost the team.

 

Alex Burrows and Duncan Keith both had great tournaments. Evander Kane looked really strong too (which is why I have him ranked as the fourth best LW to own in keeper leagues).

 

A piece I wrote on Ryan Parent yesterday – how did the Flyers, Predators, and Canucks all overlook some serious warning signs? Read it here.

 

“Parent’s contract expires this summer and he won’t be brought back by the Canucks. He is destined to ply his trade in Europe, as he has failed multiple times to prove he is anything more than a borderline AHL defenseman. The warning signs were there all along, but multiple teams chose to ignore them, intoxicated by Parent’s size and mobility. You can’t teach size, but often times you can’t teach hockey sense, either.”


Martin Hanzal gets one game for attempting to turn Dustin Brown’s spine into a slinky. Imagine what he would have received if Brown was stretchered off the ice? It shouldn’t matter the outcome (if a player is seriously hurt, a more serious suspension is warranted). If a malicious hit is thrown, the hitter should not be absolved because the player receiving the hit avoids injury.

 

Marty’s still got it:

 

Great pass and an even better move:


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Comments (8)add comment

angus said:

angus
... I have a PVR, and watched the game in highlighted version after. Sometimes nice to have a night off from hockey every single night of the week, especially when it is sunny and warm in Vancouver (something that doesn't happen often).

May 18, 2012
Votes: +0

Sportfreunde said:

Sportfreunde
... I don't mean to sound too critical here but if you have to cover hockey then surely you can find a way to watch one of the conference finals if it's the only game on TV? I mean, you can get a PVR/DVR/Tivo, you can download the game, watch it on game centre with the archives, etc?

I'll blame Lowe for the horrible team selection. Can you honestly say that these players had a good season: Phaneuf/Schenn/Quincey/Methot and a junior player? There were far better dmen available and suited to international ice, the defence is what cost us and the man who picked it.

The bright side was that the Skinner/Tavares/Ebebrle line looked amazing, was the best line the whole tournament and it looks like Skinner is has recovered from injury.
May 18, 2012
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... Conacher might not be scoring as much as he did during the regular season, but his play hasn't tapered off. He creates chances and got second star of the game last game. This postseason is only improving his chances of making the Lightning.
May 18, 2012
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... @Bender- youre always going to get some bias when taking NHL personel, remember Messier taking Chad Johnson as team Canada's goalie? maybe thats why he hasnt worked for them since. Sutter i have no problem with- hes a decent coach,but Im not a Dubynk fan- but when they dont announce who they asked that said no- plus the lack of depth in goal for Canada- i guess this is what were stuck with.
May 18, 2012
Votes: +0

Bender said:

baconnol
Oilers Coach Some are suggesting that Lowe wanted to see how Sutter worked with his young Oilers on Team Canada, but shouldn't Hockey Canada be pissed that he's using his position to potentially scout Ryan Murray, bring Dubnyk (was he the best Canadian goalie available), and give Sutter an audition as coach? Was he motivated by what's best for Team Canada or the Oilers? I think Team Canada could use a new face instead of Kevin Lowe.
May 18, 2012
Votes: +0

killez said:

killez
... did the great Milbury also trade away the best defenseman in the game Zdeno Chara also for nothing?
May 18, 2012
Votes: +0

UKflames said:

UKflames
Conacher & playoffs It is funny how some players are gold during the season but disappear in the playoffs and you have others that are meh during the season but have an outstanding playoffs (Fedotenko, Bolland etc)
May 18, 2012
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
Burke Burke and integrity dont belong in the same sentence. This is the man that tried to have Tony Gallagher fired. Al Strachan fired. Don Cherry fired. He got the Ducks to release him from his contract midseason- so he could become the Toronto GM 2 weeks later, and now he says he cant let Dudley leave (despite having an outclause)until after the draft? (where montreal picks ahead of toronto)
He was charged with tampering , then said he didnt see the tape of it- so he couldnt have it edited out before it was posted on the Leafs website, meanwhile his coach was found guilty of tampering- so the NHL puts out a gag order, that Burke then breaks during a speech in Vancouver-but the NHL decides to handle it 'internally'

You may like Burke as a GM, but integrity? really?
May 18, 2012
Votes: +1
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