April 23, 2014

by Dobber Sports on April 23, 2014 | (0 Comments)

Is Ben Bishop a "sell high"?

In a word - no.

While he may have peaked last season at 37 wins with the nice stats to go with it, the "sell high" window was in-season. Now, in the offseason, he won't get the respect he deserves. Because I think he'll still be a 35-win guy, maybe not quite as great as he was this past season. But your fellow owners will treat him the way they treated Bobrovsky last summer - with extreme caution. They won't pay much for him and you are better off keeping him. My two cents.

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For those interested in the silly little Ron MacLean referee fiasco, he apologized. If words can be taken out of context and twisted into a pretend issue, then the babies and drama queens will jump on them and make them into a pretend issue.

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Montreal is the first team to move on and they did so by playing a solid team game, rolling four lines with everybody contributing (as exemplified by Rene Bourque's three goals - and he had another seven shots last night). But I keep wanting to talk about a Tampa player - the rookie Ondrej Palat.

Is he one of those out-of-nowhere superstars? I just thought he looked great and it seems like everything he touches has been gold, since sometime in December. Are we going to, in 2019, look back at this year and wonder why we didn't see this coming since he's such a household name? Or is he a one-year wonder who will struggle next year and never find his game again? I've seen rookies have amazing seasons and then fizzle out - and this is after a rookie year in which you thought that there was no way he'd fail. So many to name on that list - Gilbert Dionne, Michel Ouellet, Marty Reasoner (24 points in 32 games as a rookie), Shane Willis…tons of examples. Oh sure, today you can say 'I knew he would suck, he's slow, he has no hands, etc, etc' - but really, you didn't know. They looked damn promising and you know it. But Palat strikes me as the real deal.

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So with Tampa Bay eliminated, the injury news filters through. Ben Bishop had a dislocated elbow! You know, when I saw him go down my first thought was elbow…but then I thought, nah, if it was a hyper-extended elbow they would just announce that he's done until the summer.

Per Darren Dreger:

Stamkos admits his leg hindered him. Mentally, he said didn't have full confidence to take puck wide or drive the net. Very disappointed…. But, Stamkos says he intends on spending good portion of summer regaining strength…

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Radko Gudas missed the contest with a knee injury. And Nikita Kucherov was a healthy scratch the last two games. Kucherov will be a regular next year and by midseason he'll be on the second line. Mark it!

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Lost in the four-game sweep is the fact that Carey Price's save percentage was a mere .904 at a time of year when it should be .930. But so far that just means two or three fewer goals allowed, so let's see what happens next round.

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Claude Giroux's guarantee, per Tom Gulitti:

"We’ll be ready for Game 4. We’re going to tie up the series and go back to New York."

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Steve Mason actually got into the action last night. He was healthy enough to be the backup, but he jumped into the game late after Ray Emery was chased. Mason stopped three of three, Emery 16 of 20.

Daniel Carcillo scores against his former team! And then taunts the fans…

 

Jason Akeson still getting regular playing time:

 

16.78%

EV

28 GIROUX,CLAUDE - 19 HARTNELL,SCOTT - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB

14.8%

EV

40 LECAVALIER,VINCENT - 10 SCHENN,BRAYDEN - 17 SIMMONDS,WAYNE

13.49%

EV

42 AKESON,JASON - 14 COUTURIER,SEAN - 24 READ,MATT

8.88%

EV

18 HALL,ADAM - 12 RAFFL,MICHAEL - 36 RINALDO,ZAC

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So Martin St. Louis has points in five straight now. That's a far cry from the zero points he was getting after the Rangers acquired him. But he has nine points in five games and is finding his comfort zone. I was getting worried there. But this bodes well for his linemates next season. And here they are, from last night:

 

17.76%

EV

16 BRASSARD,DERICK - 67 POULIOT,BENOIT - 36 ZUCCARELLO,MATS

15.46%

EV

13 CARCILLO,DANIEL - 62 HAGELIN,CARL - 19 RICHARDS,BRAD

12.83%

EV

61 NASH,RICK - 26 ST. LOUIS,MARTIN - 21 STEPAN,DEREK

9.21%

EV

22 BOYLE,BRIAN - 15 DORSETT,DEREK - 28 MOORE,DOMINIC

I imagine that will be his line in 2014-15.

By the way, the Frozen Pool tools are now rolling with playoff data. Sorry for the delay.

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The Red Wings were lifeless in the first period - booed off the ice by their fans. But they woke up later…they just couldn't put it in. Kudos to Mike Babcock for rolling the dice and pulling the goalie with over two minutes left.

Also kudos to Babcock for putting Nyquist on a line with Datsyuk. Eventually.

Henrik Zetterberg skated for 30 minutes Thursday, according to the Detroit Free Press. But he's still not taking contact and best case scenario is that he can play in Game 7 if they can make it there. The line combos:

 

#1

13.7%

ABDELKADER,JUSTIN - DATSYUK,PAVEL - FRANZEN,JOHAN

#2

13.2%

GLENDENING,LUKE - LEGWAND,DAVID - MILLER,ANDREW

#3

12.7%

ABDELKADER,JUSTIN - DATSYUK,PAVEL - NYQUIST,GUSTAV

#4

12.2%

FRANZEN,JOHAN - HELM,DARREN - LEGWAND,DAVID

Daniel Alfredsson missed the game with a back injury.

Chris Osgood on Gus Nyquist:

"It's a different world for Gus Nyquist right now. You go into the playoffs against the Boston Bruins. A year ago, a lot of these guys would not have known who Nyquist was. Well, they know him now. I guarantee in that room his name is written on the board. They're checking him hard. Boston has a lot of guys that are making life difficult right now."

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Wish I could write something insightful about the Bruins, but we knew what we were getting and they've come as advertised. Actually, the only surprise to me is in the negative - David Krejci is still looking for his first point. He led the entire NHL in playoff scoring last year.

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Martin Havlat has yet to play in the playoffs this year. Healthy scratch.

Tommy Wingels, while dishing out tons of hits (eight on Tuesday night as I write this), has managed to pick up an assist in each game of the postseason so far.

In fact, as of the dying minutes of that game (as I finalize these ramblings) - three players were credited with eight hits each. Wingels, Burns and Stoll.

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In yesterday's Hockey News article, I took a look at eight players who are under the (fantasy-hockey) gun for 2014-15.

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Patrick Marleau, Ryan O'Reilly and Martin St. Louis are the finalists for the league's most coveted award - the Lady Byng. It's the award for the highest points to PIM ratio. Or so it seems.

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The KHL president - on Alex Ovechkin's KHL odds (via Puck Daddy):

“The attacks directed at Alex are absolutely inexcusable. A person scored 51 goals this season, none of his competition was even close to that mark. To blame him for everything, saying that because of him the team didn’t make the playoffs, is probably testing his patience. I will remind you that there is a legal way for any player if he decides to play in another league (to do so) without breaking the mutual agreement to respect each other’s contracts between the NHL and the KHL. I will not tell you the details, but they were the ones Kovalchuk used when he decided to play for SKA.”

I'll leave that with you.

 

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