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I have to say, I'm truly surprised by the latest poll. The hype machine was really in overdrive on Steve Mason back in January, but I would have thought it had cooled by now. First of all, Tim Thomas deserves the Vezina. Mason the Calder – but it's not a run away victory like the poll says. On paper, the Preds have a better defense corps, but the Jackets have the better offensive unit. In all, I would think the teams are equal in terms of skill level overall. Coaching styles are similar. So let's take another look at Mason vs. Rinne (who is SEVENTH in voting? Wow):
Steve Mason: 31-17-5, 10 SO, 2.19, .920
Pekka Rinne: 27-11-4, 7 SO, 2.26, .921
It's close – and before you point to Mason's 10 shutouts, please let me point to Pascal Leclaire's NINE shutouts from a year ago. Both of these goaltenders have bright futures and both have their stats padded by the team's system. But how Mason can be so above and beyond Rinne in people's eyes really surprised me. Anyway, I like to give the underdog a boost, so if I opened just one fan's eyes to what Rinne is doing (like Mason, he's carrying a weak team into the postseason), then I'm happy.
It wasn't a bluff after all. Mikko Koivu was back in the lineup for the Wild and played 19 minutes.
Here's my Saturday article (in THN) on Marian Gaborik and an interesting theory I have…
The Lightning recalled Brandon Bochenski from the minors. He played 12:43.
Matt Lashoff has five points in his last six games. He has played at least 22:49 in each of his last seven. I think next year he is a dark horse for 55 points. Then again, the team has Meszaros and Ranger on the shelf so this could all be an illusion. Training camp will tell us more.
The Flyers recalled Andreas Nodl, who played 8:22 in yesterday's game.
Baseball season starts one week from today – for just $5.99, the lowest price on the market, you can pick up your copy of Dobber's Fantasy Baseball Guide right HERE .
Ben Eager, back from suspension and already right in the thick of it. Dustin Byfuglien takes liberties on Roberto Luongo and watch what happens. A big brawl ensues, including Eager vs. Bieksa and Burrows vs. Keith…