Joe Thornton Bombs Again – Rambling – April 28, 2009

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The Keeper League Fantasy Pack 2009 is now available in the shop, FYI. I think that's everyone's favorite pack ;)


The top two players in ice time in the postseason – Gonchar is first (26:32), Seabrook is second (26:29).


The Penguins have signed coach Dan Bylsma to a contract – you can remove the "interim" tag now.


The Rangers have recalled Artem Anisimov from the Wolf Pack and he will be in the lineup in place of the injured Blair Betts. Anisimov has had a fantastic year in the AHL and is ranked 48th on my fantasy prospects list.


Reason No.1A why my playoff draft list is an INTERACTIVE one and not just a printout of my own picks. I would have gone nutty with the Sharks on my list. That would have lost every single customer's playoff pools last night. Thankfully, because it is interactive and customers are responsible for their own picks, I don't get yelled at. I hope ;)


So Joe Thornton shows up for one game. I've defended him long enough – playing through broken ribs one playoff year and a groin injury another playoff year and three straight years of second round or better – that's no longer good enough. I used to compare him to Yzerman, who you probably don't remember was always criticized for his inability to win a Cup… until he won one. And then another. And then another… Thornton's play has been horrible. That being said, he is 29 and Yzerman didn't win his first Cup until he was 31.


Now that the Sharks have been eliminated from the playoffs, we can take the following from this:
– Don't pick Thornton next year. Sorry to harp on this, but how long can a person trust that "this is the year" he will break out? He had five points in six games which is the fifth time he had less points than playoff games played, vs. twice when he was a point per game. Yzerman? 12 times he had a least a point per game vs. seven times not.
– Though Blake was a stud points-wise (four in six), he was a minus-5. He probably won't retire, but he should.
– Quit hanging onto any hope of a Cheechoo bounce back. He's done and done.
– Vlasic still has some things to learn. One point and a minus-6 was probably the worst performance on the team statistically.
– Nabokov was 3-7 in his last 10 games, giving up 30 goals on 244 shots (0.877 SP)


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Over in Chicago, the result was a lot more palatable. I picked the Flames, but of all the series this one was the toughest to call. Calgary just collapsed down the stretch and a young, inexperienced team (other than Campbell, Pahlsson and Khabibulin) beat them out. Here is what we can take from the Flames:
– Jokinen is just fine in the playoffs. Him never making it all these years is just the coincidence of being on horrible teams.
– Everyone contributed a little bit, but nobody contributed a lot. Iginla only had four points and was a minus-4 to boot. In fact – Iginla has been a minus player for each of the last three playoff runs (17 points in 19 games, minus-7)
– Eric Nystrom, reminiscent of his father, stepped it up with four points in six games. We'll have to remember that next playoff draft.
– In his last 22 games, Kipper was 8-13-0, allowing 66 goals on 574 shots (0.885 SP). Not clutch.


I had a bit of a chuckle just noticing the comments yesterday regarding the Frozen Pool feature (click "Fantasy Tools" tab at