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Raffi Torres will not be suspended by the NHL, per TSN. That just seems…weird. Even if the play was innocent, and my opinion on that is Switzerland, the fact remains that the NHL was supposed to be clamping down on these. The Wheel of Justice continues to spin…
Brian Boucher gets the start for the Flyers, and I’m hearing that Michael Leighton will be the backup.
Prior to March 30, Buffalo rearguard Marc-Andre Gragnani had just nine NHL games to his name – none of them seeing him play 18 minutes or more. Since then, he has played eight games and has five points. He's seen at least 18 minutes in three of those contests. In the last two seasons in the AHL, he has 103 points in 129 games. Needless to say, the upside is there. And the fact that he's getting the ice time when it matters most indicates to me that he is on the team in the fall and makes for an excellent dark horse.
Andreas Nodl is doubtful for today’s contest with a cut under his eye. Look for Zherdev to draw in.
Although the Oshawa Generals have been eliminated, Rangers' prospect Christian Thomas continues to hold onto his spot atop the OHL playoff scoring race. He has nine goals and 19 points. Windsor, who moves onto play Owen Sound for the Wayne Gretzky Trophy, has players holding down the next three spots – Tom Kunhackl (PIT), Ryan Ellis (NSH) and Stephen Johnston (DET) each have 16 points.
Marian Gaborik is still looking for his first playoff point, three games into the postseason. The last time he was in the playoffs, it was 2008 and he managed just one point in six games. So a point in his last nine playoff contests. Something must be wrong with him – in 2003 he had 17 points in 18 playoff games, so nobody should question if he can do it. This entire season has been horrible for him, on the heels of his best NHL season in 2009-10.
With an injury-prone season, a weak playoff track record and poor points-per-game stats in 2010-11, Mike Green has three points in three playoff contests.
The perplexing Wojtek Wolski is at it again. He has two points so far, which is tied for the team lead for the Rangers. This, after bombing in the regular season. Flip a coin – heads, he sucks next year. Tails, he gets 60-plus points.
It's looking more and more as though Mike Fisher, Shea Weber and Sergei Kostitsyn will lead the Preds into the next round. Fisher has been spectacular, with five points in three games. Kostitsyn's three points in the series gives him 50 in his last 61 games. That goes beyond a trend and becomes the basis for a projection.
The Preds are averaging under 24 shots allowed per game. Pekka Rinne has been adequate, but not great. When he's great, the Ducks will be in trouble. Nashville outshot the Ducks 37-16 Sunday.
Interesting that, along with the Ryan suspension, the Ducks scratched Ruutu and Chipchura in favor of Palmieri and Bonino. The Preds favored Halischuk and Geoffrion over Dumont, Wilson and O'Reilly. Hey, they keep winning so may as well…
So far, O'Reilly has failed me as a dark horse – I apologize. I had him pretty highly favored on the draft list, although I did not his dark horse status. H