Goldie Says: Now that LA has been eliminated, I can publish a scouting report on Jon Quick that I provided to the Sharks prior to Game 1. Pay attention to Quick’s play in the second period. It is his Achilles heel. Regardless, JQ is going to be an elite goalie sooner rather than later – he can still get better.
Sidney Crosby makes his return to the Penguins lineup for Game 7…is what I would like to say this morning. But unfortunately it isn't true. As such, the Lightning in Game 7 should get this thing done and thus help me win the pool with the gang over at The Hockey News.
Steve Downie was the hero last night, with three points. And of his three points, all six of the other points on those three goals were by different players. It doesn't matter who he plays with, if he's thrown out there he makes things happen. He played 12:17 Monday, which is actually a high for him this series.
Ryan Malone hit the scoresheet for the first and second time in the series. He's somewhat streaky, so I have a hunch there will be more of that in Game 7.
I think, when the Sharks grabbed Kyle Wellwood, they were looking for a fellow who would chip in some points from the third line without being a liability defensively. Well, he was a plus-10 in the regular season (35 games) and has four points and is plus-5 in the six games so far in the postseason. Mission accomplished.
I don't trust Antti Niemi. I did trust him, and there will be times in the future when I trust him again, but I don't right now. When he gets rattled, he never gets his confidence back until he gets a few games off and then gets thrown back out there when the team has no other option. It happened last year with Huet when Huet got hurt. It happened this year with Niitty when Niitty got hurt. Now, here Niemi is all rattled again and I wonder if he can get unrattled without getting benched for awhile. The solution – the long-term solution – is not "hold the other team to 20 shots". Sure, that strategy is a sound one, but impossible to implement every game.
Brian Boucher starts Game 7 for Philadelphia.
Roberto Luongo starts Game 7 for Vancouver.
Norris Trophy nominees – Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber. The leading scorer amongst defensemen – by 10% over the second highest – was shut out. Myself, Lidstrom wins this by a mile, with Keith Yandle as No.2, Weber No.3 and Visnovsky No.4. I'll keep going – Kris Letang would be fifth and Chara I would probably pick sixth even though his plus-33 is pretty awesome.
This trophy wouldn't have even been close, though – if Crosby plays another 40 games, Letang gets 70 points and is plus-35. I firmly believe the injury cost Sid's teammate a Norris.
The Kings and their fans loved the line of Richardson, Clifford and Simmonds. Just not last night. A combined minus-10. Love the line, though. Kyle Clifford finishes the series with five points. Ditto for Brad Richardson. Solid.