Well, not the best game for the Minnesota Wild last night. Looking to wrap up a playoff spot they spotted the Oilers six goals.
Jeff Petry and Corey Potter combined for two goals and eight shots on goal. That doesn’t happen too often (not bad defensemen, but neither are known for their offense).
Hall and Eberle each had three points, while Yakupov is finishing his rookie season out strong (he netted a pair last night).
Two more points and plus-3 for PA Parenteau – said it a few times in recent weeks, but what a UFA signing by Colorado last summer. Been a huge part in the rebound season from…
Matt Duchene. Three helpers last night. Such a dynamic force on the ice -with his acceleration and aggresiveness, defensemen have trouble slowing him down through the zone. He’s going to break the 80-point mark within the next two years.
Tyson Barrie had a helper and played almost 29 minutes. Nice to see Colorado giving minutes to their only offensively inclined defenseman.
Keith Yandle had three helpers for the ‘Yotes, and he has quietly had a very solid offensive season. His role in Phoenix has changed, but he is still one of the better offensive d-men in hockey.
Dobber’s Western Conference preview for Puck Daddy is here.
My end-of-season award picks for the Canucks (including some made up awards).
The Interactive Playoff Draft List (get it here) has been updated based on the standings as of today, plus Columbus (still in it) as well as injury notes up to the minute. Get it with the Keeper League Pack, use coupon code ULTIMATE, get $3.00 off.
The Keeper League Pack also contains the 2013 Fantasy Prospects Report (out June 1) and the 2013-14 Fantasy Guide (which will, of course, be our best ever). You will be armed and ready to dominate your keeper league with these two guides.
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Columbus has inked Cam Atkinson to a two-year contract extension. Good move.
I anointed Brendan Smith as my 2013 keeper of the year. Consider him a golf tee shot hooked into the woods – mulligan. I still think Smith has 10-15 goal, 40-50 point, 100+ PIM upside, but it won't come for a bit longer than I had expected.
And he has turned a corner recently – after only one point in the first 15 games of the season, Smith has seven in his last 14. (A 41-point pace for those of you scoring at home).
And after praising Datsyuk and Zetterberg yesterday, I forgot to include Johan Franzen. Franzen has also been phenomenal over the past little while.
He has four consecutive four SOG games, and six points in his last five. The Mule isn't done quite yet, folks.
Any thoughts/opinions on my top 10 keeper league prospect defensemen list that was published yesterday?
Really wish I owned Trouba – missed out on adding him before the WJC this past winter.
Milan Hejduk's final NHL game may be tonight. He was, at one time, one of the most lethal scorers in the league. And he used to absolutely thrash the Canucks on a consistent basis.
Been a class player through and through, and he deserves a lot of credit for helping Sakic and Forsberg in Colorado through those dynasty years.
Pascal Dupuis is going to get PAID this summer.
While the Dallas Stars once again are on the outside of the playoffs, this season has been different than the past three. The team is starting to form an identity, and several young guys really stepped up in a big way.
That being said, this team needs to get a lot better. It was Kari Lehtonen featuring some other guys on many nights this season, and that simply isn't a recipe for consistent winning. Dallas needs a top pairing defenseman, another top four defenseman, and at least three forwards (a center, a winger, and a checking player).
The team has ample cap space and an owner committed to winning… but what will they do this summer?
Nice shot from Bartschi:
Devils prospect Eric Gelinas (big, mobile defenseman) made his NHL debut on Thursday night. And from a fantasy standpoint:
DeBoer said there's a lot to like about Gelinas' game.
"(He's) big, skates, moves the puck, he's got a good shot," DeBoer said. "I think he's capable of be in able to play on the power play at this level down the road. So, there's a lot of good things there."
Ah, power play ice time. The key to production for most defensemen.
Ilya Kovalchuk called 2013 the worst season of his career. I wouldn't disagree. Should be able to be had for low value in keepers this summer (relative to the previous summer, at least).
In addition to Clarkson hitting the open market, Patrik Elias is a UFA, too. He will have some demand if he doesn't re-sign with the Devils. Even as he approaches 40, he is still a versatile and productive top six forward who is excellent without the puck.
Elias is one of those players who is zero maintenance – you know what you are going to get from him. Coaches love players like that, as do fantasy poolies. No surprises.
How did your fantasy seasons go this year? I didn't do so hot in the Dobber Experts league (excuse time – we drafted last September, and that changed things considerably with the season not starting until January), and in my keeper league I lost in round two of the playoffs (ended up tied 7-7, but lost the tiebreaker to Mr. Jeff Renaud).
I hope at some point in the future Sidney Crosby will be healthy down the stretch – he carries my fantasy team all season and then is absent when I need him the most! Oh, and Karlsson came back a week too late, but I'll let it slide I guess.
The future is bright – made some good prospect moves this season, and I really like my farm team. We can keep eight players (and this league counts hits in addition to the usual stuff).
Kassian, Atkinson, Chiasson, Sproul, B. Smith, Drew Shore, Bjugstad, Petrovic (with Gallagher on the main club).
I made the mistake of assuming Luongo would have been traded by now, as my goalies for most of the season were him and Schneider. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "stupid Canucks homer," but Schneider has been one of the best fantasy goalies in 2013 and Luongo has been great whenever he plays.
Both of them are top 10 goalies, but on the same team they simply don't get enough starts (this league counts saves and games started). That killed me. Steve Mason was added as a third goalie and actually played some good hockey after the trade… I may have to hold on to him this summer as a keeper.
I share my fantasy stories not to talk about myself, but to hopefully provide advice and lead you away from making the same mistakes. Always interested to read similar stories from our readers. Share away below!
Ryane Clowe left Thursday's game with a leg injury – looks like Chris Kreider will get to play some more minutes. Not sure how this impacts Clowe in the postseason just yet, as detailed injury news is impossible to find at this time of the year.
Elliotte Friedman's latest 30 thoughts – grab a coffee and enjoy this one.
#7 is why I love Mike Babcock – would be a great coach to play for. He knows the game, but most of all, he knows how to teach the game.
Today’s team to analyze – the Dallas Stars
2013-14 sleeper: Matt Fraser
A natural goal scorer in every sense of the term. Fraser is big, and he loves to shoot the puck. He has been arguably the most prolific scorer in the AHL over the past few seasons. His shot is hard, heavy, and accurate. The rest of his game is rounding into form, too. He isn’t a great skater, but he has improved immensely since turning pro a few years ago. And his defensive play is a lot better, too. If he earns a top six spot in Dallas this fall, he could flirt with 20-25 goals and a lot of SOG.
Longer term sleeper: Matej Stransky
Big, rangy winger with great puck protection abilities. Stransky has top six upside, but needs a few more years of seasoning. He scored 40 this season for the Saskatoon Blades, and will likely turn pro and join the Texas Stars next season.
One of the best shots in hockey – Garrison is finding the back of the net a lot more now that he is shooting the puck a lot more (gee, ya don’t say).
Only six NHL defensemen have more goals than Garrison (eight). He’s been a rock on defense, too. Living up to that big contract, and then some. Had a shaky start but looks comfortable in Vancouver’s system now.