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I’m getting a lot of thanks for being so bold in the preseason on Martin St. Louis (I had him for 51 points this year). A handful of emails about how that decision (to draft him) won them the pool. After slipping from 99 points to 74, a lot of people had him pegged for a decline. But I noted in the Guide that he had 52 points in 50 games once he returned from his injury last season. Kudos to him for winning the scoring title. He’s got two years left on his contract, so there’s more to come. And it’s a damn good thing for Steven Stamkos owners. Because with St. Louis, Stamkos is a 100-point guy. Without him, he’s an 90-point guy.
Alex Ovechkin‘s 32 goals wins him the Rocket Richard. I faced a lot of criticism for my projection in the Guide, and that criticism came to a head towards late February. I’m very happy that he found his mojo – I hate looking bad when I go out on a limb on an important player. I projected 28 goals and 55 points – he got 32 and 56.
The Jennings – goes to Corey Crawford and Ray Emery. I still marvel over how a goaltender who is 17-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA is the backup. Amazing. And I can’t wait to see Chicago face the Penguins in a seven-game series in the Final. Yep. Calling it.
With six goals in his last three games, Nail Yakupov tied Jonathan Huberdeau for the rookie scoring lead and, due to goals, he wins. Does he deserve the Calder Trophy? All year I’ve heard the name “Huberdeau” and “Brodin” and “Conacher” and “Saad”. I’ve even heard “Schultz” once or twice. And early on, we heard a lot of “Tarasenko”. But never once did I hear “Yakupov”…but then, I hadn’t been listening, over the weekend.
I had been touting Carl Soderberg as a playoff dark horse, but I’m wavering. Check out his ice time, last five games:
16:10, 15:28, 15:06, 13:09, 12:26
The decrease is obvious. He was a minus-2 Sunday, which probably didn’t impress the coach.
Ryane Clowe was unable to practice, and the rumor is that his knee, as well as his head, are the injuries. The head is
obviously a concern, given his concussion history. But his knee seems to be the reason for his possibly missing time. The Rangers aren’t talking. Chris Kreider has been recalled.
Tyler Johnson continues to dominate at the AHL level. He has five points in two playoff games to put him in a tie for the scoring race lead early on.
Dmitry Orlov has three points in two games for Hershey. The Caps won’t call him up unless it’s an emergency.