Hart finalists – Crosby, Ovechkin, and Tavares. I’d have put Toews in there, but you could make an argument for any of the three of them.
The NHL is heading to Sochi next year, as the league and the IOC have reached an agreement (finally). Here’s my roster projection for Canada from a few months ago.
Is the MA Fleury era over in Pittsburgh? Cap-wise, it would make a ton of sense for the Pens to move him (either trade or amnesty buyout) and go with Vokoun next year. He's clearly as good as (or better than) Fleury, and he saves the team a few million, too.
Matt Martin had 12 PIM and eight hits. Nice night in a roto league, but don't think there are many (any?) postseason roto leagues out there.
Tyler Kennedy played his first game of the postseason and scored a goal – he's lost his roster spot with all of the new faces, but he played well last night.
Jussi Jokinen was a healthy scratch. Not sure why… maybe I wasn't watching the first few games closely, but he was winning draws and seemed to be playing sound two-way hockey. Whatever the reason, the team responded last night.
Iggy and Crosby… together at last?
The Ottawa Senators. Man. What can you say about this team? Adversity? They battled without their three best players for most of the season. They have a ton of great young talent, but what I love most about their team is how well Paul MacLean has put the players on the roster in the right positions to succeed.
He doesn't ask scorers to check, and he doesn't ask checkers to score. He has a great read on his team and that shows with how in sync they are on the ice every night.
And they are only going to get better, too. Spezza will return at some point (either this spring or next season), and their young guys should all take a step forward – particularly Mika Zibanejad, who has really come on in the last six to eight weeks.
And what can you say about Craig Anderson? The guy continues to get no credit, but he is absolutely in the mix for the best goaltender in the league argument. He's been elite for the past few years now.
Ottawa got nice production from the depth guys – JP Pageau and Matt Kassian combined for four points.
Cory Conacher had two goals and 12 PIM. I am compiling a list of the best young multi-category guys in hockey, and he will definitely be on there. Love the game he plays. Still can't believe Ottawa was able to land him for Ben Bishop (I understand the move from Tampa's side, but it was a great coup by Bryan Murray).
My #1 keeper league forward prospect is having a hell of a season in the OHL. Mark Scheifele is NHL ready now, and he could step in and center Winnipeg's top line next season. I think he is that good.
Scheifele had five points the other night against London in the OHL final. He has zero weaknesses in his game. Big and powerful, but extremely smart and skilled, too. Here's more on him from Canoe Sports.
Chicago and Minnesota – simply a case of a great team playing a mediocre team. Chicago continues to thoroughly outclass the Wild in every single area of the game.
Marian Hossa had three points, and Chicago received bala