Wojtek Wolski has signed to play in the KHL next season. NHL coaches just don’t put up with lack of effort – perceived or real. But I think he didn’t get a fair shake. This, coming from a guy who was not a Wolski fan back when he was a prospect and a rookie. I remember getting called out a few times by readers for being too hard on him. But now that the pendulum of his career has swung the other way, I find myself a defender of his. Put his one-dimensional game with a first-line star and he’ll thrive. The Caps gave him a few chances early in the season, but that was when Ovechkin was sucking. Anyway, the ship has sailed, he’s done with the NHL.
Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin combined for 17 shots in the 4.5 period game last night. Letang was all over the ice, I swear I even saw him pass the puck around the boards and then skate to the other side of the rink and accept his own pass. If he could only stay healthy, he and Erik Karlsson would have a real battle for the d-man scoring title one day.
I get the sense that Jarome Iginla’s decline has started. Stupid to say, given that he has 10 points in nine games. But he’s losing puck battles he would normally win, and he’s lost a step. Soon he’ll be 36 (July) and if he doesn’t re-sign with Pittsburgh than I wonder if he’ll get 65 points again.
Besides Daniel Alfredsson and (of course) Craig Anderson, the most impressive Senator to me was Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He has six points in eight games and 10 points in 17 career NHL games. And he’s only 20. Last night he showed a lot of poise, and was bold on a number of occasions with moves that most guys that age don’t even try. It’s funny how his game is translating better to the NHL than it did to the AHL.
Boston defenseman Torey Krug, a sleeper I had in the preseason guide earlier this year, is showing us why. Playing his second consecutive game and fifth game of his career, he scored and added an assist. In all, he has five points in five games. Looking good for next year, and it’s perfect because he barely played in the regular season and by the time September rolls around everyone (else) will have forgotten him. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.
For Brad Marchand, give him five points during a three-game points streak.
King Henrik is human after all – five goals by him on 32 shots. He says he felt discomfort in his shoulder after making a save with five minutes left. Doesn’t explain the rest of the game, but does raise the possibility of next game (Tuesday) being played with discomfort.
Richard Nash picked up his first goal… in his ninth game. He has four points now in the playoffs, pulling him ahead of Taylor Pyatt in the scoring race.
Mats Zuccarello is second in team scoring for the playoffs with six points (five assists). He’s an impressive plus-10 in the 24 games since his return to the NHL.
Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi were a combined minus-7 Sunday.
Brad Richards saw just 10:34 of ice time – one point in nine playoff games. He’s only 33, I can’t believe his skills have completely fallen like this. He must be hurt. I can see the decline and I believe that Stepan and maybe even Brassard have passed him on the depth chart – but nothing like this.
In Memorial Cup action – four points for Nathan MacKinnon to give Halifax the 7-4 win over Portland. I’m still unwavering