June 10, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-06-11

Back from taking the family on a mini-vacation for four days…

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Andrei Kostitsyn has signed to play next year in the KHL as well now.

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Interesting theory on Carey Price floated by his former goalie coach Rollie Melanson (via TSN.ca) – he opines that Price’s game has grown steadily worse due to bad guidance. “He hasn’t stopped deteriorating since I left”. More here.

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So what’s your opinion on Dustin Brown?

A) He’s a hero for gutting it out for the last six games on one leg

B) He’s an idiot for saying he could play when he shouldn't have, practically forcing the hand of Sutter into icing a lesser team.

I’m squarely in Camp B. I say this as a disgruntled Brown owner, sure, but after tearing his PCL he had zero points in six games and was minus-3 and just five shots. Whoever replaced him – Toffoli would have in the first three games – would have done much better. It was both a selfless…and a selfish decision.

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Whoever I pick to win the Stanley Cup Final – just pull out all the money you can spare and put it on the other team. Slam dunk. After my terrible call of the semi-finals, I’m fresh out of confidence.

For the record, I pick the Bruins to win, but I’ll cheer for the Blackhawks. I choose the Bruins because I’ve developed a hate. I’m a fan of a good 20 NHL teams, but occasionally I go through windows of hate. I hated the Flames in the 80s because of the trouble they gave Gretzky’s Oilers. I hated the Penguins in the early 90s because Mario was too close to my hero (Gretzky) in talent and I perceived that as a threat I guess. And now this year, the Bruins – a team that put out my team the Leafs in devastating fashion, and then put out my other team the Penguins (see – my hate is cyclic) in embarrassing fashion. So my two squads that I root for the most were both taken out back behind the shed by the same team – Boston. So enough. Fine. I’ll pick them to win. Whatever they can do to piss me off, they’ll do. In this case ‘win’. So they’ll win.

Before Bruins’ fans get their hate on for me because of this, keep in mind – these strong emotions are precisely why we’re riveted to these games. The tension I feel and the anger I feel when the Bruins make me look bad publicly (by making my predictions wrong) and by wiping out the teams I like…it really adds to the fun. This stuff adds to the pleasure we all feel when the outcome is desirable.

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I think that a lot of people are making a pretty big deal about Zdeno Chara this year. And yes, he’s still awesome. And yes, he’s still Boston’s best player. That being said – if three years ago he was a 100/100 and the next best Bruin was 92/100…. this year Chara is 92/100 and the next best Bruins are 91/100. He’s not as dominant – not even close. Malkin handled him like he was a pesky 6-9 fly in Game 3. It was Rask who shut the door. So kudos to Seidenberg, Ference, et al for containing

 

Crosby – that was the key to the sweep. Not Chara. Chara is a big boy, but so is Malkin (6-3, 195) and while I saw Malkin get slowed – he didn’t get stopped. So can Chara stop Kane and Toews when the 6-4, 233-pound Bickell is on their wing? No. But my point is they don’t need him to – Rask is far superior to Crawford, and their (other) defensemen have been top notch.

 

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I agree with what Drance said on Sunday regarding Dallas Eakins and the Edmonton coaching – not a good example being set here. You can’t go through coaches quickly like that or the better coaches will be reluctant to sign on. That being said, I think his coaching talent and the improving experience of the talented Oilers are going to make the perfect storm. You know I’ve been saying it for three years now (and I’ll keep saying it until it happens) – the Oilers are on the cusp of awesomeness.

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In my Hockey News article yesterday I carry on with my team-by-team offseason look. This time – Colorado and Columbus.

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Igor Eronko is reporting that Edmonton youngster Teemu Hartikainen has signed to play in the KHL. The Oilers lost a good one there. They have enough offensive forwards, what they need more of is a hardworking two-way guy with upside.

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Roman Josi has signed an extension with Nashville for seven years. It’s backloaded, with $4 million per season average. Poolies were disappointed in his 18 points last season, but I look at it as a start. He had just one point in 14 games to start the year, so to me 17 in 34 is about what I expected in terms of pace. As long he does it for the entire schedule next year, the growth curve is bang on.

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Say what you want about Sergei Gonchar‘s value as a veteran and former elite puck-mover, he’s worth $4 million this year, and $3 million next year – and I’d give him a no-move clause this season, and no-trade clause next. So yeah, the Stars got hammered on this one. He’ll help this year, I don’t question that for a second. But with the salary cap going down and their hands completely tied with this contract – they’ll regret it next summer.

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The Fantasy Prospects Report will be re-released on Thursday with Brendan Ross’s Mock Draft as well as five bonus profiles added. The five player profiles I added are:

Antti Raanta, Chicago Blackhawks

Anton Belov, Edmonton Oilers

Tobias Rieder, Phoenix Coyotes

Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning

Juhamatti Aaltonen, Unrestricted Free Agent (at press time)

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Leo Komarov is back in the KHL? Leo Komarov is back in the KHL. Unexpected, I had figured the rumors were just threats and he was merely posturing. That hurts some keeper owners in leagues that count hits, that’s for sure. This certainly drives up the Leafs’ interest in David Clarkson

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TSN’s look at the Dallas Eakins hire…

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