June 13, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-06-13

 

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A look at some of the better UFA options for Vancouver’s second line – David Clarkson would be at the top of my list.

 

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Great move by the Pens to lock up Evgeni Malkin (for a below market value contract). Malkin could have hit the open market next summer… and I would have expected many offers in the $11-12 million range. The cap is temporarily down to 64 million this year, but I would expect it to rise back up year by year for 2014-15 and beyond (especially with the new CBA and how the revenue sharing is structured).

 

The cap will be above $70 million again in no time. And this contract is a (relatively) reasonable one. Malkin will make less per year than Alex Ovechkin, so he doesn’t have the “pressure” of being the player in the NHL with the highest annual cap hit.

 

The Penguins are going to be top heavy, but they simply had to make this move. You can’t let top five players in the world leave. Period. This places pressure on the pro and amateur scouts to find cheap players that can contribute, but that is an easier solution than trying to replace Malkin.

 

And I thought Malkin had a good series against Boston, all things considered. He obviously wasn’t productive (at all), but he was creating offense against Zdeno Chara, which is no easy task.

 

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Game 1 – great game – sloppy at times, but both teams showed why they were there. The one thing I really noticed that the two teams have in common is fantastic puck support. Boston is bigger and stronger (Chicago played as physical as they could, and they took it too Boston for stretches of the game in that department), and Chicago is faster and more skilled.

 

But both teams support the puck so well in all three zones – there wasn’t a lot of “off the glass and out” plays last night. Two quick passes and out of the zone.

 

Nathan Horton left the game, which opened up more ice time for Seguin and Peverley (and most other Bruins forwards, too). He looked to be in a lot of discomfort when he left the ice in regulation.

 

Brent Seabrook in particular had a great game – he looked like Lidstrom at times with how efficient he was at breaking the puck out – he must have had a half-dozen tape-to-tape two-zone outlet passes.

 

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The Grand Rapids Griffins have a 3-0 series lead in the Calder Cup Final against Syracuse.

 

Forward Jan Mursak scored the game winner, and he now has 10 postseason goals. Mursak signed a contract to play in the KHL back in May… but does his strong postseason change anything?

 

I don't blame him for signing in Russia – he's spent five years in the AHL. He has NHL talent, but needs a chance to show it.

 

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A quick "rant" on the Penguins/Iginla/coaching:

 

It’s amazing what great goaltending can lead to.

 

(This was written before Game 1 last night – so if Rask is lit up… you can skip past the next few paragraphs…).

 

Boston won in 2011 primarily because of Tim Thomas, but the main narrative after was how they “bullied” their way to the cup over the East and then Vancouver with toughness and grit. Thomas outplayed every single goalie significantly. Sure, the Bruins were tougher than their opponents, but if Thomas doesn't play at an elite level, no one writes about that.

 

And the same thing is this year with the Bruins. Rask is outplaying other goalies significantly. Pittsburgh didn’t play bad. Sounds weird considering that they were swept, but they created shots on goal, chances, and they did a pretty good job def