April 1, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-04-01

The Devils beat the Panthers to keep their playoff hopes alive and Jaromir Jagr finally broke out of a slump in a big way. Jagr hadn't picked up a point in four games but notched a goal and three assists against Florida. For a minute I thought his age was catching up to him late in the season, but it doesn't look that way.

 

Jagr was really clicking with Travis Zajac, who also had himself a four-point night that included his first career hat-trick. Zajac also broke out of a four-game slide to crack the 40-point barrier. He was a 60-point guy a few years back but has struggled offensively in the past two seasons. The loss of guys like Parise and Kovalchuk could have something to do it, so until the Devils add some more firepower into their lineup, don't expect the world from Zajac.

 

 

Ryane Clowe picked up three points but was forced to leave after taking a big hit. Some were speculating that it was a concussion, so it's something to monitor if you've been using him in your playoff matchup.

 

The Devils may have got the win but Martin Brodeur was yanked after conceding three goals on nine shots. It will be an interesting offseason for Brodeur to say the least. I can't see the Devils bringing him back with Cory Schneider holding down the No. 1 job. It looks like he has no plans to retire and it's going to feel weird to see him wearing another jersey.

 

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Brandon Pirri scored a goal to end a lengthy drought. He's been hot and cold since arriving in Florida and these are the games he has to take advantage of. With the Panthers long out of the postseason race, these games will be an evaluation for guys like Pirri to see where they stand for next year. If he steps up he could set himself up in a good spot to start next season. That Florida lineup isn't deep and there are opportunities to move up.

 

Dan Ellis got the start in this one for an ailing Roberto Luongo. He doesn't have much value and that's especially true after Monday. It's just an uphill climb tending goal for Florida.

 

Brad Boyes scored his 20th of the season in somewhat of a bounceback year. That used to be an easy achievement for Boyes, but not so much in recent seasons. He's still only 31 and wouldn't be a bad depth add for next season late in your drafts.

 

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The Sens squeaked by Carolina 2-1 in the shootout after a goaltender's duel.

 

Mika Zibanejad scored his 14th goal of the season for the Sens. He's still being used in more of a checking role rather than getting top offensive opportunities, but he does have a strong defensive skillset so it's hard to blame the Sens. His pace for shots on goal is up a bit this season which is encouraging and maybe with Jason Spezza sidelined he sees a few more minutes down the stretch.

 

Craig Anderson has played excellent in his last two starts. He just does not want to concede the net to Robin Lehner.

 

Mark Stone is now pointless in two straight after scoring four in his previous three contests. He seems to have cooled off a little but still saw nearly two minutes of power play time against Carolina and over 16 total. Not bad.

 

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Cam Ward looked good after having a nightmare outing last Tuesday. The Hurricanes will have some questions themselves this offseason in goal. Anton Khudobin has clearly outplayed Ward this year and is making far less money. Would Edmonton be a possible destination?  The Oilers clearly need a goalie unless they are confident going with Ben Scrivens and they certainly have plenty of young assets they could tempt Carolina with in exchange for Ward.

 

Jeff Skinner scored for the fourth straight game to give him 30 on the season. He's having a very Rick Nash-esque season with only 19 assists to go along with it. I see Skinner as a consistent 30-goal man going forward but it's hard to envision him doing much more than that. That's not necessarily a bad thing as he has shown himself to be very consistent in his young career.

 

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The Wild picked up a key win over the Kings 3-2 thanks to a pair of points from Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. 

 

That’s now nine points in his last six games for Koivu and he’s been solid since returning from an injury after the Olymp