April 5, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-04-05

Columbus lost to Chicago in heartbreaking fashion after a Ben Smith goal with four seconds to play. They were that close to earning at least one point and making things really tough on the Leafs.

 

Cam Atkinson picked up a point in his third straight game and saw over two minutes of power play time, which was more than Ryan Johansen. He's had a decent season in some respects, with nearly 200 shots and five game-winning goals.

 

The Blue Jackets are a squad that really rely on Sergei Bobrovsky to bail them out on most nights. They give up an average of more than 30 shots per night and conceded 38 against a shorthanded Blackhawks squad. Bobrovsky wasn't bad against Chicago and you couldn't pin the loss on him, but if he's not in top form this last week, Columbus could easily stumble.

 

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Without Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith stepped up with three assists to end a four-game pointless streak.

 

Jeremy Morin had a goal to start a two-game point streak. He's a guy that could step up with all the injuries the Blackhawks are dealing with at forward. This might be a good time for Chicago to examine how some of their depth guys handle more responsibility.

 

Bryan Bickell looked sharp with five shots in just over 11 minutes. What a bonus it would be for the Hawks if he replicated some of his magic from last year's playoffs.

 

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Alex Ovechkin is closing in on 50 goals again, scoring his 49th on Friday against the Devils, but it wasn't enough to prevent a 2-1 New Jersey win.

 

Jaroslav Halak had a good outing making 29 stops and the Caps have favored him over Braden Holtby down the stretch. Halak is a UFA at the end of the year, so does Washington re-sign him with Holtby still under contract? They've been searching for a capable goalie for a while and Halak might be it.

 

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I've been impressed with the Devils in the last month. They looked long out of it but have at least battled back to get themselves in the playoff conversation again, although they'll likely fall short.

 

Defenseman Eric Gelinas had an assist Friday. He's got 29 points in just 58 games from the blue line this year with close to 125 shots. He's definitely someone to target for next year in your draft that may fly under the radar.

 

Patrik Elias left this one after taking a hard hit where his head appeared to hit the turnbuckle. No word on how serious his injury is yet.

 

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In likely the least anticipated matchup of the night, the Flames beat the Panthers 2-1.

 

Mike Cammalleri potted his 26th of the season and that's with missing substantial time due to injury. If he had been healthy for the majority of the year he'd likely be around the 35-goal mark. He's going to be in very high demand this summer as a free agent. I wonder if Los Angeles may take a look at bringing him back to help stop their goal-scoring woes.

 

Kenny Agostino scored his first NHL goal for the Flames. The Yale product signed a contract with the team just a few weeks back and looks like he has some promise.

 

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The main news in this one for Florida was Roberto Luongo returning from injury. However, he only faced 17 shots and wasn't tested much. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact he has on the Panthers in the standings over a full season next year.

 

Jimmy Hayes led the Panthers with a season-high five shots and an assist.

 

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Detroit beat the Sabres 3-2. Shocking, I know. I would say the Wings are pulling away now and the East is really just a fight for one final playoff spot at this point.

 

Pavel Datsyuk returned to the lineup and played nearly 18 minutes, managing one shot. It's going to take him a few games to get rolling again, so by the playoffs hopefully for Detroit fans he'll shake off any rust.

 

Danny DeKeyser had two assists to give him four points in his last four. He's not a big points guy, but he usually gets them in small stretches of three or four game runs. If you use him at the right times he could help steal a weekly matchup or two throughout the season.

 

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Matt Hackett made his fifth start for the Sabres and all things considered, he hasn't been terrible. He's 24 now and in a tricky situation as an RFA this summer. With Enrot