Fifteen playoff and year end musings revolving around the Western Conference
Fantasy hockey leagues everywhere wrapped up this past weekend. Champions were crowned, trophies are ready to be engraved, and effective today we all stand together in mourning another regular season. Let's be honest, even those lucky (and skilled) enough to win their leagues are already wondering how to pass the time. Various playoff pools and the Stanley Cup playoffs will serve as a nice distraction for now. Then we will count the days to the NHL entry draft and tell ourselves that July's "free agency frenzy" will actually be more interesting than usual this year. Then the summer lull kicks in and fantasy hockey news becomes more of an endeavor for the desperate.
Rather than focusing on the summer lull, we have to acknowledge that the first lull is already upon us since the regular season ended last night and we are now on standby until Wednesday's playoff opener. To help you pass the time over the next few days (ala Elliott Friedman's 30 Thoughts, ala Jeff Angus' 15 Prime Cuts) here are 15 random thoughts from out West to help fill that void.
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1. On March 13th the St. Louis Blues had 95 points and were four points clear of both Boston for the President's Trophy and Colorado for the Central Division lead. One month and 17 games later and the Blues closed their season out with 111 points – taking only 16 of a possible 34 points. Does anyone else get that overwhelming feeling that we're about to see a first round exit in Missouri?
2. The Ryan Miller trade appeared to be a genius move. Miller was 7-0-1 in his first eight games with his new team, but has since gone 3-8-1 to close out the year. In his last 11 games, Miller's save percentage has only been above .900 three times. Not all of the blame can be put on Miller though – in yesterday afternoon's 3-0 loss to Detroit he stopped a number of breakaways. The