April 28, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-04-28

My Stanley Cup pick – the St. Louis Blues – are out in the first round. No shame in that, since they lost to the defending champs and in my opinion the fourth best team in the league. It does drive home the fact that you can’t put a price on experience.

With the Blues out in six – and Ryan Miller winning just two playoff games for them – I think there is very little motivation for the Blues to re-sign him this summer. Hell, as long as Jaroslav Halak was healthy, he probably would have performed better than Miller did. What do you think? Miller is not the same goalie that he once was. They didn’t lose the series because of him – nor would they have won it with Halak between the pipes. I’m just saying that when healthy Halak is a better goalie that what we’ve seen out of Miller these last three or four weeks.

Miller’s playoff numbers: 2-4, 2.70 and 0.897. And in 25 games with the Blues his save percentage hovered around 0.901. That’s a big enough sample size to give it the ol’ thumbs down.

Miller owners hit the jackpot when he was traded to St. Louis. The best defensive system in hockey, other than maybe the Kings. All he had to do was win a round and get re-signed. Now that it’s looking like he won’t – his fantasy value has plummeted. I’m sure he’ll find a starting job somewhere, but it’s not going to be as sweet as the St. Louis job would have been.

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So who do the Blues turn to? I can’t see them going for an unproven or trusting in Elliott. So that leaves Miller, Hiller, Thomas, Brodeur. Or Door No.2 – trading for one. It will be an interesting summer to say the least.

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David Backes played with a broken toe. He had a point in four games. The big bust was Patrik Berglund – no points and minus-7 in four games after returning early from his shoulder injury. Probably should have stayed out.

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Kris Versteeg was a healthy scratch for the Blackhawks. Derek Roy was back in the lineup, after being a healthy scratch, for the Blues. Roy was a minus-2 in nine minutes of action. A 37-point year and healthy scratches when it matters most. Safe to say that Roy’s quadriceps injury in late 2010 dramatically degraded his skill level. He’s barely been an NHL player since. And that’s a shame because he was a good one.

Versteeg could be in the same boat – he had a couple of different (serious) injuries a year ago and hasn’t been the same since. Versteeg still has two years left on his contract, while Roy is a UFA this summer. I don’t see Roy getting a contract – look for a training camp invite. The Hawks cannot buy out Versteeg as part of the compliance, as the team already used both of their buyouts. Great discussion on that in the forum – including a full list of which teams have two buyouts, one buyout and none – right here.

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Trevor Daley had three points for the Stars Sunday and he has five points in six playoff games now. The 30-year-old defenseman had 25 points on the season which was just shy of a career high – but he did it in 67 games, giving him a career high points-per-game average. He ended the campaign with nine points in nine games (so 14 in his last 15 overall). His power-play time topped five minutes Sunday. Sergei Gonchar has lost his PP time and Daley has picked i