June 14, 2014

Michael Amato

2014-06-14

The Montreal Canadiens traded Louis Leblanc to the Anaheim Ducks for a conditional fifth-round pick. The former-first round selection just hasn’t panned out and it’s hard to imagine he’ll have a better chance of cracking the Ducks lineup if he couldn’t do it with the Habs. Leblanc played just eight NHL games over the last two seasons. Not any fantasy value at this point. The fact that all it took was a conditional fifth rounder to get him speaks volumes about how far his stock has fallen. 

 

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Sticking with the Habs, they signed head coach Michel Therrien to a four-year contract extension today. Not all that shocking when you consider, at least in my opinion, they really overachieved this year. That’s always a good way to earn an extension if you’re a coach. 

 

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That's it. Alec Martinez gets another series winner in overtime as the Los Angeles Kings get their second Stanley Cup in three years. It was well earned. Going through that gauntlet of Western Conference opponents and then having enough to beat the Rangers handily was incredible.

 

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Full marks to the Rangers for continuing to fight hard even after some disheartening losses. You might remember Los Angeles was in a similar situation two years ago when they struggled to finish off the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final, but LA played like a desperate team in the overtime. It's hard to believe New York didn't steal at least one of those three games in Los Angeles with the way they played.

 

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It goes to show you how important depth is. Anze Kopitar had just one goal in his last 11 games and that goal is his only tally since the opening round. He's a great two-way player and is still doing all the little things well, but offense is a big part of his game also.

 

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Los Angeles really took over the game with about 15 minutes left in the third. The Rangers had no answer for their relentless pressure and they were eventually rewarded with the tying goal. The Kings outshot New York 12-3 in the frame and forced them to concede multiple icings. If not for Henrik Lundqvist this series wouldn't have made it to overtime on Friday.

 

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Something I've noticed about Martin St. Louis is how often he doesn't get good wood or fans on one-timers. I'm not sure if something is going on with his release or what, but he's whiffed on a bunch of great chances in these playoffs. He had one early in Game 5 that could have really swung the momentum in New York's favor.

 

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How good was Ryan McDonagh in these playoffs? It won't be long before he wins a Norris Trophy.

 

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Here's the Cup winning goal.

 

 

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Tanner Pearson will be an interesting one to watch for next season. He had great success in the postseason playing alongside Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, but it’s easy to forget he’s played in just 25 regular season games. He almost matched that in the postseason this year alone.

 

The aforementioned line could be a force next season, although keep in mind Darryl Sutter has a history of switching lines around on the fly. He cycled different players onto the line late in the Blackhawks series and at some points during the Rangers series as well.