The Fantasy Prospects Report is ready for download! Get a leg up on your competition by researching the most suitable prospects to target in your league. You have your usual list of top 50 skaters, top 25 goalies, team-by-team prospect listings, and a special 2019 draft section with draft-eligible player profiles. Great work by the Dobber Prospects crew.
There’s a new look to the team sections here, with a summary box with the top prospect, boom/bust, long-term project, top sniper, best setup man, and most fantasy upside by forward, defense, goalie, points-only, and multicategory listed for each team.
If you’re looking for a mock draft, it will be ready by June 12 along with other updates. And to check out Cam’s mock draft, you’ll need to purchase a copy.
The Fantasy Prospects Report is an important tool as I plan the upcoming season in my keeper league. The FPR has helped me obtain the top prospect for four different NHL teams, even though I haven’t been able to make a high entry draft pick in my league (the price of success) these past few seasons. So if you’re not in a position to draft Jack Hughes or Kappo Kaako in your keeper pool, then the FPR will help you target suitable prospects relative to the size of your league. Even if you are in a position to draft Hughes or Kaako, go purchase a copy anyway because you might have to think about drafting more.
The city of St. Louis was super pumped for its first Stanley Cup Final game since 1970, hoping to ride off a Game 2 overtime win in which the Blues seemed to impose their will on the Bruins. That excitement disappeared quickly, as the Bruins built up a 4-0 lead early in the second period en route to a 7-2 win in Game 3. No Gloria tonight for St. Louis.
Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring midway through the first period with a power-play goal, deflecting Torey Krug’s shot from the point. Bergeron assisted on two more goals to give him a three-point game. Any thoughts that Bergeron is injured to the point where he would be a non-factor in this series have quickly been put to rest. After all, would he have also delivered three hits in this game if he was battling something that serious? Even if Bergeron is not the Bruins’ leading playoff scorer, he is a critical piece to the Bruins’ success. They will need to lean on him heavily if they are to win the two more games necessary to win the Stanley Cup.
Charlie Coyle put the Bruins up 2-0 later in the first period with his eighth goal of the playoffs and his second goal of the series. Coyle also added an assist for a two-point game. After being traded from Minnesota, Coyle scored just two goals and six points in 21 games, so he was probably an afterthought in many playoff pools. However, during these playoffs Coyle has provided superb secondary scoring with 15 points in 20 games. This is the kind of acquisition that teams hope for when they swing deals at the deadline.
The Blues challenged Sean Kuraly’s goal late in the first period for offside. The challenge was denied, and the Blues were given a delay of game penalty to start the second period. David Pastrnak took advantage, scoring on the ensuing power play to pile it on to 4-0.
Ivan Barbashev cut the lead down to three midway through the second period with his third goal and sixth point of the playoffs. Even that glimmer of hope was short-lived, as Torey Krug scored a power-play goal just over a minute later. That was it for Jordan Binnington, who was pulled for the first time in his NHL career allowing five goals on 19 shots. Yes, not just the playoffs, but his career. That meant Jake Allen made his first postseason appearance in 2019, eventually making three saves on four shots.
Krug, by the way, finished the game with a playoff-high four points (1g-3a). He’s been a top-notch playoff performer throughout his career, scoring 44 points (11g-33a) in 58 games. He’s also the first Bruins’ defenseman to record four points in a Stanley Cup Final game. That includes players like Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, and Zdeno Chara, so that’s an impressive feat.
Colton Parayko made the game 5-2 with a power-play goal in the third period. The Bruins responded by putting the game even further out of reach with goals from Noel Acciari and Marcus Johansson with under two minutes to go. Charlie McAvoy left the ice in pain after blocking a shot moments before the Acciari goal. According to Bruce Cassidy, McAvoy is “fine.” Take that for what it’s worth while factual injury information is on lockdown.
Tuukka Rask was his reliable self, finishing the game with 27 saves on 29 shots. Rask and the Bruins have lost only one of their last ten games, and that was the overtime loss in Game 2. He has not finished a playoff game this season with a save percentage below .900. If the Bruins win the Cup, Rask should be the favorite for the Conn Smythe. Even if they don’t win, Rask has to be in the running for the award.
All in all, the Bruins scored four power-play goals in this game, converting on all four of their opportunities. They’ve now scored at least one power-play goal in seven consecutive games. Their power-play conversion rate is a sky-high 35.9 percent, which is unsurprisingly tops in this season’s playoffs.
If this series continues its pattern, the Blues will push back harder in Game 4 and play a much better game than they did in Game 3. I noticed one long-time NHL reporter suggest on Twitter that the Blues turn to Allen if they want to win another game in this series. That take seems like a reach, considering that Binnington’s run is a key reason that the Blues are still playing hockey in June. Binnington is going to hit the skids at some point, as all goalies do. The question will be whether that is happening right now, although this is simply one game and the scoreboard will reset to 0-0 for he and the Blues in Game 4.
A few interesting reveals in the Saturday Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada:
Patrick Marleau’s family will be moving back to San Jose, and he has told the Leafs that he would like to move to a team closer to his family. Arizona, Colorado, and Los Angeles are rumored to be potential destinations for Marleau. It would be beneficial for the Leafs to move Marleau’s contract, but it will likely cost the Leafs a player that can help their team now. Beyond the core pieces signed long-term, there could be a ton of changes to the Leafs’ roster next season.
Dion Phaneuf is mentioned as a potential buyout candidate if the Kings decide to make room for Marleau. Phaneuf is also at the top of the popular buyout list over at Cap Friendly. He has two more years at a cap hit of $5.25 million per season. Phaneuf scored just six points in 67 games with a minus-21 ranking, so he’s simply not helping the Kings in enough ways to justify his contract.
Erik Karlsson is trying to decide whether he wants to stay in San Jose or test the free agent waters. Elliotte Friedman believes that we will know what Karlsson will do within a week.
Finally, this is a bizarre story about the ECHL’s Kelly Cup (CBC). Apparently the Colorado Eagles, last season’s champions, still have the cup and have not returned it. They might not have much incentive to do so, because they now play in the AHL, although it appears that they have some sort of dispute with the league. So a new Kelly Cup has been created and will reportedly be presented to the winner of the final series between the Newfoundland Growlers and Toledo Walleye (love both of those team names, by the way).
For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me directly, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.