Ramblings: Hurricanes Storming, Bobrovsky Sliding, Tippett, Hughes, & Tavares (Aug 5)
Another sunny summer day, another 13 hours of playoff hockey on the docket. My goodness, this is a strange yet beautiful time to be a hockey fan.
First up were the Panthers and the Islanders and things continued to be a tire fire in net for the Kitty Cats. Two-time Vezina winner, Sergei Bobrovsky has apparently completely forgotten how to stop pucks on a consistent basis.
With the team up 2-1 late in the second frame, he allowed a power-play marker from Ryan Pulock to just… go through him. Three minutes late he completely loses his posts and gives up the go-ahead goal to Jordan Eberle.
Another Eberle marker in the third period sealed it and the Isles have a stranglehold on the series. Historically, just one team in 56 best-of-five series have ever climbed out of a 2-0 hole. I'm not betting on the Panthers to be the second.
With rumours of Florida liking letting Evgeni Dadonov and Mike Hoffman walk in free agency as the team continues to find ways to slash salary, I don't love the prospect of this team doing anything but taking another step back.
That does not bode well for my prediction that Bob would find his sea legs on the east coast and return to form. It’s not going to help Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau continue to reach for new heights either.
It does, however, open up two very juicy top-six roles for Owen Tippett and Grigori Denisenko to take runs at.
Tippett was excellent as a rookie pro in the American league. His 40 points in 46 contests gave him a 0.87 points-per-game mark that was second-best amongst first-year players. Tippett is an exceptionally speedy winger who plays a gunslinging style. The 6'1 200lber was an elite finisher in the OHL and looks like he could be a serious threat to be a 30-goal man down the line.
Put him on the right side beside Hubey and Barkov and that could come a lot sooner.
The Preds evened their series with the Desert Dogs on Tuesday afternoon with a convincing 4-2 victory that was never really close. Juuse Saros stopped 24 of 26 and was the better guy in this one.
I don't have much to say here. I don't love either team for fantasy outside of Roman Josi and sort of Filip Forsberg. AZ is almost assuredly losing Taylor Hall so that leaves…. Clayton Keller? OEL? Nah. I'm out on AZ.
Scary times in the Toronto – CBJ tilt. With a lead late in the game, Jake Muzzin was crosschecked from behind and fell awkwardly. They needed to call the stretcher out.
Dubois crosschecks Muzzin from behind, Muzzin is now hurt. pic.twitter.com/3o5Ce8sEbz
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) August 4, 2020
These types of situations are always gutwrenching but something about the eerie silence of the empty arena magnified this. The good news is that the Leafs reported he was alert and moving all of his extremities. Hoping for the very best here.
John Tavares added the insurance marker with a breakaway from his own blueline.
He deserved this one. pic.twitter.com/9Trmm4xvW3
— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) August 4, 2020
The Buds’ captain had a big-time performance with a goal and eight shots on net. He was exactly what they needed tonight. Auston Matthews with 1+1 and Freddie Andersen grabs the 21 save shutout. It was a fairly pedestrian goose egg for Freddie, but he's been excellent so far in these play-ins.
Say what you will about the save percentage, the guy is a volume starter on a team that should continue to put up excellent regular seasons for some time. Give me Andersen as a top-five fantasy starter all day.
The Rangers were able to finally insert sensational rookie netminder, Igor Shesterkin into the lineup on Tuesday in hopes of staving off elimination at the hands of the Hurricanes. It was not meant to be, however.
The Canes were demonstrably better throughout this series. They took the final tilt in convincing fashion winning 4-1. The cool thing with this club is that they have a few star players, but the entire lineup comes together to form a fist. The top forward used was Vincent Trocheck who saw 18:10. The remaining 11 guys all saw at least 12 minutes.
Sebastian Aho collected two goals an assist and five shots on goal. He's so good at everything. I honestly believe he'll be putting up 90+ seasons while racking up Selke votes in a hurry. He's amazing.
Sebastian Aho is so damn good. pic.twitter.com/TyyaovI5el
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) August 5, 2020
While he grabbed just a lone assist in this one (and five points in the series), Andrei Svechnikov is already asserting himself as the next great goalscorer from Russia. I am all in on Svech and feel he's about to jump into the very rare air of the true superstar players next season.
I'm talking triple-digit stuff.
Andrei Svechnikov is my pick to step into the truly elite group next season.
The kid is too good.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) August 3, 2020
The Flames took a 2-1 series lead with a convincing 6-2 victory. It hasn't been easy for the Jets minus Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine. Nikolaj Ehlers was the best Jet forward today scoring his second goal in as many days.
It just wasn't nearly enough.
Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm combined for seven points and railroaded the Jets right out of the building.
This series seemed liked pickum to me ahead of the injuries to the Jets' stars. I still think Winnipeg could push it to game five and then who knows what can happen. But at the same time, if Winnipeg can't find some sustained offense, this will be over on Thursday.
Vancouver rebounded very nicely to even their series with the Wild. No Tyler Toffoli in this one as he sat out with a lower-body injury. Word around the campfire is he was seen in a walking boot. Not ideal. That meant Brock Boeser was back on the top line and top PP. And both were much better. I expect he stays up there even if Toffoli is back for Thursday (and I doubt he is).
After landing just one PP – late in the first game, the Canucks dictated the play throughout this one and earned seven man-advantages. They converted on one of them and gave up a shorty. Bright side, the top unit looked dangerous as the opportunities continued roll in – a good sign moving forward in this series and for everyone who took any of those guys in the playoff pool.
J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist and rebounded very nicely from a disappointed Game One.
It wasn't the prettiest game out there, but it had some action.
the beautiful game pic.twitter.com/CyYVaj9Riu
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) August 5, 2020
I mentioned that Svechnikov is primed to enter elite territory next season. The easy thing to say here is that Elias Pettersson will get there right along with him. But I actually think it'll be Quinn Hughes. Hughes has everything in place to push for the top point getting defender in the league as early as 2020-21.
I'm taking 65 points on the projection sheet and not looking back.
For the Wild, Kevin Fiala is 100 percent legit. Its as if all that speed and skill he’s teased us with over the years has finally come together. He’s dangerous on nearly every shift. The shot is terrific, but his vision and distribution skills are sublime. I can only imagine he and Kirill Kaprizov will make some sweet music together in Minny for a long while.
His range may be a touch wider than some, but I could easily see 70-plus coming next year if he can find instant chemistry with Kap.
Kevin Fiala is real. pic.twitter.com/BXt00r7ajO
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) August 5, 2020
2020-eligible Russian winger, Rodion Amirov snuck in a sneaky little Michigan goal today to open the Sochi Hockey Open.
Rodion Amirov, you crazy mf. This was a summer friendly.. these men have families! pic.twitter.com/o3lc6zhjDC
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) August 4, 2020
I really like this kid. He sits 15th on my final board. Here's an excerpt from that ranking:
No data at this moment.