Ramblings – Some Thoughts on the End of Round 1… (May 16)
On May 15 each year (i.e. yesterday), those with annual subscriptions – either Silver, Gold or Platinum – have their payments processed. I hope this didn't startle too many of you. I gave the heads up here last week and there is also an email sent out a few days prior. The items for 2022-23 are now in the shop available for pre-sale. The first item that will be released is the Fantasy Prospects Report, which will come out the afternoon of June 14.
I felt that the Leafs were the better team in pretty much every game of the series, with the exception of about three different first periods. And while Jack Campbell was fine in Game 6 and great in Game 7, I do think Kyle Dubas' failure to upgrade goaltending over the past year was the Achilles heel in Games 2 and 4. The rest of the roster was great – probably Top 3 in the entire league this season. I hope, for the organization's sake, that they don't tear things apart. Address goaltending, upgrade the defense. If that costs a key forward, so be it. But try to do it without costing either of the Big 2. In the end, goaltending didn't save them in Games 2 or 4, and Alex Kerfoot cost them Game 6. That weird interference call cost them Game 7. Sure, it's interference but can you remember a play like this getting called at such a critical time?
Check it out if you didn't see it:
What was different in Toronto's loss this year as opposed to prior years, to me was their poise. Even when they were down 3-0, they played as if everything was under control. The passing was never panicky. Perhaps they were too relaxed. But Tampa was also poised, and that comes from winning two Cups. They've been there before and know how to shut it down when they need to. The Tampa – Florida series is going to be something. The Panthers have Toronto's offense, but they also have an experienced goaltender. But do you want to bet against the Lightning?
It will be the ninth time in 26 years that the defending Stanley Cup Champions have a series against the President's Trophy winner. In those eight prior series, the Cup Champs have won four times and the President's Trophy winners won four times.
I think Ilya Mikheyev makes for a sneaky buy-low in keeper leagues. He's signing somewhere else in the summer, since the Leafs can't afford to keep him. And wherever he signs, he'll see more ice time. A healthy season will see some surprising numbers. "Healthy" being the key term here.
Nick Paul has 18 points in 28 games since joining Tampa Bay. As a big forward at 6-3, his Breakout Threshold is 400 career games. He's at 248 (regular season), so next season would be considered early. However, he got to the NHL late and is now 27. Depending on where he signs