AWWW! Now I have to wait all summer before I can watch Brad Marchand lick someone’s face again.
The Bruins are out, which actually surprises me because I felt that Tampa Bay went from being by far and away the best team in the league in the first half – to being seventh or eighth best in the second half. Andrei Vasilevskiy fell apart, Nikita Kucherov came back down to earth and Steven Stamkos turned into just ordinary.
Click this – Steven Stamkos. Shameless plug to get you to check out our new player profiles, but hell after seeing these you will remove the bookmark for any other player profile because this is what you need. What we’ve added in the last week – a buy/sell meter on several stats. You can find them in the Advanced Stats tab. For Stamkos, you can see that his four stats are in the “normal” color code. Check other players for their buy/sell meters. Very fast loading too. Now go to Career stats and scroll beneath them to see a new thing we added – quarterly comparison. At a glance you can see that Stamkos had 35 points in the first quarter, 51 in the next three quarters. So he really dropped off after that hot start.
We added the above two tools based on your requests, so keep ‘em coming.
This was a play that they had practiced and had saved it for this situation – and were stoked that it worked. Very cool story.
Although Tuukka Rask ended up with a 0.903 SV%, there wasn’t really a point where he was terrible. He was also never really great, either. At least – Boston didn’t lose because of him. Saddle him with one of the losses against Tampa and one against Toronto. But the rest – it was the scoring. And you certainly can’t blame David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron there. The three combined for 53 points in the 12 games. But in each series that trio exploded out of the gate, but by Game 3 of each series both Toronto and Tampa figured out how to slow them down.
It’s ironic that Boston’s undoing came in the form of their scoring depth. Because this is a team that can make Danton Heinen, Brian Gionta and Tommy Wingels healthy scratches last night – and at other times had Ryan Donato scratched. One of the two or three best (if not “the” best) teams in the second half. And that’s why I thought the Bruins would win this round.
It should be worth noting that Jake DeBrusk was the other forward who had a very strong postseason. I’m a big fan of his playoff upside and I love that his regular season floor is still very good. His ceiling isn’t the highest – maybe 65 points one day depending on how he works with future linemates. But he’s a good steady player in terms of production who turns it up a notch in the postseason. Something to remember for future playoff pool drafts. It was a shame that he only played 13:16 Sunday and his PP time disappeared (and was fairly minimal throughout). Four power-play points with 12 minutes of PP ice time says to me that he should have gotten more.
I think we’ve seen the last of Brian Gionta. Yes, he made a huge splash early on as the “new team adrenalin” kicked in – he had six points in his first five games. But he was pretty bad in the Olympics and after those five games he only managed one points in 15 games. And then he only got into one uneventful playoff game. Now 39, at best he’ll get a training camp invite – and then he’ll be released. That’s if he doesn’t retire before then.
In the end, was Rick Nash worth the price of a) putting Danton Heinen in the press box and b) Ryan Spooner, Ryan Lindgren, Matt Beleskey’s contract, a 2018 1st and a 2019 7th? Nope. But we knew that immediately. As we do with most trade deadline deals and most July 1st signings.
As a GM, I would only target the truly unattainable (for most of their career) players on July 1st. This year that would be John Tavares and John Carlson. Last year I don’t think there was anybody. Every other player – I’d ignore. Let other GMs shoot themselves in the foot. Because three years after a big signing we always see either fans flooding social media with pleas for a buyout…or just bad contracts that are untradeable but that fans wish were off the books. Every single one. So I would just chase the franchise players only. The guys who are safe from looking bad in four years. And then later in July I would sign one or two depth guys on the cheap to fill other needs. Honestly you just build through the draft along with smart summer or early-season trades when there is no pressure. That’s how you rein in spending, and not enough GMs practice it. Dobber for GM!
Another example – a first, second and third-round pick for Tomas “press box” Tatar. That’s a hefty price to pay to acquire a popcorn server. Plus they have to pay Tatar $5.3 million per season the next three years.
Joe Thornton took the ice for warmups Sunday, but didn’t dress for the game. I think we’ll see him again. As a Shark.
The Sharks are out, so now we have to wait all summer before we get to see Joe Pavelski lick someone’s face. Wait…that was just Marchand’s thing, sorry.
Evander Kane had one point against Vegas in five games and was minus-5. Joe Pavelski three points in six games and minus-3. Brent Burns five points and minus-6, and three of those points were in one game.
Seven points for playoff stud Logan Couture, though.
After the game, Kane said that he had been playing with a separated shoulder plus an MCL injury
If Vegas gets to the Stanley Cup Final and loses – the Conn Smythe still goes to Marc-Andre Fleury. Geez, part of me thinks that if they take the Semi-Final to Game 7 and lose he still somehow wins the Smythe and becomes the first non-Final participant to do so. He’s really been awesome.
Reilly Smith has really snuck a lot of points in there. I’ve seen William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault all over the place so of course Smith is going to get his points, but I didn’t know he’d have more than Karlsson (11 to 10).
In the end, the difference was depth. Vegas had Ryan Reaves play just 10 minutes, but every other forward saw a minimum of 12:30 ice time. Meanwhile, the Sharks had three forwards at under 11:30. It’s nice to comfortably roll four lines.
It looks like Mathieu Perreault will finally get back into the lineup for the Jets tonight. He was ready to go in Game 4 but Paul Maurice said he didn’t want to insert two players back from injury into the same game. Weird reasoning but okay…
If the Caps put Jakub Vrana on the Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov line, then the Penguins will be in a lot of trouble. I have a feeling that line would be one of those “ah-ha” moments. The trio had been put together before, and in fact were on the ice together for five of Vrana’s points (20.8% of them) during the season and 12% of his line frequency. But with young players like that sometimes it’s the fourth or fifth opportunity in that situation before things really click. And I’ll tell you – if he’s on that line and it does work and they eliminate Pittsburgh, then that line will continue to fly all the way to the Cup Final. And Vrana would be a massive sneaky pickup at drafts in September. It could finally be his time. The problem is, in keeper leagues, Vrana owners are already watching and are well aware of this. So I doubt there’s a steal to be had.
The 2018 DobberHockey products are now up in the shop for pre-sale! That includes the Ultimate Fantasy Pack, the Keeper League Pack and the Fantasy Prospects Report. The FPR is released June 1 and I’m nearing the halfway point on writing and editing the content, so it’s really coming along nicely.
See you next week
- Ramblings: Yes Giordano Norris blah blah, Tarasenko’s slump, under-the-radar players and more (Dec 17)
- Ramblings: Hart Called Up; Hakstol Fired; Dumba Injury; Disappointments - December 18
- Top 10 Surprises of 2018-19
- 20 Fantasy Hockey Thoughts
- Eastern Edge: Reviewing Recent Turnaround Predictions
- Geek of the Week: Matt Dumba
- Lining Up: Top-Performing Lines in the East - December 18
- Fantasy Hockey Podcast - Hayes Of Our Lives