Ramblings: pylons in Dallas, injuries in Boston, Wilson on fire, my Calder picks and more
Big day tomorrow. It should have been Monday but I’ve been waiting for the final word from Draft Kings as to whether or not they want me to offer their $10 Ultimate Fantasy Pack deal for the third straight summer. Over 1000 people have taken advantage of this deal over the last two summers so if you haven’t yet – you’ll probably want this to be available one more time. If I get the go-ahead (or the kibosh), I will open up the shop to pre-sales of the Fantasy Prospects Report, the Fantasy Hockey Guide, the Ultimate Fantasy Pack and the Keeper League Pack. I just don’t want to start selling these and then suddenly have the Draft Kings deal available and then have to give a whole bunch of refunds as people switch their order. Stay tuned…but expect pre-sales to open up on Thursday.
It’s one bad game for Thomas Greiss. But is it enough to expedite Jaroslav Halak’s return? I wonder if he’ll be the backup to Greiss next game and if Greiss has another bad one – Halak gets in for Game 5. Just musing aloud…
On a high level, the Lightning aren’t impressing me as a playoff team. But taking into consideration all of their injuries – and they’re very much impressing me. I mean… Matt Taormina? Is that what we’re down to? I mean…I can see Slater Koekkoek getting in if there are a couple of injuries, but Taormina? I’m sure Steve Yzerman is taking note of the importance of adding blueline depth to their farm team.
Jonathan Drouin returned from this hit:
Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first goal of the playoffs. He saw 10:59 of ice time, which was actually his second-highest TOI of the postseason. He’s been underutilized so far…
Alex Killorn, who had 18 playoff points last year, has eight points in eight playoff games so far this time around. These young forwards – Killorn and the Triplets – have proven to be clutch players. Did Namestnikov get that memo?
Ryan Pulock is still out (he’s getting closer), but Josh Bailey returned to the Isles lineup and made an immediate impact. He scored twice including the first goal of the game. His return, combined with Alan Quine’s strong play, has pushed Ryan Strome back to the press box. Here were the NYI line combos:
#1 23.4% OKPOSO,KYLE – QUINE,ALAN – TAVARES,JOHN
#2 23.4% BAILEY,JOSH – KULEMIN,NIKOLAY – NIELSEN,FRANS
#3 22.2% BERNIER,STEVE – NELSON,BROCK – PRINCE,SHANE
#4 15.9% CIZIKAS,CASEY – CLUTTERBUCK,CAL – MARTIN,MATT
You’re probably curious to learn more about Quine. So I’ll leave this here for you to peruse at your convenience.
Well Nashville’s on the board now. You knew they wouldn’t go down that easy. The key to winning? Not putting Mike Ribeiro in the lineup. One point and minus-3 in the playoffs and that’s enough to make him a healthy scratch.
Colin Wilson is on a four-game points streak and he has eight points in 10 playoff games. After a horrible season, you’d hardly expect to see this. He didn’t see a lot of ice time during the season with James Neal, but last night he was on a line with Neal and Mike Fisher. If that line, or at least the Wilson-Neal pairing, remains intact for next season then perhaps Wilson can get back to being a 45-point guy.
Making his NHL debut last night – Pontus Aberg. He had some promise as a potential second liner, but has shown us nothing since arriving in North America last year: 74 points in 143 AHL games so far.
The Sharks still lead the series despite Martin Jones. His 0.918 SV% during the regular season was so-so. His 0.914 SV% in the playoffs is horrible. If the Sharks ever get into trouble I can see them turning to James Reimer. And the on-again/off-again Reimer will be clutch. He always seems to be – only winning when he absolutely needs to (ever since that Bruins come-from-behind playoff loss, that is).
You may have noticed Marc-Andre Fleury on the bench Monday. Yep, he’s been cleared to play and it sounds like he’s content to let Matt Murray run with it. If Murray loses and the Penguins fall behind in a series, then we’ll see Fleury. If not, well then they win the Cup and that opens up a whole new set of problems for Fleury owners. Because you can’t hold a Cup-winning goaltender to just 30 starts and you can’t limit a $6 million goalie to just 50 starts – something would have to give.
Big news out of Boston. Big news. Torey Krug is out for six months after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder. Not only does that cost him training camp but it also will cost him the month of October (10 games) and maybe a little beyond that. Look for Colin Miller and/or Joe Morrow to get a bigger taste of things, at least to start.
David Krejci has hip problems. I mentioned this a couple of years ago when they were keeping it hush-hush (source: a friend of a friend). I’ve been saying for two years now that I wouldn’t touch Krejci because of how much pain he’s in. Clearly my source was correct because he underwent hip surgery (left hip) and is out until October. That will cost him the World Cup and training camp. Hopefully surgery fixes the problem, but I still wouldn’t trust him as a fantasy asset for next season.
Matt Beleskey had surgery on his hand and is out until July. So not a big deal as he will be fine for camp.
Calder Trophy finalists Artemi Panarin, Connor McDavid and Shayne Gostisbehere were on my ballot in the top three as well (not in that order). The other two rookies on my ballot? Jack Eichel and Colton Parayko. This is my third year as a PHWA member and my second year of voting, other than the Masterton which I voted on all three times.
Poor Lindy Ruff has to choose between two overpaid and overrated pylons to put in his net. And it’s a shame because he gets to ice such a great team in front of them. Someone on Twitter suggested that Dallas acquire Jimmy Howard in the offseason. Uh…that’s the same thing: 1A/1B/1C as Niemi/Howard/Lehtonen would be the same overrated goaltender.
So the Stars lost 6-1 and now they are down in the series 2-1. It was scoring by committee other than Vladimir Tarasenko, who had three points. Twelve different Blues had points.
Troy Brouwer has six points in his last five games.
Oh boy. Stephen Johns is huge, so this was scary. Alex Pietrangelo was okay, fortunately. But this play leads to a rare playoff fight…
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