Dead night in the NHL last night and again tonight, good thing we've got some Memorial Cup games to tie us over. While we've got a little free time lets reflect on some of the Breakouts & Breakdowns of the 2nd Round... breakouts today and breakdowns manana:
Breakouts (maybe they broke out during the regular season and kept it going or maybe they're showing that they'll be breakout candidates in next year's Breakout Bible):
Milan Lucic - was worried more about the rough stuff in the 1st round against the Habs but took on more of a scoring role in the 2nd round as he was 3+3=6 with a +9 against Carolina. After an improvement from 27 to 42 points in his second season, Looch will be a breakout candidate next year.
Jonas Hiller - by season's end we considered him a breakout this year and he built on the regular season by making a statement in the postseason with a 2.23 gaa & .943 sv% (led playoffs).
Johan Franzen - un-officially he broke out at the end of the 2007-08 season and into the playoffs but official his breakout year was this year. He's turned into such a clutch playoff performer and you could make case that he was the MVP of the 2nd round (vote for him in our poll if you think so) as he was 6+3=9 against Anaheim.
Dave Bolland - after just three assists in the 1st round, Bolland exploded with 4+2=6 in the 2nd round. He's seen his ice-time increase to 18:59 in the playoffs up from 16:27 in the regular season and with 47 points this season, he's on the verge of breaking out next year.
Kris Letang - we considered Letang a breakout player this year but he's taken it to a new level in the playoffs as he was 3+3=6 against the Caps and is tied for fifth in playoff scoring amongst dmen.
Alexander Edler - jumped from 20 points to 37 points the year and the breakout dmen continued that with a strong 2nd round performance... 1+5=6 in 6 games and could be in for a larger role next year if Mattias Ohlund moves on.
Jussi Jokinen - He continued his Druce-esque performance in the 2nd round as he was 3+3=6 (two of the goals were game winners)... all this on the strength of only seven shots on goal... his stick is so hot Ove might have trouble picking it up.
Rod Brind'Amour took a puck to the bean on Thursday during OT and had to leave the game. By all reports he's doing fine and should be good to go for game #1.
Some more details on the Caps injuries... Alex Ovechkin played with a groin injury suffered during the Rangers' series in addition to a bad wrist and Alex Semin had a thumb injury which made it difficult for him to handle the puck.
What's distracting us today? We mentioned yesterday that we'll be heavily following the Memorial Cup and just to make a point about what you might be missing, just take a look back a few years at what the tournament has given us... 2006 gave everyone a glimpse of stars like Jordan Staal, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and tournament MVP Alexander Radulov before they jumped straight to the NHL the next season. 2007 featured future NHLers like David Perron, James Neal and tournament MVP Milan Lucic. Last year's tourney was a great opportunity to catch Mikkel Boedker and Claude Giroux before they jumped to the NHL and gave you a preview of future WJHC stars like PK Subban and Dustin Tokarski (tournament MVP last year). So tune in and check it out.