This is getting epic as Kyle Rammler continues to lead our FHS Playoff Pool... is it possible for someone to go wire-to-wire in a pool like this? Mr.Rammler lost a bunch of Penguins and a few other guys but so did everyone else so he's sitting in pretty good shape. The menacing duo of Don Waldner & Kurtis Kindrakewich sit just a point back.
Loyal reader i12swim continues to lead our FHS Staff Invitational Playoff League and he's going to be tough to catch as 10 of his 12 players are still alive... well done on calling the PHI & LA upsets.
It's curtains for the Bruins as they fell in OT to the Caps in game #7, anyone else think that the Caps series winner was a little suspect with Mike Knuble basically snow-plowing Tim Thomas into his own net? But hey, I suppose anything goes in G7 OT. The downfall for the Bruins was that their top forwards (other than Seguin) didn't really show up as Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron & Brad Marchand only combined for two goals.
Unreal performance from Braden Holtby as he stole the show from the defending champs by holding them to just a single goal in four of the seven games and finishing the series with a .940 sv%. His AHL numbers this year (.906 sv% in 40 games) were a step back and concerned me a little but the theory now is that he was bored in the AHL and needed a new challenge. Sounds like a plan. It's funny how things happen but it seems to me like the Caps have found themselves a goalie for now and the future.
Jose Theodore (LBI) skated yesterday and is a game-time decision for tonight's game #7. Scott Clemmensen is ready to go if called upon but he has taken losses in the last two games so the Panthers are probably hoping that Jose can go... and not blow it in the first 10 minutes.
Didn't get a chance to see much of the action from the U-18s (have it on tape and will catch up later) but some of the notable performances were turned in by Canadian dman Matt Dumba who led the tournament in scoring with 5+7=12 (& 20 PIMs) in seven games. He'll likely slip in the draft due to his size but I think this kid is a gamer. Hunter Shinkaruk, Seth Jones & Kerby Rychel were among the 2013 draft eligibles that had impressive showings. One thing that confused me (maybe someone who watched can fill me in) is that Filip Forsberg of Sweden was named the tourney's Best Forward by the Directorate despite finishing 16th in tournament scoring (5+2=7 in six games), 4th on his own team, he was a minus-1 and his team didn't win the gold??? Who's on the Directorate?... his agent?
Some spicy comments from Canucks GM Mike Gillisregarding how he spent so much of his time dealing with Cody Hodgson's issues over the past few seasons. That may be true but the part about how they created this myth of Cody Hodgsonby putting him in so many offensive situations seems like a truth-stretch. Hodgson's most frequent linemates in Vancouver this season were Malhotra & Hansen and he regularly saw around 10-12 minutes a night, so the kid had a legitimate beef that he wasn't being used properly. I think Buffalo got a good one here and he's going to have some serious motivation heading into next season.
The Senators have allowed both Mark Stone & Jakob Silfverberg to make their NHL debuts in the past two pressure-packed playoff games. Neither played much (around nine minutes each) but they saw some time on the top lines and held their own. Always good to get a look at how the kids perform in key games.
Nicklas Lidstrom has given himself a July 1st deadline to inform the Wings if he'll be coming back for another season. He'll be 42 in a few days and is coming off, arguably, the poorest statistical season of his career, so he has a lot to think about. My gut feel is he probably comes back for one last kick at the can but I won't be holding out hope that he can rebound.
Roberto Luongo opened up the door for a trade out of Vancouver as he says he is willing to waive his NTCif asked by Vancouver. I still think this guy is an elite goalie but that contract with 10 years remaining is a bear so he could be tricky to move. You can't like this move for his fantasy value as the teams that are looking for a goalie are some of the league's weak sisters like Columbus, Toronto & Tampa.