Well there you have it, the regular season is a wrap after last night. Not sure about you but a few of my leagues came down to the last game, so it was a real nail-biter with the thrill of victory & the agony of defeat... hope the fantasy gods were nice to you. Stay tuned, details on our Free FHS Playoff Pool will be coming up shortly.
Dan Boyle gets my fantasy MVP last night as his two late goals and 3rd period comeback to beat Quick sealed a league title for me in one of my leagues. Anze Kopitar takes my clown of the night award as all I needed from him was a meaningless sog from him last night to take 3rd place in the FHS Delta League but that was too big an ask for Kopi and he didn't come through... bullocks!
Fantasy stat line of the night goes to Flames rookie Akim Aliu who had two goals, plus-2 & 10 PIMs in his second NHL game. Good for him but don't get to excited about this kid, he has a lot of work to do before he is a legit fantasy prospect. This also led to a great quote & the reason why we love Coach Bruce as he wasn't going to let this kid have his moment without speaking the truth:
He did nothing. One hit a skate and one him him on the back of the ass and went in. His play was nothing to me. Nothing.
Alright, maybe Bruce would prefer if we gave line of the night to Teddy Purcell for his hat-trick, GWG, plus-4 & four shots against the Jets. That's icing on the cake of a wonderful season as he had 24+41=65 but leaves you wanting more in pretty much all the peripheral cats.
Unreal... Pascal Dupuis finished the season on a 17 game point streak (10+12=22). Only Malkin (28) and Crosby (25) had more points in the the entire league over the past month.
Steven Stamkos definitely looked like a guy that wanted 60 goals, so good for him for reaching it as he finished the year with 10 goals & 46 shots over his last nine games. Although, this run cost Tampa a high pick as they moved all the way up to 10th in the East.
Congrats to Evgeni Malkin on hitting 50 goals & winning the Art Ross as he finished the year on a eight game point streak (5+9=14). After two off-years where he was dealing with injuries and seemed unmotivated, he put it all together this year... three cheers for you if you grabbed him later in your draft.
Looked at the final leader board this morning and was a little surprised to see John Tavares all the way up in 7th (tied) with 81 points. Another lost season on the Island but Tavares made a big leap with a solid finish (5+13=18 in his last 15). I expect this guy to find his way in to the top 3 or 5 next year and just imagine what he could do if he didn't have to carry guys like Moulson & Parenteau.
Damn, I wish I had more conviction that Cam Atkinson would be a good pick-up as he closed out the year with 5+5=10 & plus-8 over his last six games... expect a lot of hype about this kid heading into next season.
Preds rookie Craig Smith with 1+2=3 & plus-3 yesterday... it's about time, he had just 2+0=2 & minus-6 in his previous 21 games. Dude really hit the wall this year as he came out of the gate on fire with 8+16=24 in his first 31 games but finished her up with just 6+6=12 in his last 41.
I'd say Mike Smith is heading into the playoffs on a bit of a roll as he won his last five straight by stopping 190 of the last 192 shots he faced.
Rough finish to the season for Al Montoya as he gave up a converted TD to the CBJs yesterday (really?... who does that?) and caps off his season by giving up 24 goals over his last five games. I'd like to say that I'm the kinda guy that won't rub this in... but I'm not.
Braden Holtby picked up wins in the final two games for Washington (35/36 yesterday over NYR) and whether he deserves it or is just the only healthy goalie they have right now, he could be a bit of a story for the Caps in the playoffs.
Tyler Seguin capped off his fantastic breakout season with a pair of goals yesterday to give him 29+38=67 & plus-34 for the season. I'm really impressed as it's pretty rare for a guy in year #2 to pull that off after just 22 points in his rookie season (and as a 19/20-year-old).
A goal on five shots yesterday for Andrew Shaw and the pest finished the year with 5+7=12 over his last 11 games... he's definitely a solid sleeper pick in playoff pools, if you like the Hawks chances.
Antti Niemi was pulled after the 2nd period with the Sharks down 2-nil but it was a planned maneuver so he could rest and get Thomas Greiss some game action. Niemi won six of his last eight starts coming into last night to get the Sharks into the playoffs so don't be thinking that his job is in jeopardy here.
The Hawks re-signed Ray Emery to a one-year deal yesterday, so he'll return next year in a 1B/#2 role. He was good for most of the year but had a pretty rough finish to the season and his numbers (2.81 & .900) don't inspire a lot of confidence.