Canes go out in style... Zajac with career year... Stamkos hits 50... Sedins go large... Kiprusoff break's a few hearts... Kane: zero goals, one punch... some upcoming hockey flicks.
HEADS UP: Our 2010 Playoff Pool Guide is in the works and will be out by April 12th, at the latest... so come back soon to grab it... it's a $4.00 bargoon
In their last game of their forgettable season the Hurricanes managed to do something that's will definitely be remembered... since it's never been done before. They gave up three shorthanded goals... ON THE SAME PENALTY! Check it out here. The Bruins had only three SHG's all year before last night. Ugly, ugly stuff.
Tuukka Rask stopped 33 of 35 to pick up his 22nd win of the season but actually raised his gaa (which was 1.97 before the game) by letting in two goals. Boston could upset a few teams in the playoffs if Rask continues with his stellar play.
Travis Zajac busted out of his mini-slump with a three assists night last night. He had only one point in his six previous games. Too bad he can't play against the Islanders every night. He's now at a career high 66 points with one game remaining.
Ilya Kovalchuk has been pretty streaky with the Devils this season. In 28 games in the red & black he's been held of the scoresheet 12 times or 43% of the time (34% with the Thrashers). His overall numbers (25 points with the Devils) look good but less than what we were hoping for.
Our boy Steve Stamkos picked up goals 49 and 50 (and tacked on an assist and 10 shots) last night. He's the third youngest player (Gretzky and Jimmy Carson were the others) to hit 50 goals in a season and quite possibly the only player we would turn gay for. He's got one more game against Florida to pad his numbers and shoot for the Rocket Richard trophy (he's tied with Ovie right now)
Christian Hanson surprised everybody by almost doubling his season's output last night with a 2+1=3. They were his first two goals of the season. He'll try to stick around as a checker next year and shouldn't warrant your fantasy attention.
Andrei Markov has been pretty quiet lately (three points in his last 10) but hopefully got back on track for the playoffs last night with a 1+2=3 night. He finishes the year with 34 points which looks disappointing until you do the math and see it pro-rates to 62 points over a full season.
Looks like Henrik Sedin really wants that scoring title. With four assists last night he moved into first place in the league with 112 points (three ahead of Ovie who has one game left)... which absolutely clobbers his old career high of 82 points. He's been particularly hot lately as well... 29 points in his last 19 games.
Not wanting to be outdone by his brother, Daniel Sedin picked up 3+1=4 last night and finishes the season with 85 points in 63 games. Daniel might be undervalued (relatively speaking) in a lot of playoff pools thanks to his injury shortened season. Don't do it... he's every bit as valuable as his brother (more so, if goals are worth more in your league). His production prorated to 82 games? 110 points.
Still with the 'Nucks... one of our biggest disappointments this year has been Kevin Bieska. After 43 points and 97 PIM's last year we became big fans. This year, thanks to ineffective play and injuries he picked up only 19 points in 54 games. Last night, he did his best to make up for things with a 2+1=3 night. Great upside pick next year as he should be undervalued.
With all those goals the Canucks scored there has to be a big loser on night. Mikka Kiprusoff stopped only 15 out of 21 shots and probably ruined a few fantasy seasons. Same goes with Martin Biron, (30 of 37) although if you were starting him you probably weren't anywhere near your league's title anyway.
Not much going on in the Penguins-Thrashers game that finished 1-0 for the Thrash. Nice starts for both MA Fleury (20 save of 21 shots) and especially Johan Hedberg (33 save shutout). But the highlight had to be the 5 PIM's Evander Kane got for this. That's for you, Boston fans.
We've been telling you how hot Tom Gilbert's been recently... things didn't change last night as he picked up 1+2=3 and a +3 last night. That's an incredible 15 points in his last 12 games. Wow.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 52 of 55 shots against the Kings. That'll help out the old sv%. At the other end Jon Quick also let in three but only faced 16 shots. That'll kill the old sv%. Dubnyk and the Oil pulled out the victory in the SO... which is good, seems like he earned it more anyway.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Alex Kovalev's knee injury ended up being serious. He tore his ACL and is done for the year. He'll have surgery in two weeks but at 37 years old you have to worry about his future prospects at this point. Normal rehab time is 3-4 months. It will be interesting to see how the Sens will replace the two points and -15 he's picked up over the last 17 games... oh wait, Jonathan Cheechoo fits the fill perfectly.
Tomas Vanek returned after missing six games with an LBI in a big way... 4 goals, +2, 6 shots and even 4 PIM's. He's a guy we were hoping would get forgotten about in playoff pools after his ordinary and injury filled season but after a four goal game tends to get people's attention.
Chris Kunitz was unable to play last night with a shoulder injury. He'll likely be out tomorrow as well since it's a meaningless game for the Pens.
Victor Hedman did not play last night and is doubtful for Sunday after receiving a punch in the head from Mike Fisher. Put him on the bench if you happened to have him active.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was Christian Ehrhoff
What's distracting us today? The new movie "She's Out Of My League" has a bit of a hockey in it's plot. Kirk (Jay Baruchel) is a bit of a hockey fan and he meets a perfect 10 who is also a big hockey fan... and hilarity ensues. The trailer looks great and it's definitely on this scout's list of flicks to check out.
Baruchel was born in Ottawa and is also big hockey fan in real life. Check out this interview:
But the real reason we're distracted by all of this is we read Baruchel has written a hockey comedy called 'Goon' which has potential to start shooting later this year. Check out what Baruchel has to say about it:
"We like to think of it as a funnier 'Raging Bull.' It's real mean, and it's truthful, and it's everything hockey is without any of the bullshit sports movie clichés, and it is dead funny. Lot of swears, that's a hard R. It's a very crass movie, there are something like 20 fights in it, but it's the badass movie that hockey fans have been waiting to see their whole lives. It will be by far the best hockey movie since 'Slapshot.' Hockey fans have needed one for a long time, it's a sport that movies never do well. Ours will be a fucking movement." (First Showing)
Wow, he's pretty confident there isn't he? We'll see if it can live up to the hype he's generating. If it doesn't at least we'll still have a Kevin Smith hockey movie coming out in 2012 called 'Hit Somebody'. It's based on the Warren Zevon song and will be more dramatic than Smith's other movies have been. It's going to star Seann William Scott as a hockey enforcer who strives to score just one goal in a hockey game. Smith also has very high hopes for his flick and William Scott:
"[Tom] Hanks for years and years did this (lesser) role and then he became that (blockbuster movie) guy. This is Seann's chance to do that as well, not just be Stifler. And it's my chance to not just be the Clerks guy. It's my chance to do something big, epic in scale." The more I hear, the better this sounds, bring it on! (First Showing)
Big & Epic & Smith & Stifler... words I never thought I would see in the same paragraph,,, but we'll see.
Looks like we might have some good clips for distractions coming down the pipeline. As soon as somebody breaks copyright and puts them up on YouTube we'll pass them along.