Talking hot & cold Eastern Conf. goalies... Elliott over Fleury?... can Rask steal a series?... Jose the Caps man... Wilson has a feeling on Kadri... Mueller looking unlikely... random distractions
HEADS UP: Get your 2010 Playoff Pool Guide here... get 'em while they're hot
Lets look at some of the hot/cold goalies in the Eastern Conference playoffs today, we'll do Western tomorrow...
Brian Elliott is 6-1-1 with a 2.19 gaa & .923 sv% over his last eight games and has shown the ability to go on some crazy runs as he has winning streaks of nine and six games this year. Remember that Ottawa has proven to be a pretty stingy team this year as they only allowed 28.5 shots per game, 4th lowest in the league.
Combine Elliott's hot play with a poor season from MA Fleury and you have some serious upset potential in the 1st round... we've talked a lot lately about how we think Pittsburgh should be concerned about their goaltending so we won't bore you with that anymore... here's the numbers since January 1st: 33 games, 15 wins, 2.83 & .904.
You already know that we're loving Tuukka Rask (1.50 gaa & .943 sv% in his last nine games) and think he has the stuff to steal a series for Boston and that we don't have a lot of faith in Brian Boucher (4 wins, 2.53 & .905 in his last 10 games).
Jaroslav Halak has been very solid since Jan 1st with 15 wins, 2.24 gaa & .926 sv% in his last 27 games but he'll need to be even better than that to slow down the Capitals in their series as he's going to be facing a lot of rubber.
Speaking of the Caps, Coach Bruce isn't talking but the smart money is on Jose Theodore being the Caps starter for game #1 and given the fact that he hasn't lost in regulation since January 12th (20-0-3, 2.58 gaa & .922 since then) makes him the guy here and we have a feeling that this isn't going to be just a one game cameo for Jose this year.
Ron Wilson says that he has a feeling that Nazem Kadri will be on the Leafs opening day roster next season... and when the coach has a feeling, then its probably a safe bet. Kadri had a solid year in junior with 93 points in 56 games and is leading the OHL playoffs in scoring with 27 points in 12 games but his London Knights were eliminated by Kitchener in the 2nd round.
Sheldon Souray wants a trade out of Edmonton as he's "soured" on management. Well he should check his contract as I'm pretty sure it says that sour or not he's paid a shedload of money to play hockey so he should really suck it up. I'm sure management would love to trade him but the aforementioned shedload of money left on his contract is not going to be easy to move.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Lets getcha caught up on some injury news that might help you in playoff pools...
Peter Mueller did a short off-ice workout yesterday but hasn't been on the ice since his concussion so we would say that its unlikely that he's ready to go for the Avs first playoff game on Wednesday.
David Jones is getting close to being fully recovered from knee surgery back in November and he'll probably return at some point during the 1st round but he's been ruled out of the first game.
Patric Hornqvist missed the last game of the regular season with a UBI but he skated yesterday, will practice on Wednesday and will use the extra rest days to get healthy for Friday's series opener.
Denis Grebeshkov (groin) was back at practice yesterday and could possibly make his return on Friday... or a game or two after that.
Tim Connolly missed the last nine games with a bruised foot but he was back on the ice this past weekend and looks like he's making progress towards playing in game #1 on Thursday.
What's distracting us today? Some Internet randomness... with the emphasis on random:
- Thanks to reader Mike M for passing along this clip from the Frozen Four where a linesman gets caught dropping the F-bomb on ESPN. By the way, if you see something distraction worthy like Mike did, send it over. We're all about doing less work.
- From Funny or Die, we get to see a little stand up comedy about hockey. It's fairly entertaining but even if it wasn't...how often do you get to see somebody do standup about hockey? Outside of Canada, that is.
- This clip titled "greatest golf - hockey clip of all time" isn't great at all. It's actually very stupid. We're pretty sure it's from one of the Caddyshack movies but are hoping somebody can confirm that? If you've seen the movie, could you also explain to us what the hell is going on?
- Scott Oake from HNIC gets annoyed by some blue men last Saturday night. Have to give them credit, most would have lost interest quickly but they continue their weird little dances for the whole segment. Kudos.
- Finally local Buffalo band The Jambrones wrote a song for the Sabres cup run this year. We're paraphrasing here, but in a nutshell the song says "We're a bunch of losers... please can we win something, just once? Please?"