Are people really shocked by Rask?... Varlamov taking over... JJ is our man... Kariya to retire?... Klasen signs with Preds... Savard progressing... the greatest '80s hockey video ever?
We're laughing when we hear people saying that they're shocked by what Tuukka Rask is doing in these playoffs (he stopped 32 of 33 last night to take a 2-1 series lead over Sabres)... dude had a phenomenal year, leading the league in both gaa (1.97) and sv% (.931) and the only thing that separates him from the Calder & a Vezina nomination is about 20 more starts.
Another rookie tender, Semyon Varlamov, stepped in and looked pretty solid as well as he stopped 26 of 27 to lead the Caps to victory... good news if you bet on Varlamov, bad news if you went with Jose (as this scout did) as this could potentially play out like last year with Varlamov stealing the show for the rest of the playoffs. We're not totally giving up hope on Theodore but its looking pretty grim.
At the other end, the Caps chased Jaroslav Halak from the net in the 2nd period after giving up three goals on 13 shots. He gave way to Carey Price who stopped 21 of 23. We'd go back to Halak in game #4 if it was our choice (which it's not)... but we're not sure it's going to matter as the Caps are really starting to roll.
Mikael Samuelsson with another goal & assist last night and he's enjoying a productive playoff so far with 4+1=5 through the first three games. Going back to Jan 1st, he's had 22+9=31 in his last 36 games, a 50 goal pace over half a season but dude has no lasting power which is why he hit 30 goals & 50 points for the the first time in his career this year.
Yeah sure Drew Doughty had four points last night, we all know he's so good, but we're loving the playoff performance from Jack Johnson on the LA blueline as he tallied three assists last night and has five so far in the playoffs (four on the PP). We're big fans of JJ and thoroughly enjoyed his breakout this year and think he still has a lot more to give as he wasn't on the #1 PP unit for a lot of the season and only picked up 13 of his 36 points on the PP.
Paul Kariya is talking as though he's considering retiring, heads up if you own him... probably just some frustration as he endured the worst season of his career (on a points-per-game basis) with only 43 points in 75 games. [more]
Linus Klasen, who we mentioned a few months ago for this "creative" shootout goal, has reportedly signed with the Nashville Predators. He finished 7th in SEL scoring this year with exactly a point-per-game but given his size (5'8" & 176) and the fact that this was his only big year in the SEL (as a 23-year old), we wouldn't be lining up to grab him in keeper leagues... wait to see how he does in the AHL next year.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Marc Savard was back on the ice for the first time yesterday and says he's been feeling good for the past week... he's got some work to do but it looks like we might see him at the very end of round 1 or at the beginning of round 2 (if the Bruins advance).
Thomas Vanek couldn't go last night with his foot injury... Coach Ruff says that he's not making much progress.
What's distracting us today? This video was posted this week by YouTube user tweiss229 who said "[It's the] greatest 80's hockey movie ever! Found it in a second hand store, and just had to share it with the world."
We're not sure about 'greatest'... in fact it's terrible. Really, really terrible (particularly the music and the narration by Jiggs McDonald, seriously). But we digress... this blooper video from 1988 has got buckets of kitsch value. We also get to see guys like Brian Bellows, Ron Hextall (his joke at the beginning of Episode 3 is a classic), Cam Neely, Larry Robinson, etc, etc, etc
If you have 10 minutes to kill... check out Episode 1: