Amazing from Cammalleri... Pouliot busting... Riopel shines in Q... four more obscure players to watch at WC... Leighton in for Boucher... Parise for hire
Another amazing performance from Mike Cammalleri as he had two goals to lead the Habs to victory and force game 7. He has six goals already in this series and a league leading 11 for the playoffs.
The real Benoit Pouliot seems to be standing up here in the playoffs as he hasn't scored in the post-season and only has one assist in his last 12 games. He was benched last night after being on the ice for the first Penguins goal. There was some hope for him after he was scoring at a 30 goal pace since arriving in Montreal but we'll be passing on this guy for next season.
Moncton finished of Saint John last night in six games to take the Q title... Flyers pick Nicola Riopel was outstanding in net throughout the playoffs finishing with a 16-4 record and 2.14 & .930 averages. Recently signed Preds prospect, Gabriel Bourque, was named playoffs MVP after leading the league in goals with 19 in 21 games and he was also a plus-19.
James Neal is going to train with Gary Roberts this summer... fire up the blender!!! Expect a Stamkos-like breakout out of him, book it!... just kidding, but we do like this kid and at least you know that he'll be coming into camp next year in great shape.
At the World Championships, we've had a few upsets as the US has lost twice and Denmark has won twice. Yesterday we mentioned a few names of guys that we're watching that may be a little under the radar for some fantasy GMs and here's a couple more:
Petri Vehanen, 32, G, Finland - going back the past three years he hasn't had a sv% below .918 in any season or playoffs and this past year he had a .940 in 18 games in Finland's SM-Liiga, a .935 in 25 games for Kazan in the KHL and then led them to the KHL championship with a .937 in 22 playoff games. So he's undoubtedly one of the top goalies in Europe right now but not sure there's enough interest from an NHL team or motivation on his part to get the 32-year old across the pond next season.
Philip Larsen, 20, D, Denmark - he was drafted by Dallas in the 5th round back in 2008 and was looking like a real steal as he posted 17 points for Frolunda of the SEL in 2008/09 and that prompted the Stars to sign him. This past year saw his numbers decline to only 10 points in 42 games but Dallas brought him over at the end of the season and he did get into two NHL games (recording an assist).
Andreas Engqvist, 22, F, Sweden - Montreal liked him enough last summer to sign the free agent to a contract but then left him in Sweden for another season. He's expected to come to NA in the fall and while he hasn't produced a lot of offense in his four years in the SEL (14+12=26 in 55 games for Djurgarden this past year) he did show some potential in the playoffs as he had 5+8=13 in 16 playoff games. He'll likely spend a little time in the AHL to start next year.
Marcel Muller, 21, F, Germany - NHL scouts likely had their eye on him during the Olympics where he was the youngest player on the German roster and he stood out due to his size (6'4" & 212). He was 2nd on his team & 14th in the German league in scoring this year with 24+32=56 in 53 games and looks like a project that some NHL team would be willing to take on.
Brian Boucher got piled-on by his own teammate when his legs were bent in an awkward position and he had to be helped from the ice last night... looked like a pretty serious knee injury. Mike Leighton stepped in for his first action since March 16th and finished the shutout that Boosh had started. Leighton was excellent for the Flyers since being picked up on waivers (16-5-2, 2.48 & .918) so if he can shake off the rust pretty quickly then this could be a blessing... although they're still down 3-2.
Claude Giroux was rammed into the boards and left the game in the 3rd period... no word on the injury or the extent.
Jaroslav Spacek returned from that mystery illness to play his first game in three weeks and he put home a rare goal that gave the Habs the lead in the 2nd period.
What's distracting us today?
- Zach Parise has his own website. Things must be pretty boring around the Parise household as he's even hiring himself out for "various types of business opportunities". Various eh? Wonder how much it would cost to get Parise to clean out my gutters? (Assist to In Lou We Trust)
- We guess all of the USA miracle magic is gone then?
- The Royal Half gives us some damn punny stuff (sorry we couldn't help ourselves) as they look at some of the worst puns on NHL.com.
- Blade of Funny bring the funny with why the Van-Chi series reminds him of high school.
- Relative of Down Goes Brown, Chris Kunitz, gets the regular DGB treatment. Our favourite: "You just know that he's eventually going to be responsible for the most memorable mispronunciation of Bob Cole's career"
- Finally, if you didn't happen to see Coaches Corner last night on CBC you should really check it out. Well not all of it, but at least watch 0:35 till1:35. You'll get to see Mike Cammalleri doing his pre-game routine... cool stuff... either that or he's got some kind of syndrome: