A stupid "Pens Must Trade Malkin" article... Eberle in at WC... 2nd Round Breakouts, Breakdowns & Druce Award... Lappy gets freaked out
I have no idea who John Grigg is but apparently he writes for The Hockey News and is desperate for attention as his article yesterday titled PENGUINS MUST TRADE MALKIN caught our attention but was totally asinine. His argument, I guess, is that since they lost to the Habs then they can't win with both Malkin & Crosby but then he also says that if they had beaten the Habs then he wouldn't have wrote it. So they go to two straight finals, then run into a hot goalie while Fleury's having an off-year and your solution is to trade one of the best players in the league who's only 23-years old? Then, despite the title of the article saying "Penguins Must Trade Malkin", he says, "And the best part is that Pittsburgh doesn’t have to trade Malkin... There are worse things than having Evgeni Malkin on your team". Finally, we thought it couldn't get any worse but he goes onto suggest that they deal Malkin to the Oilers for Taylor Hall, Paajarvi-Svensson & Sheldon Souray??? So they can't win with Malkin & his $8.7M cap hit but it should be a breeze with Souray & his $5.4M for the next two years... unbelievable.
Since the 2nd round will be complete tonight, let's take a look at some Breakouts & Breakdowns of the 2nd Round:
Breakouts (maybe they broke out during the regular season and kept it going or maybe they're showing that they'll be breakout candidates in next year's Breakout Bible):
Jaroslav Halak - we called Halak's 26 win season this year a breakout but he would seem to be playing himself into a full-time #1 gig for next season so that's when you could really see him put up some large numbers.
PK Subban - only had 1+2=3 in the 2nd round but the minutes were huge, especially for a guy with only four NHL games of experience coming into the series... everything this kid has done this year makes us think that he's going to be an impact player next season.
Dave Bolland - was close to breaking out with 47 points last year but a back injury hampered him this season and he regressed to only 16 points in 39 games. Long-term he's a solid option as the Hawks #2C, which is great work if you can get it... he flashed some of that potential with 2+3=5 against the Canucks.
Milan Lucic - suffered through a poor season with only 20 points in 50 games but, once again, seems to thrive in the playoffs and has 3+2=5 in six games in the 2nd round. We don't think he has a lot of scoring potential but could be a useful player in leagues that count PIMs.Alex Goligoski - he had 37 points in the regular season and was 1+5=6 against the Canadiens but could see his role greatly expanded next season if Sergei Gonchar isn't retained.
Breakdowns (think we all expected a lot more from these dudes):
Roberto Luongo - granted his defence didn't help him that much people were giving Lu a hard time about his performance last year in the playoffs when his numbers were 2.42 & .914... so what do you do now after he was a 3.54 & .897 this year?
MA Fleury - dude didn't have a good year from start to finish and the finish was the worst as he was 2.83 & .892 while only facing 26.1 shots /60mins against the Habs.
Alex Ponikarovsky - don't think this is what the Penguins had in mind when they made Poni their big deadline acquisition... two assists and two healthy scratches in the 2nd round.
Mike Samuelsson - after seven goals in the 1st round, it came of the rails in the 2nd round as he could only manage one vs Chicago.
James van Riemsdyk - expectations shouldn't have been that high after putting up only two points in his last 20 regular season games as he seems to be going through an early sophomore slump... he hasn't managed a point and is a minus-4 vs the Bruins.
Dustin Byfuglien - if only he could play the Canucks all the time... he seems to really get up when facing Luongo as he put up a hat-trick in game #3 and had 4+2=6 in the series. He converted on 22% of his shots in the series vs 8% in the regular season. He'd be useful in fantasy leagues if he played like this even half the time but that hasn't happened yet.
What's distracting us today?
- 'Broad Street Bullies', the HBO doc on those infamous 70's Flyer teams, is up on YouTube and available for your perusal. Haven't had a chance to watch it yet but it's on the sked for this weekend.
- How does a Ranger legend piss of all of Ranger Nation in one move? Ummm this should do the trick.
- Classic video featuring a fake-Malkin rapping into his diary.
- Stoeten over at Buzz was on fire yesterday. He posted not 1 (Wazzup guys do Halak) or 2 (crazy commercial featuring Laraque) but 3 great hockey videos... here's the best of the bunch, Laperriere and an especially crazy Flyers fan: