Joe carries Sharks... Franzen's streak not enough... Penguins D the difference... 9 players we're watching at WC... Guerin back... Hossa & Demitra as figure skaters (pairs)
Joe Thornton carried the Sharks last night (yes, we just wrote that) as he tied the game with a goal in the 2nd and then set up Marleau for the GWG early in the 3rd. This gives him points in six in a row with 3+6=9 during the streak... this scout likes this!
Johan Franzen added another assist last night and finishes the playoffs with a point in all 12 games... another amazing playoff performance from the legendary Mule.
In Pittsburgh, Gonchar & Letang had the goals as the Penguins won 2-1 and the dmen have really stepped up as the Pittsburgh d-core has combined for 5+9=14 on 13 goal goals scored by the Penguins in this series... as Don Cherry keeps saying, "cover the points".
Mike Cammalleri had another goal in the loss, giving him nine for the playoffs... he also had nine shots on net last night.
The World Championships are underway and after today all teams will have a game in the books. Lets mention a few players that we'll be keeping an eye on... today we'll look at some of the more familiar names, tomorrow we'll dig a little deeper:
Mats Zuccarello Aasen, F, 22, Norway - the 5'7" mighty mite grew in stature at the Olympics in February, led the SEL in points and was the league's MVP this year. The rumour is that he's close to signing with the Rangers and will join them next season but we have our doubts, mostly based on his size, that he can make a big impact.
Tomas Tatar, F, 19, Slovakia - had a decent North American pro debut this year playing in the AHL as a teenager where he managed 16+16=32 in 58 games. He's a name you should remember based on his exploits at the WJC's two years ago... the Wings will take their time with him.
Richard Panik, F, 19, Slovakia - had a rough start in his North American debut this year with Windsor but then seemed to find his game after a trade to Belleville. He has 1st round talent but slipped to the 2nd round in 2009 where Tampa grabbed him, he's a bit of an enigma so a strong showing against men would help his cause.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, 18, Sweden - still only 18, the Coyotes 1st rounder (6th overall) from last year got the call to suit up for Sweden, quite an honour for a kid so young and who hasn't even played in the SEL yet. Phoenix has signed him and will bring him over for camp but we'd doubt he's in the NHL next year... most likely a year in the AHL or another year in Sweden.
Linus Omark, F, 23, Sweden - made many a highlight reel for his circus like shootout attempts and Oilers fans are looking forward to his arrival in the fall. A little on the small side but based on his production in the SEL & KHL, he looks like he could put up some points right away.
Johan Harju, F, 23, Sweden - he's been following Omark around the past few years and likely because of that he's had some success. The Tampa draft will come to North America next year but fantasy GMs should keep their expectations in check.
Jordan Eberle, F, 19, Canada - he's just an alternate and really only there to practice with the team but it should be a great experience for the kid and we have high hopes for what he can do in the NHL next year as he's produced at every level (WHL, AHL & WJC).
Chris Kreider, F, 19, USA - like Eberle, he's just along for the ride but at least he'll actually suit up. The Rangers first rounder has been a part of two winners already this year, the WJC & NCAA champions but his numbers at BC were a little disappointing... but he's still a good looking prospect with speed to burn.
Nino Niederreiter, F, 17, Switzerland - the darling of the 2010 WJCs this year and he's been skyrocketing up the draft rankings, up to #9 in our latest Consolidated NHL Draft Rankings, but based on the Swiss' first game, he may not play a lot as he only saw eight minutes of ice... it's impressive that he's part of the team nonetheless.
Bill Guerin was able to lace them up last night after missing two games with an "illness"... which could have been anything really, we'll likely never know.
What's distracting us today?
- Happy Mom's Day to all the Motherly-types out there.
- Hockey for Die with some quick analysis on team depth. Some good fantasy lessons in there... like drafting a team's top AHL forward and d-man in deep leagues isn't a terrible idea.
- PPP lowers the bar and recaps of some shenanigans on Twitter from yesterday... just look at the hashtag and you get the idea: #NHLsexacts
- The Vancouver Sun has some little known facts on Dustin Byfuglien. How awesome would it have been to see him playing for Norway in the Olympics?
- Denmark shockes Finland 4-1... Peter Regin picked up the GWG with this beauty. Anybody pick a Germany - Denmark final?
- Ever hear 70,000 German's cheer?
- With thanks to SLGT, What life would be like in Slovakia without hockey...featuring Marian Hossa and Pavol Demitra: