HEADS UP: A lot of movement in the FHS Playoff Pool after last night's goal explosion as the Canucks-lovers are rising to the top... including Nick Wurfel taking over sole possession of 1st place
Kevin Bieksa with a night of rarities as the dman scored on a breakaway, picked a fight (and pummeled) Marleau and added an assist to clinch the playoff Gordie Howe Hat-Trick last night. Does anyone else get the sense that if the Canucks can't resign this guy that Brian Burke will show up at his door on July 1st with bags of money.
You could tell the Sedin's were feeling a little too comfortable last night as they were going globetrotters on the Sharks... Daniel had two goals and rather quietly has a joint-lead in the playoff goals race at eight (with Bergenheim) and Henrik had 3A giving him 2+7=9 over his last five games... I think the Sharks might want to cover these guys.
Chris Higgins had a big game with 1+2=3 last night, this gives him a whopping seven points (!) in 15 playoff games. If you can't tell, I'm not a big fan of this guy and his typically underwhelming production. He's played for five different teams and hasn't cracked 30 points over the last three seasons.
You can question how sensible it was to pick a fight with Bieksa but his intestinal fortitude shouldn't be up for debate as Patrick Marleau now has goals in three straight games.
Ryane Clowe doesn't quite look right as he has no points and only three shots in three games since returning from that mysterious UBI.
Robin Lehner stopped 42 of 45 shots and Binghamton won in OT to sweep Charlotte and advance to the Calder Cup finals. Hamilton stayed alive with a 8-1 victory in game #4 but is still in a deep hole down 3-1 in the other SF series.
Evgeni Nabokov has stated that he will report to Islanders training camp in the fall... not reported but likely implied is that he would like to be traded. Either way, I'll be avoiding this guy next year as he's coming off a brutal year all-around and only has one season with over a .915 sv% in his last five NHL seasons. Let somebody else in your league think they're getting a steal here.
The Sabres signed 2009 3rd round pick, dman Brayden McNabb, to an ELC. Mentioned him the other day as he has led Kootenay to the Memorial Cup with a huge season where he has 24+75=99, plus-48 & 132 PIMs in 78 games (regular season & playoffs combined). It shouldn't be too long before he joins another big western boy (Tyler Myers) on the Sabres defense.
The Rangers signed Christian Thomas, their 2010 2nd rounder, after he put up 54+45=99 in 66 games in the OHL this year... he's likely headed back to junior for another season but the kid has his Dad's knack for finding the back of the net.
Minnesota has signed Johan Larsson, their 2nd rounder from 2010 to an ELC... he'll probably stay in Sweden for at least another year as he has a long ways to go.