HEADS UP: We have a new leader in the FHS Playoff Pool and the name is Kevin Olexson. KO's heavily dependent on the Sharks though (seven of 16 players remaining) so his season, like a lot of other people I know, hangs in the balance tonight
Interweb chatter says that Brian Rafalski will make a bit of a shock announcement this week and retire... wow, didn't see that coming but I guess at 37 the injuries have caught up with him. This will hurt some dynasty leaguers as Rafalski is coming off a strong season where he was 3rd amongst dmen in ppg with 48 points in 63 games. Even before we know Lidstrom's decision this should help guys like Niklas Kronwall, who should see more PP time, should make Jakub Kindl a regular next year and gives stud prospect Brendan Smith a good shot to make the team out of camp in the fall.
Mike Smith was the surprise starter for the Lightning last night, well is was a surprise to me at least, and while he held up pretty well, he takes the loss after giving up two goals on 19 shots. Guy Boucher mentioned that one reason for giving Smith the start was to give Roloson a rest, so I'd bet that we see Rollie back in there for game #6... but I've been wrong
a few many times before.
Tim Thomas rebounded after having given up 4+ goals in three of the first four games of the series with a beauty effort last night stopping 33 of 34. He's really proven to be the difference here as the Bruins are not as air-tight defensively as usual as Thomas has faced 35.4 shots/60mins in the series.
Patrice Bergeron set up Brad Marchand for a tap-in to gift him his first point of the series. It's been a great season and start to the playoffs for the rookie but he's showing signs of wearing down and a high dependency on Bergeron.
Things are back to normal for Tyler Seguin as he played just 7:50 last night with no shots.
Simon Gagne with another goal last night and he's been effective in the 3rd round with 3+2=5 in five games.
Reports out of Sweden have the Oiler's Liam Reddox signing with Vaxjo of the SEL for next season.
The Kings have signed 2009 4th rounder Linden Vey to an ELC... he's no sure thing but has some nice potential after leading the WHL in scoring this season with 46+70=116 in 69 games.
At the Memorial Cup... Joey Hishon couldn't go for Owen Sound last night but they still took Saint John to OT before Jonathan Huberdeau ended it. Tomas Jurco was a key for the Sea Dogs showing some sweet hands on his goal and an assist.