SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE: FEBRUARY 28, 2016 primepucks.com 3 years ago

SMC 2-28-2016

Good morning everyone and get ready for the trade deadline!  There will be lots of coffee drank in the next 24 hours!

Sorry for not posting last weekend but the family and I were on a ski weekend.

Chicago gearing up for another Cup run with trade acquisitions Andrew Ladd, Dale Weise, & Tomas Fleischmann.  I do not want to play them until the Conference Finals if possible.

The Florida Panthers getting some veteran help for the young team by going out and getting Teddy Purcell, Jiri Hudler and Jakub Kindl.  They can do some damage if the new pieces click.  They do have Roberto Luongo in the crease don’t forget.

Philadelphia is hanging in there in their battle for a playoff berth. Going to need a little miracle though.

The Flyers may have to stick with Michal Neuvirth in net until they are officially in or out.

IF anyone can get hot and carry a team it’s Claude Giroux.

Is Ottawa gonna make another late season run for the playoffs?

Arizona is fading from the desert heat and the NHL stress of a long season.

Ladd to Chicago opens up the door for Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers to get important minutes to gain experience.

Can Justin Schultz awaken in Pittsburgh with all that top-notch talent around him now?

Why Columbus has woken up lately with a 6-1-3 run is beyond me?

Pekka Rinne seems to be rounding into top form with another shutout last night, his second in past 5 games.  This one of the St. Louis Blues.

Is Filip Forsberg hit or what?  2 hat tricks in one week!  Holy moley!

The NY Rangers playing solid hockey right now.

Will Montreal be this year’s Ottawa?  Well, they really aren’t that far behind.

Detroit doesn’t have a player with a great statistical season, but they are playing solid hockey regardless.

Calgary needs to get the number of that Ottawa truck that steamrolled them last night in the 3rd period.  Mika Zibanejad with a hat trick turning a 4-2 deficit nto a 6-4 Senator win.  That’s gotta sting.

Jhonas Enroth blanked his former team, the Buffalo Sabres, 2-0 last night.  Aaaah!  The sweet taste of revenge!

Rob Scuderi was honored in his return to Los Angeles.  Great to be loved and remembered for what you brought to the team.  He can still be a vital cog in the Kings run for another Cup.

Enjoy today and tomorrow with the trade deadline looming.  Only a few more weeks left in the regular season.

Have a great week and may all your fantasies come true!

SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE: NOVEMBER 29, 2015 primepucks.com 3 years ago

SMC 11-29-2015

Good morning everyone!  Lots to be thankful for as we head into December and the most wonderful time of the year! No, my coffee isn’t spiked this morning!

Rumors of Ryan Johansen are probably just that.  When you have someone as talented as RJ, you don’t go trading him away unless you have someone ready to step in and assume the role as #1 Center.

Could this be the sign that we have all been waiting for from Alex Galchenyuk?  5 goals and an assists in the past week.  Bravo!

I saw someone trade away Evgeni Malkin last week.  You just knew he was gonna break out sooner or later.

The Rangers have lost 3 in a row.  It’s a good thing they got off to a good start because they now have lost top Center Derek Stepan to some broken ribs.  He has had some tough luck in recent years.

I think the Blue Jackets may be playing for the #1 overall pick come June 2016.

Steve Mason 3-0 blanking of the NY Rangers on Saturday is what the Philly Flyers will need from here on out if they want to make any noise this year.

Wayne Simmonds was the Ranger killer with 2 goals and an assist. That was 25% of his total points this season.  Buy low?

Washington leapt over the Rangers yesterday to lead the Metropolitan Division with a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A shame that James Reimer injured himself as he was playing stellar in net for the Leafs, although it wasn’t going to make a dent in the standings.

Ovechkin had the night off as he managed just 3 SOG in the game.  I mean Dion Phaneuf had 7 shots himself.

Those New Jersey Devils are being very annoying this year to the rest of the NHL teams.

Adam Henrique is having a nice season so far.

Will anyone be surprised to see the Pittsburgh Penguins miss the playoffs this year?

He’s not getting the fanfare like he did last season, but Vladimir Tarasenko is up to 14 goals and 24 points in 23 games.

For those who picked up Kevin Shattenkirk from those who dropped him because he was injured, kudos on doing the dirty work in scouring the wire.

Nashville needs to get their act together.  They can’t lose games like Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.  No offense Buffalo.

I thought Minnesota had that game locked up versus Dallas leading 3-0 going into the 3rd period before losing 4-3 in OT.

Good to see Thomas Vanek has found new life once again.

Unless Colorado gets some serious goaltending, just can’t take them seriously.  I’m serious.

Arizona is 13-9-1.  I know.  I couldn’t believe it either.

The Flames need Jiri...

WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PREVIEW- CALGARY vs ANAHEIM primepucks.com 4 years ago

Dating back to 2004, Calgary lost 20 straight in Anaheim. Why is that relevant?  Well, the upstart Flames will need to steal a road win or two if they are to advance past round round 2. However, they displayed tons of resiliency surviving the Vancouver Canucks Round 1, rallying from three goals down to win the series clinching Game 6. Anaheim knows a thing or two of overcoming adversity, becoming first team to win three straight playoff games trailing after the second period. So you know that there will not be an ounce of "quit" between both sides in this intense showdown. 

The Calgary offense was led by the top line of Johnny Gaudreau-Sean Monahan-Jiri Hudler, who combined for 17 points in Round 1. Look for much of the same from this talented trio if Calgary has a shot of advancing to the Western Conference Finals. What was expected for Anaheim was Corey Perry leading the way in points with seven during their Winnipeg sweep. What was a bit more surprising was that the Ryan Kesler unit was every bit as offensively lethal as the Perry/Getzlaf tandem. Young Jakub Silfverberg showed clears signs of breaking out in his with a dominant 6-point effort, good for eighth in the playoffs so far. For this reason, you have to give the Ducks the decisive edge in the forward corps given the emergence of 2 legit scoring lines. 

In goal, Federik Anderson was brilliant for the Ducks with a 2.20 GAA and should be primed to give the Calgary shooters all they can handle. However, former Duck Jonas Hiller should be motivated to exact revenge on his ex-mates while getting over an early hook in Game 6 against Vancouver. On defense, Dennis Wideman and TJ Brodie will be relied upon heavily to complement Calgary's so-so firepower. While Anaheim's edge belongs to their offensive depth, the Flames are more dominant on the blueline. Anaheim's James Wisniewski has yet to pay dividends as their main trade deadline acquisition.

You have to love Calgary's bravado and can't lose attitude, but their long losing streak in Anaheim will continue. Fly with the Ducks in 6.

 

DAILY PRIME - APRIL 10, 2015: KINGS OUT, FLAMES IN primepucks.com 4 years ago

Here are a few fantasy thoughts regarding games last night affecting the playoff picture:

Plenty of playoff implications during last night's full slate of NHL action, but no news bigger than the reigning Stanley Cup champions LA Kings getting eliminated from playoff contention after losing to Calgary 3-1. On the other hand, the Flames will be reaching the postseason for the first time in six years. Jiri Hudler added to his career-high in points with two goals and an assist, giving him 31 goals and 76 points in 78 games. Speaking of career highs, d-man Dennis Wideman reached 56 points with two assists in the game. From a fantasy perspective, both veterans will still garner considerable fantasy value in 2015-16, but my gut is telling me that both will be way overvalued on Draft Day. I would sell high in keeper leagues for sure if you can get back some decent future draft picks...

Crushing defeat for the Boston Bruins in sunny Florida as the Panthers defeat the big bad "B's" 4-2. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov both tallied on the night while Jaromir Jagr chipped in with two assists. You all know how we feel about the potential dynamic duo of Huberdeau/Barkov, but signing Jagr for another season would bolster their chances of putting up huge numbers.. Adding to Boston's woes is that the Ottawa Senators blanked the New York Rangers 3-0 behind Andrew Hammond's 27-save effort and third shutout of the season. Despite the rookie going 19-1-2 with a 1.82 GAA and a .939 SP, I am yet totally sold on him as the "next coming" in the fantasy elite goalie category. Let's see how the off-season goes but I am reluctant to pencil him in as one of my keepers in dynasty leagues..

Is there a hotter goalie than Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec? Despite losing 1-0 to Colorado in the shoot-out, the Jets clinch a playoff berth behind the netminder's third straight shutout. After losing his job to rookie Michael Hutchinson early in the season, Pavelec has firmly entrenched himself as a solid no. 1 fantasy goalie option entering the playoffs on the highest of notes. Whether he can replicate his late-season success next season is another story as he has been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career..

Jake Allen is making the starting playoff goalie decision for the St. Louis Blues a very tough one after delivering a huge win over Chicago, wraopping up the division and clinching home-ice advantage over the first two rounds in the playoffs. Allen has allowed four goals over ...

DAILY PRIME - APRIL 10, 2015: KINGS OUT,FLAMES IN primepucks.com 4 years ago

Here are a few fantasy thoughts regarding games last night affecting the playoff picture:

Plenty of playoff implications during last night's full slate of NHL action, but no news bigger than the reigning Stanley Cup champions LA Kings getting eliminated from playoff contention after losing to Calgary 3-1. On the other hand, the Flames will be reaching the postseason for the first time in six years. Jiri Hudler added to his career-high in points with two goals and an assist, giving him 31 goals and 76 points in 78 games. Speaking of career highs, d-man Dennis Wideman reached 56 points with two assists in the game. From a fantasy perspective, both veterans will still garner considerable fantasy value in 2015-16, but my gut is telling me that both will be way overvalued on Draft Day. I would sell high in keeper leagues for sure if you can get back some decent future draft picks...

Crushing defeat for the Boston Bruins in sunny Florida as the Panthers defeat the big bad "B's" 4-2. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov both tallied on the night while Jaromir Jagr chipped in with two assists. You all know how we feel about the potential dynamic duo of Huberdeau/Barkov, but signing Jagr for another season would bolster their chances of putting up huge numbers.. Adding to Boston's woes is that the Ottawa Senators blanked the New York Rangers 3-0 behind Andrew Hammond's 27-save effort and third shutout of the season. Despite the rookie going 19-1-2 with a 1.82 GAA and a .939 SP, I am yet totally sold on him as the "next coming" in the fantasy elite goalie category. Let's see how the off-season goes but I am reluctant to pencil him in as one of my keepers in dynasty leagues..

Is there a hotter goalie than Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec? Despite losing 1-0 to Colorado in the shoot-out, the Jets clinch a playoff berth behind the netminder's third straight shutout. After losing his job to rookie Michael Hutchinson early in the season, Pavelec has firmly entrenched himself as a solid no. 1 fantasy goalie option entering the playoffs on the highest of notes. Whether he can replicate his late-season success next season is another story as he has been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career..

Jake Allen is making the starting playoff goalie decision for the St. Louis Blues a very tough one after delivering a huge win over Chicago, wraopping up the divisuion and clinching home-ice advantage over the first two rounds in the playoffs. Allen has allowed four goals over ...

ADD'EM: TARGET PLAYOFF-CUSP PLAYERS primepucks.com 4 years ago

Here is a brief insight on which players you should be targeting off the final-week waiver wire:

Instead of naming a few players that could help out, it's better to think of which teams should you target. In the Eastern Conference, Boston and Ottawa are two teams playing meaningful hockey this upcoming week with plenty of playoff implications, and for both, a few contributors can be had on the waiver wire

The Bruins have key veterans like Bergeron and Krejci who are must starts this week, but Milan Lucic has been playing with two youngsters who should be on your fantasy radar if available-Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak. The future looks bright for Boston with these two developing quicker then expected thanks to key forward injuries this season. Keep in mind that if the B's clinch a playoff berth earlier in the week, bot Spooner and Pastrnak will get s few extra minutes while some vets will be rested. Regardless of how the scenario play out, either young gun makes for a strong start this week.

Forwards Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman have been key cogs to a balanced offensive attack that has propelled the Senators into the playoff mix. The recent resurgence of center Mika Zibenajad also makes him a a decent candidate for a spot start. Their SO loss to Toronto basically puts them in a must-win situation the rest of the way, so look for these possible waiver targets to contribute to the scoring column. On defense, Patrice Wiercioch has been finishing the season strong so he could be a serviceable fantasy option if you desperate on the blue-line.

In the Western Conference, Sean Monahan still might be available while "Johnny Hockey" Gaudreau is probably off the board. The Flames are surging and these two along with veteran Jiri Hudler are a huge reason why. Do not forget defenseman Kris Russell if still on the waiver-wire, as he has essentially replaced Mark Giordano's offensive production. Another team fighting for it's postseason life, Winnipeg, had Matthieu Perreault back from injury and based on his three assist effort against Vancouver, he might pay huge dividends as a last week starter. Mark Scheifele had been heating up as well latest acquisition Drew Stafford. If you are in need of defense, Tyler Myers could be a huge steal given that the suspended Dustin Byfuglien and injured Tobias Enstrom will miss a few games. 

These are just a few thoughts, but plenty of more luck will be required. Give it your best shot folks,and hope you end up on top.

DAILY PRIME - MARCH 31, 2015: BOLTS YOUNG GUNS primepucks.com 4 years ago

Tampa's young guns do the scoring, Tarasenko injured, Hossa leads the way for Hawks

It was the Tampa Bay youngsters that provided all the offense that Ben Bishop would need, but we do have to say that Bishop helped his own cause with 2 assists on the night.  The regulation win brought the Bolts to within one point of the team they defeated, the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.  Vladislav Namestnikov had 2 goals and Nikita Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin both had goals as the Lightning edged the Habs 5-3.  The future looks very promising for Tampa Bay as they have a stockpile of young talent to be competitive for years to come….

Vladimir Tarasenko took a mid-ice hit in the third period and left the game against the Vancouver Canucks last night.  He did not return.  Let’s hope for his sake, and the Blues’ that the injury isn’t serious and that the team was just being cautious.  Radim Vrbata scored his 31st and added an assist in the 4-1 road win for the Canucks and he has had himself a great season up in Vancouver.  Playing with the likes of Henrik and Daniel Sedin can do wonders for your confidence and game.  Eddie Lack is now 9-4-2 after taking over for the injured Ryan Miller…

Two of the NHL’s powerhouses over the past few years took the ice in Chicago last night with the Blackhawks prevailing over the Los Angeles Kings 4-1.  Marian Hossa (G, A) has been playing well of late and should be able to crack the 60 point mark once again, but his 70+ scoring days are over it seems.  But keep in mind that Hossa is still a clutch playoff performer and a tremendous asset to have down the stretch as he has 11 points in last 13 games.

A huge second-period staked the Calgary Flames to a lead that they never relinquished,defeating the Dallas Stars 5-3. Another monster effort by the NHL's hottest scorer in March, Jiri Hudler, who collected a goal and an assist for a lofty total of 23 points in the last 15 games. A mid-season scoring drought resulted in him being dropped by many fantasy teams but the few who kept him are laughing last now. Career highs across the board for Hudler...

Not much to say about our other two games of little playoff consequence other than both road dogs, Buffalo and Edmonton, prevailed 4-1 over Arizona and Colorado. Still think the Avalanche could bounce back nicely next season as a top-five fantasy juggernaut but much depends on the growth of Nathan McKinnon in Year 3 and a comeback of sorts for Matt Duchene. Those two fuel the ...

DAILY PRIME - MARCH 30, 2015: HOME-BOY TOEWS SAVES HAWKS primepucks.com 4 years ago

Bruins, Panthers win to make things interesting, Rangers blue, and Calgary stays hot

After a tremendous run when Henrik Lundqvist got injured, the New York Rangers are skidding a bit as they lost to the Washington Capitals 5-2 making three losses in their past 4 games.  The schedule is winding down so expect Lundqvist to get the majority of starts as they prepare for the expected long playoff haul.  Alex Ovechkin scored twice giving him 49 on the season, proving that you can still score in a Barry Trotz system while still playing defensively…. 

Boston continues to fight hard as they gained a valuable 2 points today while the Ottawa Senators lost for the second night in a row, this time to a Florida team still chasing a dream.  It was the young guns for the Bruins that contributed to the overtime victory of the Carolina Hurricanes with David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner scoring the goals.  The future is bright in Beantown with these talented young forwards gaining valuable experience.  Boston G Tuukka Rask was back in net after leaving the previous game with dehydration issues.  Continue to start this elite goaltender….

As mentioned above, the Florida Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-2 making things quite interesting in the Eastern Conference wild card race.  Obtaining Jaromir Jagr at the trade deadline has done wonders for the Cats offense, especially the young talent, as he scored twice with Jonathan Huberdeau contributing on both goals.  If Jagr re-signs with Florida next season, it could mean better stats out of the young talent like Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov and company…

What a wild game on the Island yesterday as the New York Islanders exchanged blows with the Detroit Red Wings and finally prevailing 5-4.  For the Wings it was important that Pavel Datysuk returned to the lineup and he showed why with a goal and an assist, showing that he is still a major component of this Detroit team.  What was more important for the Islanders was that they had 5 different goal scorers with John Tavares picking up 3 assists, but the Isles need to tighten up their defense if they want to make a run in the playoffs….

The Calgary Flames aren’t going away as they handily defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2 with Lance Bouma scoring twice and Jiri Hudler picking up a goal and two assists.  Defenseman Deryk Engelland continues to get his name on the score sheet picking up 2 assists after having a 2-goal game against Dallas on Wednesday night.  ...

DAILY PRIME - MARCH 24, 2015: SENS LEAP OVER BRUINS primepucks.com 4 years ago

Hammond keeps hitting right notes, Kings keeping the heat on, Wild & Jets win again!

Ottawa continues their amazing run with a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks catapulting them into the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, wresting it away from the Boston Bruins.  Senators Goaltender Andrew Hammond (14-0-1) is just having an incredible run as he still hasn’t lost in regulation.  Simply remarkable!...Mika Zibanejad (2G). Bobby Ryan (3A) and Mike Hoffman (G, 2A) were the offensive providers tonight as the whole roster takes turns being involved in the offense.  Now that they have risen so high, can they maintain the intensity for the last 10 game?...

A couple of 3-1 contests last night as LA defeated the New Jersey Devils and the Chicago Blackhawks bested the Carolina Hurricanes.  For LA, Anze Kopitar (G, 2A) and Marian Gaborik (2A) seem to be heating up as they try to climb into playoff position as the season is winding down.  For Kopitar, that’s 5 points in last 3 and 9 points overall in 11 March games.  With just 57 points in 69 games, Kopitar should bounce back to his usual 70-points next season.  Gaborik isn’t built for the rigors of an 82-game NHL season, so don’t expect him to return to his glory days as 70+ point player anymore.  He does have 41 points in 59 games played but won’t get near a point-per-game pace anymore…The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period and made it stick as Corey Crawford turned aside 43 of 44 SOG for his 30th win on the season.  That’s 4 seasons of 30+ wins on last 5 which includes the shortened 48-game Lockout season where he was on pace for 30+ wins if it was a regular full season….

Devan Dubnyk continues to play large in net as he keeps on winning with a 2-1 win over Toronto.  Surging Thomas Vanek had a hand in both Minnesota goals, an assist on the first goal and the game-winner in the 3rd.  Dubnyk’s bid for a shutout was spoiled by Jake Gardiner (his 4th) with just under 7 minutes to play in regulation….

Jamie Benn (2G, 1A) had a night and it was sorely needed as the Buffalo Sabres gave the Dallas Stars all they could handle last night but the Stars prevailed in the end, 4-3. Sabres’ goalie Anders Lindback (35/39 SV) returned to his former team and did all he could but fell short at the end.  Dallas is still in the hunt for that last playoff spot but time is running out…

Calgary helped their cause with a solid 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche keeping the Kings 2 points behind them ...

DAILY PRIME - MARCH 7, 2015: SENATORS RULE primepucks.com 4 years ago

Senators rule,, Dubnyk should be dubbed King and the Pens march on

Ottawa sits just 3 points behind Boston for the last Wild Card position in the East after beating the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 as Andrew Hammond once again turned in a solid performance after letting in 2 first period goals.  This time it was Mark Stone (GWG, A) and Mika Zibanejad (tying G) providing the offensive support for the rookie goaltender as the Senators are getting offense throughout their lineup, so get your Sens in your fantasy starting lineup as well….

Devan Dubnyk continues to amaze with another solid performance as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 stopping 37 of 38 SOG as the Wild are just 2 points behind Chicago for that third spot in the Central Division.  Minnesota can make some noise come playoff time as they are one of the hottest teams since acquiring Dubnyk with an 18-3-2 record. Phenomenal!...

Calgary is doing all they can to solidify their first playoff spot in 6 years as the came back from being down 2-0 to Detroit and scored 5 unanswered goals.  Jiri Hudler (2G) and Sean Monahan (G, A) led the charge and have been on a roll of late, so don’t hesitate to start these two Flames…

The Pittsburgh Penguins offense is surging of late as they have scroed 4 or 5 goals in their last 8 wins while going and are 8-4-1 over the last 13 games...Patric Hornqvist has found offensive paradise in Pittsburgh playing alongside superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  2 more goals last night gives him 21 on the season and if it weren't for his absence due to injury for a few weeks, he would definitely have 30 by now.  Continue to play all your Penguins as teh season winds down.