6/2 NHL Discussion

Welcome to the Great North where the team with arguably the most media attention flops on out of the first round. I haven’t heard the hysteria there but haven’t been tuning in as much this past weekend. I know there were guys who still thought it was the same ol Leafs though. It appears they are and I’m not sure what the answer is. I thought grit and depth scoring had been addressed but doesn’t appear to be enough. They could use some better D as well (that goes for almost the whole league though). So if you want your kid to be a hockey player, a right handed defensemen with size is your best bet lol Anywho I don’t much care about the Leafs and find it more funny than anything (sorry not sorry Leafs fans). As for the 2nd biggest market in Canada we have the Habs who got another shot of life. It appears jobs will be “safe” here and the spending spree coupled with last years’ surprise playoff berth has them feeling good. I think the Habs think they can win but they’ve already “won” IMO. I say won because I’m not sure what expectations are moving forward, besides beating the Jets. Speaking of the Jets, Connor Hellebuck has to be considered one of the top goalies in the NHL! I would take him over just about anybody, even Vas (you guys know how I feel about him). They can stay in just about any game because of him alone. Part of me feels bad for Laine but that’s a whole other story. I’m sure PLD is quite happy right about now (and doubly because Torts is currently unemployed). Well there isn’t much to say about COL/VGK after game 1 except, Lehner will likely not see the ice the rest of the series. Personally I’ve never been a fan of DeBoer but it seems to be known he actually prefers Lehner. Wasn’t entirely Lehner’s fault as that team is a force, he just looked very uncomfortable. I just never thought DeBoer was a good coach and was mad VGK hired him. There’s a reason the Sharks canned him. I’m guessing this team misses Gallant (or maybe that’s just me). That game got chippy too and we saw Reaves hit with a 2 game suspension. Otherwise VGK got steamrolled. Ok so on to tonight. My playoff record is a bit poor, so tread lightly with what I say.

WPG/MTL
Alright on paper this looks like a bit of a “boring” matchup. It seems heading into the playoffs both these teams had trouble scoring. MTL picked up Cole Caufield (not sure why he didn’t play the first 2 games) who has been able to make a difference in his limited time. Carey Price has turned back the clock a bit and is having a nice playoffs. I really like the Suzuki, Toffoli, and Caufield line but they need some more scorers. As for the surprise Winnipeg Jets it’s been goaltending and defense. Obviously the standout is Connor Hellebuck but it’s worth mentioning Neal Pionk & Josh Morrissey for the roles they had in shutting down McDavid and Draisaitl. WPG has goal scorers too. With a bit more of a rested WPG, I think they take game 1 3-1.

Sorry for my neglect on WPG forwards, I just can’t figure out where goals are coming from here.

COL/VGK
Can anybody stop COL? VGK is the toughest test they’ve faced so far and handled the first game with ease, taking it 7-1. While I do see that as a possibility I feel for game 2 it’s improbable. Is there a way you can slow down Nathan MacKinnon & company without taking them out? It sure doesn’t seem that way but teams have done it in the regular season. It doesn’t look like they need him but being down Kadri will hurt them tonight. The amount of skill at the blueline of these two teams is quite amazing. It’s hard to mention anything everybody doesn’t already know about Stanley Cup favorites Colorado Avalanche. The Vegas Golden Knights will have MAF in net. That is a start, as much as I like Lehner his playoff time is likely over since they didn’t use him all of the first round and he laid an egg game 1. We are going to need to see some Mark Stone defensive magic here! He will be my key player to watch for. As for their L2 they might be the ones relied upon to score a few here. They have started a bit slow but I have a good feeling about them tonight. MAF is going to have to have a good game but I see VGK wins 5-4. Not sure if it will require OT or not.

Bonus Snake Draft
Ok so with round 2 all the way underway today, I will dip back into snake drafts. I started 3-0 and it quickly ballooned away. A lot of that was due to missing COL players (I won’t make that mistake again).

Pick 1 – Start with MacK and if not available take any of his other linemates!!! I know I said VGK was going to win but this line shoots the puck a ton and if there are goals scored it is likely by one of them or while they’re on the ice. Once MacK, Rantanen, and Landeskog are gone it gets tough.

Pick 4 – I’m going to have a hard time distinguishing this one. I think the North game will be lower scoring so I’m debating between some of those guys or a bump to VGK. I think I will lean VGK here with Max Pacioretty. If going VGK a case could be made for Stone. I think all the others you can have with a later pick.

Next Pick Category – We have a lot of strong defensemen here and I really like them for snake drafts! Typically D1 gets the most TOI so that’s an added benefit. The problem is with almost all these teams you have 2 or 3 to choose from. I think my first D off the board would be Cale Makar followed by Shea Theodore (or Alex Pietrangelo) and then you could go with a Petry or Weber. It’s hard for me to “expect” points out of WPG defensemen. They do most of their “stuff” off the scoresheet.

Sleepers – I really don’t think he’ll be a deep sleeper but I like Cole Caufield here. I know I mentioned I like VGK L2 so Riley Smith could also be someone hanging out there. You probably won’t have to get that deep but WPG L3 has some guys to offer.

So I’m gonna try these again and see what the outcome is. I’m not confident in my picks at all tonight based on my playoff record. That’s the beauty of playoffs though, expect the unexpected. Cheers and good luck tongiht!

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