Hey everyone! With only a few days left in the season, it’s time to set up the Razzball Bracket Challenge! For those who didn’t partake last year, you simply fill out the Stanley Cup Playoff Bracket once it’s released. You can join the Razzball group by clicking here and creating a free account if you don’t already have one. It’s a good way to keep the Razzball Hockey community in touch throughout the playoffs.
I will be writing almost every weekday through April with the occasional post from May through July before I kick into full gear in August. Same goes with the podcast; we’ll be staying active through April and then probably have a podcast every two or three weeks come May. Monday’s post will go along with Thursday’s podcast where Reid and I ranked the top 30 guys. My plan is to put out a Way Too Early Top 50 on Monday although there will obviously be plenty of chances over the summer. If there’s anything you want me to write about over the next few weeks, please let me know and I’ll almost certainly be willing to accommodate. Anyways, with only three days left in the season, producing a large set of daily notes wouldn’t provide much value. I’m just going to highlight a few things that I believe have an impact either over these last three days or going into the playoffs / next season.
Viktor Arvidsson scored two goals and two assists with three shots on Thursday night. We are going to do an award show next week and I think Arvidsson will be the winner of “Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year.” I don’t think he’ll crack my top 50 but he’s not far off. Since it did come out of nowhere, there is some risk that Arvidsson is a one year wonder but with his shot rate, I find that hard to believe.
Kris Letang‘s neck surgery will force him out of action for 4-6 months jeopardizing his status for next season’s opener. Obviously it’s a tough beat for the Penguins this season but as we talked about on the podcast linked above, Letang can’t come close to the top 50 overall with this news. I think this will force the Penguins to resign Justin Schultz which could make him a #1D again.
Thoughts and prayers with Kyle Okposo and his family as he goes through a terrible illness. He’s in intensive care at the moment which is obviously frightening.
The Ducks clinched the division setting up a matchup between the Oilers and the Sharks in the first round with home ice still undecided. I can not wait for that series. I also think the Ducks are on upset alert in the first round whether they play the Predators or Flames. Cam Fowler‘s injury really opens things up.
Congrats to the Senators making the playoffs. They’ve overcome so many injuries this season; Guy Boucher deserves a ton of credit.
I expect to be all in on a few guys next year. My quick list of second-tier players that I expect to be extremely high on in no particular order: Alex Pietrangelo, Jacob Trouba, Matthew Tkachuk, Bo Horvat, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Towards the top end, I expect to be higher on David Pastrnak and Nikolaj Ehlers than consensus again. Not sure it’ll work out as well as this year though! I’m sure there will be plenty of others as I do more digging in the offseason but this is my quick outline.
Things to watch over the weekend:
One playoff spot up for grabs in the East with Toronto being a big favorite. If Toronto wins both, they could move into the Atlantic Division bracket but if they win one, they’ll draw Washington in the first round. That would effectively end their playoffs before it starts.
Nashville needs to have a better result than Calgary to play the Ducks in the first round, otherwise they’ll play the Blackhawks. The good news for them is that they play the Jets while the Flames play the Sharks. San Jose will be fighting for home ice against the Oilers. The Jets are on a 6 game winning streak but I still like the spot for Smashville.
That’s all for now guys. Please any questions or comments below, I would really appreciate any suggestions you have for future posts and podcast talks. Enjoy the last weekend of regular season hockey, take care!