I know that Jonathan Drouin couldn’t have handled his demotion any worse than he did but it still blows my mind that he was sent down to the AHL in the first place.  The former third overall pick was amazing on Tuesday night tallying three assists and four shots in Tampa’s 3-2 win over the Red Wings. The biggest issue for Drouin in the past was been his lack of shots and while I know it’s a small sample size, every game in the playoffs he’s taken at least 3 shots.  Did the 21 year old make all of the necessary adjustments to succeed on a regular basis?  It sure looks like it.  As far as next season goes, the sky is the limit.  Drouin’s upside is virtually uncapped.  He’ll certainly be in my top 100 and from there, it depends how much you want to gamble on upside versus safety.  Here’s what else I saw around the league the last two nights:

Braden Holtby – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 6-1 win over the Flyers.  The Flyers were a downright embarrassment in this game with dirty hits and throwing wristbands on the ice honoring their late owner.  Thankfully Barry Trotz kept sending out the top power play unit even when the game was out of hand leading to five power play goals.  Hopefully they bury the Flyers again tonight.

Nicklas Backstrom – Two assists and a shot.  The Flyers have no answer for him.

John Carlson – Goal and two assists with four shots.  The Flyers don’t have an answer for him either.

Alex Ovechkin – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  The Flyers really don’t have an answer for him.  Seeing a theme here?  This is beyond lopsided.

T.J. Oshie – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  His first season in Washington wasn’t as successful from an individual standpoint as I anticipated but Oshie should still be right around 100th overall going into next year.

Justin Williams – Two assists and three shots.  He’s saving the goals for game 7.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – 15 penalty minutes for hitting Dmitry Orlov from behind.  Amazingly, the league only gave him a one game suspension.  Are they ever going to learn or is it going to take somebody being paralyzed before they give 10+ game suspensions for these hits?

Patrick Sharp – Two goals on seven shots.  He scored both in the first 5 minutes and it looked like the Stars were going to run away with this game and the series but the Wild stormed back.  Sharp had a strong season in his first year in Dallas and while he’s getting up there in age, he should be a pretty safe selection next year.

Jason Pominville – Two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  It’s been a massively disappointing year for Pominville but he stepped up at the right time.  I won’t be drafting him in standard 12’ers next year though.

Nino Niederreiter – Two assists and two shots.  When you watch Nino, it feels like he should dominate game in and game out but at the end of the day, he leaves you wanting more.  He’s still only 23 so perhaps it will start to click on a regular basis.

Erik Haula – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He had a huge second half out of nowhere and while I would consider Haula as my last pick in 12’ers next year, I’d rather stream him there and draft him in deeper leagues with faceoff wins as a category.

Jonathan Quick – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 overtime win over the Sharks.  This was the Quick the Kings needed as he made a ton of huge saves while the Kings were killing penalties.  They’ll need another game like that tonight as they try to even the series.

Anze Kopitar – Goal on five shots.  The Sharks have done a good job limiting the damage Kopitar does but he finally broke through in this one.

Tanner Pearson – Game winning goal on his only shot; he added two penalty minutes.  He has a point in every game this series.  If he gets an role bump next season, Pearson could be a sneaky late round guy.  At the least, he’s a nice streamer.

Joe Thornton – Goal on two shots.  He’s been arguably the best player in the series which is saying a lot.  No slowing this guy down.

Nikita Kucherov – Two goals and an assist with seven shots.  Probably the best player in the playoffs so far.  He’ll be right around the top 20 overall going into next season.

Tyler Johnson – Assist, four shots and two PIM.  After a lost season, Johnson looks to have found his way again.

Gustav Nyqvist – Goal on two shots with two PIM.  I don’t understand how Nyqvist has regressed two seasons in a row when he should be entering his prime.  Nevertheless, I’m a sucker for his talent and will want to buy low on him next year.

Matt Murray – 16 saves on 17 shots in the 3-1 win over the Rangers as he returns from injury but Marc-Andre Fleury does not.  The kid has a ton of potential and should end up a full time starter eventually, whether it’s in Pittsburgh or somewhere else.

Sidney Crosby – Goal on two shots.  Starting to get rolling which is a bad sign for the Rangers.

Phil Kessel – Assist and six shots.  Hotter than a pistol!

Kris Letang – Goal on three shots with two PIM.  Forcing his will on the game almost every shift.

Rick Nash – Goal on his only shot.  He has a point in every game this series which is great to see. Nash needs to start shooting more though.

Vladimir Tarasenko – Two goals and an assist on five shots.  The Blackhawks simply have no answer for him.  Few do.

Jaden Schwartz – Goal and an assist.  Love him to bounceback next season from his injury.

Kevin Shattenkirk – Two assists and two PIM.  Love him even more to bounceback.

Alex Steen – Goal and an assist with three shots and fourteen PIM.  Just stay healthy!

Duncan Keith – Two goals on three shots with two PIM.  Keith has been great since returning which is unfortunate since he should still be suspended.

Andrew Shaw – Goal and two assists with five shots and sixteen penalty minutes.  This guy is a complete lunatic.  I don’t know why he wasn’t tossed when he took a dumb interference penalty with 2:04 left leading to him giving the ref the double bird.  Another guy on the scumbag list.

Frederik Andersen – 27 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Preds.  He got the start after being on the bench in the first two games proving that the Ducks goalie situation is a mess no matter what time of the year it is.

Chris Stewart – Goal and an assist with two shots in 7:13.  Nice to see him have an impact on the fourth line.  He’ll have some value in deep leagues next year due to his penalty minutes.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back tomorrow recapping tonight’s action.  As always, feel free to post any questions or comments below.  Take care everyone!

  1. Tom C says:

    It is funny when everyone says Demotion for Johnny Drouin. Drouin had missed a number of games during the season because of injury and needed to get his legs and endurance back into shape before rejoining the Lightning. Since we were able to send him down without going thru waivers it made a lot of sense. We did a similar thing with our backup goalie as he was sent down just to see some game shots as Bishop was playing most of the games. If he took it as a demotion then that is his issue but in his recent stint in Syracuse he used the ice time wisely and no look at him.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Tom C: It’s a little different for a goalie than for a forward; getting some live action is much more important for a goalie. It’s just my opinion but I don’t think it was necessary to send him down, he can get his legs back in the NHL. It’s not like he was playing big minutes earlier in the season, Drouin is 20 years old, he can handle 12-14 minutes even off injury.

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