Two teams that have had massive up and downs clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday. The Jets did it by themselves, beating the Wild 3-1 on the back of Connor Hellebuyck. The Panthers clinched because the Penguins had the worst loss of my time at Razzball, losing to the tanking Chicago Blackhawks. Petr Mrazek made 38 saves in a game that made the fans of both teams furious, and a bunch of other fans happy. Now, the Penguins need the Islanders to lose to Montreal tomorrow to make the playoffs. It would be crazy for Washington and Pittsburgh’s playoff streaks to end in the same year. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened over the last two nights:
Artemi Panarin – Two goals and two PIM. Panarin will be 32 to start next season, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down. He’s still well over a point per game and he’s even set a new career high in PIM. He’ll be someone that goes around the 2nd/3rd round turn next season i.e. around 25th overall.
Roope Hintz – Goal and three assists with two shots. Jason Robertson had a goal and two assists, while Miro Heiskanen dished two assists. Dallas won this game so easily that they were able to rest Oettinger for the third. Hintz is having the best season of his career and would have reached 40 goals if he didn’t miss time (he still could). He’s reached superstar status.
Martin Necas – Two assists with two shots. Necas finally had the breakout season we’ve been waiting on. He’ll be a great early/mid round target next year.
Claude Giroux – Two goals and an assist with six shots. Congrats to Giroux on reaching 1,000 points. Ottawa disappointed a bit, but it certainly wasn’t their top guys. Tim Stutzle had a goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM, while Brady Tkachuk had two assists, five shots, and two PIM.
Dylan Strome – Two goals on four shots. Quietly, Strome has had a pretty good season with 23+40. He’ll be a worthy late round pick next year, especially if the Caps get another winger to bolster their top six.
Tom Wilson – Goal and an assist with three shots, four PIM, five hits. Wilson has been hurt most of the year, but he’s done what he usually does when on the ice.
Ilya Samsonov – 45 saves on 46 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Panthers. Samsonov stole this game and delivered in a big way for the Leafs in the regular season. I can’t wait to see how he does against Tampa in the playoffs.
Erik Karlsson – Two goals. I can’t believe that Karlsson reached 100 points. What an incredible season.
Josh Morrissey – Goal and two assists with three shots. Morrissey fell off a bit down the stretch, but even with that, he’s been a bottom end #1. I expect a bit of fall off next season, but he should still be a #2.
Marcus Johansson – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Johansson saved the Wild from an embarrassing loss to the Blackhawks. He’s an okay streamer right now while he’s with Matt Boldy (1+1).
Andrew Mangiapane – Two assists with two shots. Very disappointing season from Mangiapane, just like the team he plays on.
Philipp Grubauer – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 4-1 win over the Coyotes. Nice finish for Grubauer, who took advantage of a lot of bad teams down the stretch, namely Arizona three times.
Jared McCann – Goal and an assist with seven shots. Incredible that McCann reached the 40 goal mark after never having 30 before. I can’t wait to see how the Kraken look in the playoffs.
Justin Schultz – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Schultz resurrected his career in Seattle this season, which is great to see.
Joonas Korpisalo – 20 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Kings. After getting absolutely destroyed by Vegas in his last game, Korpisalo bounced back in a big way.
Alex Tuch – Two assists with four shots. Amazing year for Tuch but the Sabres were eliminated with the loss. It’s hard to expect a better year for Tuch in 23/24 than this year, but regardless, Tuch has reached an offensive level that I didn’t think he had in him.
Tomas Tatar – Two goals and an assist with four shots. Tatar has fit in quite well this season as a passenger for the Devils.
Nathan Bastian – Three assists. Decent fourth liner.
Brad Marchand – Goal and two assists with three shots. Marchand is going to be a tough guy to rank next year, especially if Bergeron retires. His points have dropped quite a bit, but on the other hand, he still crushes all of the categories.
Antti Raanta – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 4-1 win over Detroit. It’s mostly just a matter of health for Raanta. He’s quite good when he plays.
Owen Tippett – Two goals on five shots. Tippett has 26 goals, which has gone a bit under the radar because of how bad Philly has been this year. He’s still only 24 years old, so it’s definitely repeatable going forward.
William Nylander – Goal and two assists with five shots. One more goal for Nylander will get him to 40, which would be quite the accomplishment.
Stuart Skinner – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Avalanche. Not the game I expected with this kind of offensive firepower. Skinner has been coming on strong down the stretch and gives real optimism to Oilers fans.
Elias Pettersson – Two assists with five shots. Pettersson has reached 100 points for the first time in his career, a rare bright spot in a dismal year for the Canucks. He’s a clear second rounder in drafts next season.
Trevor Zegras – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Zegras’ numbers are right in line with last season. What the Ducks put around him this offseason is the main thing that can shift his value.
Reilly Smith – Goal and two assists with four shots. Michael Amadio had two goals and an assist with three shots, while William Karlsson had two assists with six shots.
Laurent Brossoit – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 4-1 win over the Kraken. I would guess that Brossoit starts game 1 for Vegas? Really hard to say right now, but I think he’s a better choice than Quick or Hill.
With the season wrapping up, this is the last set of daily notes for the season. I’m going to set up a bracket challenge for Razzballers that I’ll get posted for Friday, and then I’ll have some season in review posts next week before I’m done for a few months. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Best of luck in the final days of the season, take care!