Hey everyone! For today’s post, I am going to talk about ten things about the hockey season. They will range from players signing, developments over the last week, and what to look forward to over the weekend. Let’s get right to it!
1) Eeli Tolvanen has signed with the Predators. If you don’t know who Tolvanen is, you’re about to. The 18 year old, who was the 30th pick in the 2017 draft, signed his ELC with Smashville on Thursday. Tolvanen is an elite offensive talent who sets tons of records in the KHL this year. He also played extremely well for Finland in the Olympics. His best asset is his shot. Tolvanen combines power and accuracy with his lightning quick release. He immediately becomes a top streamer, but the bigger impact is that we know he’ll be in the NHL next season. Tolvanen has the potential to be a top 20 fantasy player down the line. If for some reason he’s available in a dynasty league, grab him immediately.
2) Boston’s win over Tampa drastically changes things over the last week of the season. Boston still has six games left in nine days which includes two back to backs and three games against Florida. They become prohibitive favorites to win the division and have home ice throughout the Eastern Conference. That said, you can’t expect them to run Tuukka Rask into the ground. If you know you need goaltending help over the weekend or next week, grab Anton Khudobin now. He’s been solid all season and you know the team will be going all out in front of him.
3) Columbus is really good. I feel pretty confident saying that they’re either the 5th or 6th best team in the NHL. Honestly, they’re probably best off staying where they are and playing the Capitals in the first round if we’re talking about the best chance to make round two. However, they’re right on par with the Pens in my mind, and while I’d pick Pittsburgh to beat them, I would have next to zero confidence in it. If they can get Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno back before the playoffs start, their depth would be excellent. Add in Bob and an elite first pair on the blue line and CBus is dangerous.
4) John Carlson is demanding the big bucks, and odds are that means he’s leaving Washington. Bob McKenzie reported that Carlson wants 7-8 million per year on a 6-8 year deal. First off, that deal will almost certainly be disastrous for whoever gives it to him, but odds are that somebody will given that he’s by far the best player available in free agency. The Caps, who clinched a playoff berth on Thursday, will have to move a few bodies to even be in position to give Carlson that type of money. I wouldn’t do it in their shoes, but they already have this core locked up for years, so perhaps they decide to mortgage the future for more short term gains. Personally, I don’t see that happening. Carlson’s fantasy value would be best if he stays in Washington, but he should be among the best regardless.
5) Eric Staal is back in the 40 goal club, and it’s been quite a while since he was there. In fact, Staal’s nine years between 40 goal seasons is the second longest ever. The longest? That would be Gordie Howe. It’s a damn shame that Minnesota is going to get Winnipeg in the first round, because I think they could potentially do some damage if they were in the Pacific bracket. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take away from what Staal has been able to do this year. The Wild are rolling lately and have very nice depth, but the top end talent on Winnipeg will almost certainly be too much,
6) Toronto is back in the playoffs, but a short appearance looms again. It’s the first time since 2003-2004 that Toronto has made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Pretty crazy to think about; they’re probably been the worst franchise in the league since the season-long lockout 13 years ago. That matters for naught now, as they’re well-positioned to be a force for years to come. The problem is that they’re going to face Boston or Tampa Bay in the first round (looking like Tampa Bay), and it’s probably going to be another first round loss. Just don’t let that make you think this season was a failure Toronto fans. The big thing is that your team addresses their defensemen group in the offseason because one or two quality adds there will put this team in the upper echelon for contention.
7) The best story of the Chicago Blackhawks season is Scott Foster. I know what you’re thinking: who the hell is Scott Foster? Scott Foster was the emergency goalie for the Blackhawks on Thursday, and he ended up playing against the Jets. Amazingly, he saved all six shots he faced in 14 minutes, which is remarkable against the Jets. It’s extremely rare that an emergency goalie has to play, and it was as glorious as I remembered.
8) Teams that play both Saturday and Sunday this weekend: Boston, Nashville, New Jersey, Montreal, Pittsburgh. These are the teams that you’ll want to stream from over the weekend to get two games. That means Tolvanen, Bryan Rust, and Ryan Donato look like great options, along with the other Nashville streamers.
9) The NHL lottery odds have been released.
A look at the NHL’s new draft lottery odds for 2017-18, and how they compare to previous seasons. pic.twitter.com/WevbImGgUT
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 28, 2018
Not a lot of drastic changes, but worth noting nonetheless. With the Sabres losing to Detroit on Thursday and Ottawa winning against Florida, the Sabres have become prohibitive favorites to finish last in the league again. It’s the only thing my team is good at, sad face.
10) Vegas plays St. Louis on Friday, and while they aren’t going to throw the game away, it would be best if they lose. I know it sounds crazy, but keeping the Blues as their first round playoff matchup is the best thing they can do. The Blues have won six in a row on the back of Jake Allen, but they’re the worst team among these teams fighting for the last few playoff spots. Vegas’ speed would cause them tons of problems in the playoffs, and the Blues have had playoff problems for years. They’re the perfect stepping stone for Vegas’ first playoff experience.
That’s all for now guys. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend, take care!