All hail Team Russia - World Champions!
The Russian were simply dominant at this years tournament outscoring their opposition 44 - 14 while going undefeated winning ten straight games. Evgeni Malkin lead the Russians and won Tournament MVP honors. Why is it Russia is so dominant in international hockey winning gold and silver on a pretty consistent basis, while Russian players tend to fade in NHL playoffs?
For the first time in Tournament history, after four games, all four teams share an identical record. That means this years fight for a championship will be a spectacular showdown between these four teams! This Tournament is one of the beset ways to scout for future fantasy league impact players. Here is who is standing out early, Michael Chaput (Columbus), Brandon Gormley (Phoenix), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida), Seth Griffith is perhaps a long shot to make it to the NHL as he went un-drafted last summer. He was invited to Tampa Bay training camp but was not signed, and returned to Junior. Get to know Seth Griffith as he could become a valuable asset to an NHL franchise, and in your fantasy league.
Read Nate Sagers article on Griffith here Griffith is a player who bears watching closely!
Eastern Conference Finals
The New Jersey Devils stormed back to tie their series with the Rangers on Monday night. Often players acquired late in the season or at the deadline for a playoff run have little impact. That is not the case for Marek Zidlicky and the Devils! In 14 post season games, Zidlicky has one goal, and six assists for seven points, in plus -3, and has 32 shots. He is playing top pairing minutes with Bryce Salvador, and quarterbacking the power-play with Ilya Kovalchuk.
Jacob Josefson returned to the Devils line up Monday from his wrist injury and played nearly 13 minutes. Peter Sykora was a scratch.
Western Conference Finals
The Coyotes played an inspiring game four to avoid the sweep. Down 3 - 1 in the series and heading back to Los Angeles it is difficult to imagine the Coyotes getting another win, let alone win the series. One player who has been a disappointment for the Coyotes is Radim Vrbata. In 15 postseason games, Vrbata has only two goals and four points and is currently mired in a seven-game pointless streak. Vrbata hopes to breakout in game five.
Game five is Tuesday night and nhl.com has a preview here.
The Anaheim Ducks have signed Swedish net minder Viktor Fasth to a one year $1 million one way contract. Fasth will back up Jonas Hiller next season in an attempt to secure the goaltending situation for the Ducks. Last season Dan Ellis, Jeff Deslauriers, and Iiro Takki all had time as back-up and none were adequate.
Is Fasth worthy of fantasy consideration for your draft?
He is 29 years old so his development is more advanced and in his prime for goalies. Fasth just finished suiting up for Team Sweden at the IIHF World Championship where he posted a 4-2 record with two shutouts.
The 29-year-old keeper posted a 2.04 goals-against average with a .934 save percentage in 46 games for AIK of the Swedish Elite League in 2011-12. He is the reigning, two-time winner of the Honken Trophy, awarded annually to the best goaltender in the SEL.
Given he signed a one-way deal, and unless the Ducks make other goaltending moves, yes i would seriously consider him a fantasy options if you are in a deep pool.
Jamie McBain has also resigned in Carolina. It is a two year deal worth $3.6 million.
NHL Entry Draft
The NHL has updated its draft order and is now inclusive through to pick number 26. The final four draft positions will be determined by the results of the playoffs.
Here is the top 26:
4. N.Y. Islanders
10. Tampa Bay
11. Washington (from Colorado)
17. San Jose
19. Tampa Bay (from Detroit)
21. Buffalo (from Nashville)
25. St. Louis
27. Conference finals loser
28. Conference finals loser
29. Stanley Cup Final loser
30. Stanley Cup champion
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