James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Swimming in playoff pools

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Jimmy Hascup’s team:

 

8) Henrik Lundqvist - He's among the best in the game and can win a series on his own.

13) Alex Ovechkin - Over the last 17 games: 19 goals and 10 assists.

28) Jimmy Howard - Hasn't been the best playoff goalie, but he's been lights out the past two months.

33) Rick Nash - The Rangers' most dangerous scorer will be hungry in his second-ever playoff berth.

48) John Tavares - Too much potential to pass up. Even if the Isles' playoff lives last four games, one would think Tavares would still be very productive.

53) Niklas Backstrom - Not expecting much against the Blackhawks, but he'll be worked heavily and I steal away a starter from someone else in the league.

68) Phil Kessel - Ten of his 20 goals came in 12 games in April. The offense will be there -- the question is how long Toronto can keep this feel-good season going.

73) Brad Richards - Struggled all year until April when he put up 16 of his 34 points. No matter what, he's a Conn Smythe winner and playoff performer and, with 77 points in 83 games.

88) Alex Pietrangelo - Can't let the down season deter me -- I needed a defenseman and the playoffs are a new season. Plus, he logs heavy minutes and is still very talented.

93) Henrik Zetterberg - I couldn't let Zetterberg slip by, even if the Wings are a seven-seed. Zetterberg also doesn't wilt around the playoff pressure, with 51 goals and 102 points in 109 games.

108) Slava Voynov - He had five more points (25-20) in six fewer games this year and was the Kings' most productive defenseman.

113) Jay Bouwmeester - The past few seasons have been poor, but he's rebounded nicely this year with 22 points in 47 games. Further, he could thrive in his first playoffs.

128) Brendan Gallagher - Just seems like a big-time player -- impressed in his first full season with 15 goals and 28 points and I don't expect him to be overwhelmed in the playoffs.

133) Saku Koivu - Production is declining but I needed to diversify my team and he's another player with a great playoffs track record.

148) Mats Zuccarello - The Rangers are a better offensive team since he's joined them. He oozes creativity and gets a lot of time on the power play.

155) Lubomir Visnovsky - Not his best season but I needed depth on defense and he gets tons of man-advantage time.

168) Cory Conacher - Skilled, but he's had trouble finding his way with the Senators -- perhaps the postseason kick starts his game?

173) Jason Pominville - Dealing with an upper-body injury so it's unclear when and if he's going to play. I'll take my chances this late, though.

188) Joel Ward - Wasn't great with the Caps in the playoff last year, but he did have seven goals with Nashville two years ago.

193) Derick Brassard - I'm banking on a lot of Rangers here, but Brassard has been too good to ignore since coming to New York, with five goals and 11 points in 13 games.

 

Kevin Brown’s band:

 

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    9     Tuukka Rask     G     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

2    12     Cory Schneider     G     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

3    29     Daniel Sedin     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

4    32     Henrik Sedin     F     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

5    49     Jaromir Jagr     F     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

6    52     Erik Karlsson     D     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

7    69     Alexander Edler     D     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

8    72     Kevin Bieksa     D     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

9    89     Chris Stewart     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

10    92     Chris Neil     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

11    109     T.J. Oshie     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

12    112     Milan Michalek     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

13    129     Roberto Luongo     G     Vancouver Canucks      MANUAL

14    132     Kyle Turris     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

15    149     Alexander Steen     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

16    152     Patrik Berglund     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

17    169     Adam McQuaid     D     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

18    172     Gregory Campbell     F     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

19    189     Andy McDonald     F     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

20    192     Jordan Leopold     D     St. Louis Blues      MANUAL

 

Brown’s analysis

 

My strategy entering the draft was simple: goaltending, goaltending, goaltending.  I wasn't a mathematics major, but even I realized pretty quickly that with 10 people in the pool and a requirement to start two goaltenders, the supply of puck-stoppers would run out early.  With that in mind I grabbed Tuukka Rask and Cory Schneider with my first two selections, laying the groundwork for the rest of the draft.  In addition to loading up on Bruins and Canucks players, I identified one more team from each conference that I thought was undervalued, the Senators and Blues, and filled my roster with their players as well.  I'm a little concerned about the fact St. Louis is facing the defending Stanley Cup champions in the opening round, but I like their depth and think they can win the series.  The Senators have suffered so many injuries this season that we don't really know what the team looks like at full strength.  I'm banking on Erik Karlsson's return giving them a spark and I expect to win at least one round as an underdog. Having said all that, my chances likely hinge on those of the Canucks.  With both of their goaltenders, each of the Sedin Twins, Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa are on my roster, I'm hoping this is the year they drink from Lord Stanley's mug.

 

Corey Abbott’s allies:

 

Round      Pick      Player Name      Pos      Team     Pick Type

1    10     Sidney Crosby     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

2    11     Ryan Getzlaf     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

3    30     Ray Emery     G     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

4    31     James Reimer     G     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

5    50     Patrick Sharp     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

6    51     Brenden Morrow     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

7    70     Dion Phaneuf     D     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

8    71     Teemu Selanne     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

9    90     Jussi Jokinen     F     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

10    91     Andrew Cogliano     F     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

11    110     Nick Leddy     D     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

12    111     Joffrey Lupul     F     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

13    130     Matt Niskanen     D     Pittsburgh Penguins      MANUAL

14    131     Brandon Prust     F     Montreal Canadiens      MANUAL

15    150     Dave Bolland     F     Chicago Blackhawks      MANUAL

16    151     Anton Khudobin     G     Boston Bruins      MANUAL

17    170     Marcus Johansson     F     Washington Capitals      MANUAL

18    171     Cam Fowler     D     Anaheim Ducks      MANUAL

19    190     Daniel Alfredsson     F     Ottawa Senators      MANUAL

20    191     Mikhail Grabovski     F     Toronto Maple Leafs      MANUAL

 

Abbott’s self-assessment:

 

Check out his thoughts on the process:

 

I have to admit I didn't have much of a strategy going into the draft aside from the general idea of taking Penguins, Hawks and Ducks. Having the last pick obviously wasn't the best of situations, but Sidney Crosby's cloudy status allowed me to nab him with my top selection. I was hoping to get Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews as well, but they had already gone so I decided to pick Ryan Getzlaf. After that I tried to fill out my crease, but there wasn't much left there in terms of quality keepers or quality teams, so I settled on James Reimer because he's guaranteed to start and Ray Emery because he should play if Chicago goes deep. After that my roster was filled with Pittsburgh, Anaheim and Chicago depth players with some Maple Leafs sprinkled in to round out the group. A couple of missteps occurred in the drafting process when I got Brandon Prust from an auto draft error and I picked up Boston's Anton Khudobin for my bench when he opposes my healthy contingent of Leafs players. But I can plead ignorance on that since we started the draft without knowing the match-ups in the East. Hopefully, my gamble on Crosby pays off and the other teams I'm banking on advancing can pull through.

 

***

 

Hopefully this post will provide you with some insight on how a draft might go. Stay tuned for weekly updates of the Dose as the playoffs rage on.



James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than two years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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