The Shark Blog

Posted: 4/16/2014

For the Record - 2014 Playoff Predictions

Just a few hours before the puck drops on the most compelling contest in all of sports.  This year, at long last, we have a fixed bracket, making things much easier on those of us obsessed with fantasy contests.  Be sure to get in on the action at NHL.com with your bracket selections.  Here are mine:

 

 

 

Cup Finals:  St. Louis Blues over Boston Bruins.

Despite entering the playoffs on a 6-game losing streak, my faith in St. Louis has not wavered from the start of the season when I projected them to hoist their first ever Cup.  If they can get healthy, no other team can roll 4 lines up front and 3 pair on defense like the Blues.  I was torn over the Boston/Pittsburgh selection, but goaltending has to favor the Bruins.

 

MVP: Alex Steen.  Steen finally emerged as an NHL star this season, leading his squad in goals and assists, despite missing several weeks of action.  He will be clutch.

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

 

Pittsburgh / Columbus

Fleury will be fine in this one.  Which is all anyone needs to hear.  A Pittsburgh loss would rival the '93 Islander upset.

Penguins in 5.

 

Boston / Detroit

Just keeping the playoff streak alive should satisfy Wings fans.  They certainly won't like what they get in Round 1, as they will be completely outclassed by the Bruins.

Bruins in a clean sweep

 

Tampa Bay / Montreal

Coin flip on this one.  Let the goaltending decide it.  With Bishop uncertain and Price in top form…

Canadiens in 6.

 

NY Rangers / Philadelphia

Another coin toss.  The Rangers just seem pieced together wrong, while the Flyers have the 2nd best player in the league on their side.

Flyers in 7.

 

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

 

Colorado / Minnesota

If you're looking for an upset in Round 1, it has to be here.  The Wild are better built for the playoffs than Roy's surprising Avs squad.  If only the Wild had healthy goaltending, they could have challenged St. Louis to come out of the West.

Wild in 6.

 

St. Louis / Chicago

Tough road for the Hawks to repeat in the West.  Toughest fight comes first, which they will lose.

Blues in 5.

 

Anaheim / Dallas

Biggest no-brainer on this side of the bracket.  Ducks should roll here.

Ducks in 5.

 

San Jose / LA

Wish I didn't have to stay past midnight for the next two weeks, but I can't miss what should be the best series of round 1.  When the teams are even, look to the net.  It doesn't get better than Jonathan Quick.

Kings in 6.

 

 


Previous Post...

Posted: 2/4/2014

Waiver Wire - Week 18

Just a couple games left before we break for Sochi.  Here are a handful of potential free agents to consider before shutting down until March.

 

OFFENSE

 

Gustav Nyquist (DET)

While Detroit has struggled to find their way through key injuries, Nyquist has stepped it up.  He has 8 goals in his last 8 games, along with 4 assists during that stretch.  His ice time has steadily climbed, as he has become the go-to guy for the Wings.

 

Antoine Vermette (PHO)

It's tough to get too excited about Vermette.  In 9 NHL seasons, he has rarely emerged as a viable fantasy option.  However, it's tough to ignore what's going on this season in Phoenix.  Vermette has topped 20 goals already, and has contributed 8 tallies in the last 9 games.

 

Mikael Backlund (CGY)

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NHL Player News

Matt Duchene likely won't play in Round 1 - Matt Duchene | COL
COL Matt Duchene (knee) likely won't be available during the first round of the playoffs.

T.J. Oshie in pregame warmup, likely to play - T.J. Oshie | STL
STL T.J. Oshie (upper body) is participating in the pregame warmup.

Milan Lucic receives $5K fine for spearing - Milan Lucic | BOS
BOS Milan Lucic has received a $5,000 fine for spearing Detroit defenseman Dan DeKeyser below the belt.

Steve Mason won't play in Game 2 Sunday - Steve Mason | PHI
PHI Steve Mason (upper body) won't play Sunday.

Blues' T.J. Oshie questionable for Game 2 - T.J. Oshie | STL
STL T.J. Oshie (upper body) is questionable to play in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon.

Alex Ovechkin takes heat over minus-35 rating - Alex Ovechkin | WAS
WAS Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin has seven years left on a contract that will pay him $10 million annually beginning next season, but he finished this regular season out of the playoffs and with a dreadful minus-35 rating, third worst in the NHL.

Devils might wish to bring back Brian Gionta - Brian Gionta | MON
MON If Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello remains true to form, he just might inquire about bringing right winger Brian Gionta back to New Jersey, according to The Star-Ledger.

Kris Letang disciplined by coach for mistakes - Kris Letang | PIT
PIT Penguins defenseman Kris Letang made a mistake and hurt his team by slashing Blue Jackets rookie Boone Jenner in response to a hit late in the second period of Game 1 on Wednesday.

Jimmy Howard shuts out Bruins, Wings up 1-0 - Jimmy Howard | DET
DET Jimmy Howard found his mojo on Friday night, kicking aside all 25 Bruins shots to lift Detroit to a 1-0 victory in Game 1.

Pavel Datsyuk scores heroic goal, Wings win - Pavel Datsyuk | DET
DET Pavel Datsyuk's marvelous third period goal was all the Red Wings needed on Friday night, as they held on to beat the heavily favored Bruins in Game 1 by a score of 1-0.

Carey Price backstops Habs to 2-0 series lead - Carey Price | MON
MON Carey Price's shutout bid was spoiled with under two minutes remaining in Game 2, but the star goaltender still got the all important victory in Friday night's battle with the Lightning.

Rene Bourque's pair pushes Habs past Bolts - Rene Bourque | MON
MON Rene Bourque drove the Canadiens past the Lightning in Game 2 on Friday night, scoring two goals in the Habs’ 4-1 victory in Tampa Bay.

News provided by rotoworld.com



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