Ah round two of the NHL Playoffs have begun and we have some good series. I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched as much of the playoffs this year as I did last year. I think it’s because of it being crunch time at work (teaching gig!) and some weird times for some games. Still you have some really good match ups with the Blues vs the Stars (tied 1-1), Islanders and Lightning (tied 1-1) Sharks vs Predators (Sharks up 2-0, boo San Jose boo) and Penguins vs Capitals (Penguins up 2-1).
My Playoffs bracket has taken a severe beating: My Stanley Cup pick (The Ducks) are out. Only 4 teams I chose (The Stars, Lightning, Penguins and Capitals) advanced. Not winning any brackets this year, that’s for sure.
The Edmonton Oilers News
Like last week, all is quiet on the Oilers news front. There’s not too much going on.
Saturday, we had the draft lottery where I did a live blog during the lottery that saw the Maple Leafs win the first overall selection (which by the way, total shameless plug, but the Oilers Rig has a new look. It’s great. Check it out.)
The Oilers ended up finishing outside the top three, finishing fourth overall, moving two spots down. I strongly believe that the Oilers will be trading the 4th overall pick. While it’s important to replenish the farm team (no real elite talent now that McDavid, Nurse and Draisaitl have graduated), it’s time to move towards a win-sooner-than-later model. It’s an attractive asset.
If they did keep it, I’d love for them to draft Pierre Luc Dubois. He was ranked 9th on our top ten prospect rankings here at BLH.
World Championships start soon. Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall and Cam Talbot represent Team Canada this go around. Of course, McDavid will be the biggest name worth following but Hall did play very well last year with Sidney Crosby and Jordan Eberle.
Also speaking of Connor McDavid: He’s in the second round of the NHL 17 Cover Vote! You can vote as many times as you wish.
For obvious reasons, I’d love to have McDavid on the cover. The Sharks had a player on the Cover back on NHL 2001 with Owen Nolan. Tarasenko is a great player but the Blues had Pronger in 2000. Benn would be the first Star representative to grace the cover. No Edmonton Oiler (other than some Midnight release signings) has graced the cover. So vote away.
The NHL Playoffs News
The biggest stories coming out of the playoffs are the firing of two head coaches this week.
In Anaheim after their colossal let down of a first round, fired head coach Bruce Boudreau. Feel bad for Boudreau here: he was the scape goat and did get them to a conference final the year prior. The big guns like Perry and Getzlaf underachieved on an epic level. General Manager Bob Murray promises that there will be changes.
My likely guesses? Sami Vatanen is gone (I’m really interested in seeing the Oilers snag him. He’s a good second pairing option and a Power play Quarterback.) and possibly Frederik Andersen (an RFA, have Gibson behind him). Where will Boudreau go? I was thinking Ottawa but….
The Calgary Flames fired Bob Hartley. Hartley definitely had his detractors from Flames fans: the Flames were a poor possession team with Bob Hartley under the helm. It was a rough four years for Hartley there besides last season’s Jack Adams Victory and a playoff appearance.
I’d be scared if Calgary snagged Boudreau. That would be a very wise move.
Brooks Orpik was handed a three game suspension. It was a nasty, nasty hit. Clear, late hit, interference. Very easy decision.
He wasn’t the only player suspended. Kris Letang was given a one game suspension.
NHL Draft Lottery
Capitals and Penguins
Backes scores OT winner to tie the series
Sharks go up 2-0….
A Special Message
While this is a hockey blog and I just do a weekly recap, I cannot express my sincerest wishes to all those effected by the Fort McMurray fire that is taking place right now.
I don’t have anything for what’s coming up or some follow me on Twitter thing. There’s just far more important things going on.
I’m lucky. My dad and brother have worked up north multiple times. I may not be in the trades, but both of them are Ironworkers. They’ve gone up there months at a time. I can only imagine the families of loved ones who are trapped up there or without any place to go.
Or the ones who live there on a full time basis. People who are about to or have already, lost everything.
I am providing a Red Cross Link for donations. Keep them in your thoughts.