Wednesday NHL Roundup!

I’ve been out of commission the past few weeks with some personal stuff and some health stuff (It was strep throat, not The Coronovirus)but now I’m back! And You’re all gonna get it now! But seriously folks, there’s been a group of people who have really been there for me during a tough time in my life. Those people are the Florida Panthers. They’ve really stepped up and lost every game they possibly could to help secure a Toronto playoff spot and make me feel better. It seems the Leafs lending their Zamboni driver David Ayres to the Carolina Hurricanes and then losing to him was the kick in the butt the Leafs needed to right the ship. The saddest detail of that story was that the Leafs ran over James Reimer to eventually get to the Canes impromptu third stringer. If one day James Reimer blows up the city of Toronto I’ll have no choice but to say “yeah, he had a good point”. We have visited nothing but horror onto that man and his family.

Zach Kassian’s suspension for kicking a guy in the chest with his skate was too light. He also cut Dave Bolland’s ankle with a skate earlier in his career, which seriously cut Bolland’s career short. I mean, he was painted as the good guy when he overcame alcoholism and when he was in a feud with notorious jerk Matt Tkachuk. Yeah, sure, whatever. I don’t care. I would be 100% behind a rule that says 2 SKATE ATTACK infractions are worth a lifetime ban.

The haves are starting to get separated from the have-nots in the Western Conference (Or is the Avs and the Av-nots? Sorry.) The Blues and the Avalanche have won 8 and 7 games in a row respectively. The Golden Knights were on a similar tear winning 8 in a row before dropping one to the Kings. They bounced back with Robin Lehner’s first shutout in the desert to make it 9 wins in 10. The top od the table is coalescing, but the bottom is still a bit volatile. I’m feeling good today with the Jets and Canucks in the two Wild Card slots and the Flames and Oilers in relative comfort in their Pac division playoff position. All 4 Canadian teams in the Western Conference are poised to make the second season, though I fear a beating at the hands of the Blues, Avalanche or Golden Knights is their reward.

The hottest team in the Eastern Conference though is Philly, who’ve bullied their way into a strong playoff position. I’ve had Carter Hart in a few of my pools, and I gotta say I’m always shocked when they give you some fun fact about how awesome he is, particularly at home. I’m glad he’s finding his groove but he sure got his brains blown out a lot in the first half. It also looks like the Islanders couldn’t sustain their absurd early season success rate. Conversely, Travis Konecny has been gold and I attribute a lot of Philly’s resurgence to his return.  I also gotta throw this out there, it’s a very heated debate between Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisatl and Connor McDavid for the Hart Trophy. McDavid’s lost his shine with missed games due to injury but Edmonton is surging towards some individual hardware. My point? Throw it all in the garbage if the Rangers make the playoffs, no one has been more important to their team than Artemi Panarin.