My take on the first week of playoffs, Cooke, Keith, Getzlaf, Sam Bennett and more
Matt Cooke made another really bad decision. My guess is he gets 7-9 games. He’s done worse, but with his track record and the significant injury to Barrie, I expect he will get something fairly severe. I know some people want more but I doubt that happens.
Bryan Bickell’s knee on Vladimir Sabotka was almost as bad in my opinion but it was Bickell not Cooke.
I played with Tyson Barrie last season and he is one of the best young players I've ever played with. He will be a star one day. This could be a series changing loss for Colorado.
KEITH - BACKES
This whole "Wakey Wakey" Duncan Keith story is just ridiculous. Its hockey, it's in the heat of the moment, be thankful that's all you heard.
Besides, Keith got filled in the next game by Steve Ott for all his stick work and yapping in the series. It was a questionable hit, but if you are doing those things eventually someone will find you.
GETZLAF - ROUSSEL
The Ducks aren't happy with the Stars targeting Getzlaf's face knowing he has 52 stitches and a significant jaw injury. If it's the regular season I probably have a huge problem with it.
It's the playoffs now and you do everything you can to win. If you can affect the other team’s best player and it helps you win, you do it.
While we’re on the topic, how about Ryan Getzlaf? He takes that puck in the face and comes back and dominates game two and didn't back down one bit when push came to shove in game 3. That's a leader and that's what the NHL playoffs are all about.
I've said it before, that if I'm starting a team he's my pick after Crosby at forward. After his Olympics, regular season and now gutsy playoff performance, I might even rethink that order.
It was crushing to see veteran Stephan Robidas break the same leg he broke earlier in the season in game 3. The guy is an absolute warrior and I think most in the hockey world wanted to see him have a deep playoff run and shot at the cup.
I’m 0 for 1 already in my playoff bracket. I picked the Lightning to upset Montreal, just a stupid pick.
The late penalty call on the Bolts that allowed the game winner was just as stupid however. Take both players if you have to make a call at that stage of the hockey game. Either way Montreal was the better team, but the series may have gone one more game.
Nathan MacKinnon is a phenomenal talent. When he was in Edmonton a few weeks back I was drooling over him. He hasn't stopped in the playoffs and I'm not surprised. His ability to stick handle and shoot while moving his legs at top speed is incredible. He will chase Crosby for scoring titles in a couple years.
I still take Ekblad if he’s available at 3, but I heard Sam Bennett on Gregor yesterday talking about his game and you can tell he plays with an edge. I haven’t seen either play and have just heard others talk about their styles, but if it came down to Bennett or Draisitl for the Oilers, I'm starting to lean towards the kid with some jam.
He’s not small at 6’1 and if Draisaitl doesn’t play physical (he’s just big) maybe he’s not the best choice. They need some grit and more character that can play. Guys like Toews, Bergeron and Landeskog aren’t monsters but they are heavy enough and competitive enough to engage physically with the biggest centers around the league.
I’ve heard about Draisaitl all year in Edmonton but there is a reason Bennett is ranked higher. He's a year younger and put up 90 points to go along with 118 penalty minutes.
My summer hockey camp runs July 21-25 in Edmonton, if you are interested, we have groups from novice to bantam. Check it out here.