clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Weekend FTB: Tampa lives for another game

The full=scale offseason shenanigans won’t start this weekend

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Ondrej Palat is gonna get paid this off-season. Coming off a 5 year, $5.3 million AAV deal that saw him win two Cups, fighting to help the Lightning win a third straight. He’s consistently been around a 50 points per 82 games guy his whole career, and this playoff run he’s been a big reason for Tampa’s run this year. He’s scored 11 goals and 20 points in 22 games, and scored a few HUGE game winning goals for them. He was at it again last night...

Without a healthy Point, Palat is second on the team in points only behind Kucherov, and actually leads Tampa in goals.

Would sure be nice if the Leafs could find a supporting forward outside of their main core who could go on a run like that during the playoffs one year...

2022 NHL DRAFT PROFILES

We’re two weeks into the ramped up draft content here, with this past week focusing on prospects who are more likely to be available when the Leafs pick at 25th overall. This week we covered:

MAPLE LEAFS LINKS

Speaking of the 25th overall pick... The recent history of 25th overall draft picks | by TLN.

Perhaps the point that we should takeaway from this and one that didn’t require trivial references to past 25th overall picks is that if the Leafs use their pick at 25th overall it’s very likely the player selected could immediately be debated as the top organizational prospect. The pick is that worthwhile. It’s also worth noting that Kyle Dubas isn’t overly attached to picking when he’s supposed to, so maybe my time would have been better spent looking at top prospects selected at 28th or 29th overall instead.

A look back at Auston Matthews’ 2021-22 season: How the Leafs’ star captured his first Hart Trophy & Ted Lindsay Award | by MLHS.

Across all sports, fans relish those “MVP performances” that solidify a player as the best in their league; those special games where a player steps up and lets the world know that they are simply the best there is in their respective sport.

This five-day stretch between April 4 and April 9 is what I refer to as the week Auston Matthews won the Hart. It featured multiple consecutive MVP-worthy performances.

It started with a game in Tampa Bay, one that had a lot of meaning for Toronto. At this point, the Leafs, Lightning, and Bruins were all battling for second in the Atlantic and home-ice advantage for the opening round of the playoffs. A victory over the Lightning would help strengthen the Leafs’ hold on that spot in the standings.

Maple Leafs prospect William Villeneuve’s Memorial Cup could help him en route to Toronto | by The Athletic

“When I was younger, I didn’t really know how to play my gap and play defence. I was backing up a little bit. Getting drafted to the Leafs and working with the development staff, I’ve been working on skating patterns, pivots, reading the angle and how to attack forwards. It’s really helped me on closing my gap and bringing more physicality. So, I think that’s been my biggest focus in the last year or two: Really trying to get up ice, stay forward and get my angles pretty good so I can close up plays in the neutral zone or by my own blue line, instead of waiting and giving them more time to create offence.”

PODCAST: Gophers forward Matthew Knies discusses playing hockey in Arizona, Nebraska, Minneapolis and around the world

Back in his native Arizona for the summer, where it was 111 F when he talked to The Rink Live, Knies is preparing to host a summer hockey camp and looking forward to another college hockey season in maroon and gold.

OTHER HOCKEY LINKS

We’ll start with a small update on the Hockey Canada lawsuit saga from Rick Westhead. It really does sound like various powers that be are not going to let this get swept under the rug.

With Trotz off the table, Jets turn elsewhere for head coach | by Sportsnet

It’s been clear from the beginning of the Winnipeg Jets coaching search that Barry Trotz was the No. 1 target to fill the position after the organization informed Dave Lowry he would not have the interim tag removed at the end of the season.

Trotz informed the Jets on Friday that he was not going to accept their offer to become the head coach and that he plans to spend the near future focusing on his family instead of being behind the bench.

Speaking of head coaches, the Chicago Blackhawks announced their new hire.

Some sad news coming out of Minnesota... seems like there’s been more prospects than usual dealing with significant health issues this year.

Speaking of health, looks like the Eichel surgery is already acceptable enough that another young player just had it done with no fuss.