Desserts

Frozen Fantasy: Just Desserts

Frozen Fantasy: Just Desserts

The playoff structure in the East is locked. But the Pacific and the Center are still the Wild West. And some good teams will soon be trading clubs for golf clubs way too soon.

Vegas, I’m worried about you.

In five years, the Golden Knights have gone from fan favorite to most hated in the league. The team seems entitled. His leadership has no loyalty. And the tweet ‘welcome Evgenii’ was as cold as they come.

Like a “Sorry but“Apologies. No responsibility there.

The cap strains the hamstrings in Vegas, but they only play bad hockey. Injuries to Robin Lehner, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Alec Martinez really hurt. Jack Eichel is a superstar, but he can’t carry the team.

No single player can.

Vegas is chasing Dallas, Edmonton and Nashville for a playoff spot. All have at least two games in hand on the boys in the gang. Dallas has a four-game buffer.

Sip.

This season, the road to a Cup victory by a team from the West has never been easier. The East’s best will battle it out on the ice, with hopes they have enough left to clinch a 16th win.

The “just in” mantra is alive and well in the West. Do you remember the 2012 Kings? They only scored 194 goals throughout the season but got hot at the right time. They clinched the top three seeds in the West before winning their first Cup in six.

As in a head to head

The playoff structure in the East is locked. But the Pacific and the Center are still the Wild West. And some good teams will soon be trading clubs for golf clubs way too soon.

Vegas, I’m worried about you.

In five years, the Golden Knights have gone from fan favorite to most hated in the league. The team seems entitled. His leadership has no loyalty. And the tweet ‘welcome Evgenii’ was as cold as they come.

Like a “Sorry but“Apologies. No responsibility there.

The cap strains the hamstrings in Vegas, but they only play bad hockey. Injuries to Robin Lehner, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Alec Martinez really hurt. Jack Eichel is a superstar, but he can’t carry the team.

No single player can.

Vegas is chasing Dallas, Edmonton and Nashville for a playoff spot. All have at least two games in hand on the boys in the gang. Dallas has a four-game buffer.

Sip.

This season, the road to a Cup victory by a team from the West has never been easier. The East’s best will battle it out on the ice, with hopes they have enough left to clinch a 16th win.

The “just in” mantra is alive and well in the West. Do you remember the 2012 Kings? They only scored 194 goals throughout the season but got hot at the right time. They clinched the top three seeds in the West before winning their first Cup in six.

Just like in a one-on-one fantasy league. I won a cash prize last season after a sub-.500 season.

Too bad the Golden Knights don’t have the same luck. Maybe it’s just their desserts.

Now let’s see who caught my eye this week.

Sean DurziD, Los Angeles (6% Yahoo!) – Durzi is having an exceptional rookie season on the left coast. His three-assist game on Thursday was exceptional, even though the Kings lost. He has five assists in four games going into Saturday night and is quietly fourth in blueline rookie scoring. But more impressively, Durzi’s P/GP this season (0.46) is behind only Moritz Seider among rookie defenders. Yes, he produced better than Jamie Drysdale and Bowen Byram (when he was healthy). Durzi is a sneaky game over the last 20 games, especially if Drew Doughty is out for the rest of the regular season.

Joel FarabeeLW/RW, Philadelphia (18% Yahoo!) – Farabee is riding a four-game, six-point streak (two goals, four assists) heading into Sunday’s game in Nashville. And he’s only been knocked off the scoresheet once in his last seven games. Farabee has risen through the ranks with the profession of Claude Giroux and now is the time for this future star. Farabee has the skills to be a top player in the NHL. And he could be as good as Mark Stone if his two-way game continues to improve. Rank that up, but don’t miss what he could do for your current team in the short term.

Keegan KolesarRW/C, Las Vegas (2% Yahoo!) – Need shots? Kolesar tops the list this week with 26, but he’s more than a one-category wonder. He was a 20-goal scorer in the AHL and Vegas currently has him in a top-six role. It’s not a recipe for massive scoring, but Kolesar can be more than muscular as long as he plays in the lineup.

Travis KonecnyLW/RW, Philadelphia (25% Yahoo!) – Konecny ​​missed Friday with a lower-body injury, but he was on a three-game, six-point streak before that. And he had 27 shots and 10 points, including three on the PP, in his previous nine games. If healthy, Konecny ​​is a volume shooter who spends time on the PP, and that’s a profile that fits many rosters.

Kevin LankinenG, Chicago (30% Yahoo!) – The Flower is gone and someone has to fill the net. Lankinen starts Saturday with something to prove. He went 1-1 this week with just four goals allowed. He kept his team in the game against a strong Wild team last weekend and was sharp in a win over the Ducks on Wednesday. The Hawks aren’t going to go down without a fight this season – pride is a powerful motivator. Lankinen is worth a bet in this situation.

Trevor MooreLW/RW, Los Angeles (12% Yahoo!) – Moore is back on this list thanks to a four-game, five-point streak (two goals, three assists). It won’t help with power play production or major category coverage. But he shoots the puck and is on pace for a huge 50-point season while playing on the second line. Moore is a quiet contributor who can help stabilize your roster.

Brock NelsonC, New York Islanders (37% Yahoo!) “No one told the Isles they got out. The team plays for pride and some of their veterans have stepped it up in a big way. Like Nelson. Prior to Saturday, he had 16 points, including 10 goals, in appearances on March 13. It produces on the PP (five points) and provides decent secondary stats (100 FW, 37 SOG, and 13 blocks). Honestly, I would skip Mathew Barzal (71%) for a piece of Nelson right now.

Taylor RaddychRW, Chicago (2% Yahoo!) – Raddysh went from a bottom-six role in Tampa to a top-six with power-play time in Chicago. His shooting is special and he’s now reunited on the Hawks with two of his best Erie Otters buddies – Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome. Raddysh plays on the second line with Jonathan Toews and Henrik Borgstrom, and is currently on a three-game, four-point streak heading into Saturday. And two of those points came on the power play. Raddysh is a must. Period. It’s as if his time had come.

Dylan StromRW/C, Chicago (28% Yahoo!) – The trade deadline has come and gone, and Strome is still in the Windy City. And all he does is keep scoring. He heads into Saturday’s game against Vegas on a four-game, six-point streak and has scored in 10 of 11 games this month (nine goals, eight assists). Maybe, just maybe, Strome is becoming the guy the Coyotes thought they had when they called his name at No. 3. Added team chemistry with another Erie Otter (see Raddysh, above) will likely help too.

Let’s go back to the desserts only.

It’s not about Evgenii Dadonov. The poor guy is tearing it up right now for a team that clearly doesn’t want him.

This leadership team approached building a roster like hiring mercenaries. Cold and impersonal. Who lets the reigning Vézina winner know he’s been traded on Twitter? And they “forgot” a no-trade list? Rather ignored.

At some point, owner Bill Foley may decide changes are needed in his management team. But he might not care that George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon are making money for him. Even if they embarrass him.

The playoff run in the West will be fun to watch. We’ll all be drawn to the growing desperation in cities like Vegas like moths toward a light, starting with Saturday’s tilt with the Hawks.

And my gut tells me that more of us will be rooting against them than for them.

Until next week.