Fans of disgustingly long playoff games were given a rare treat on Wednesday evening. In what ended as the longest game in AHL history, Alex Krushelnyski tallied for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the fifth overtime frame. The goal sent the Charlotte Checkers and what remained of their in-house fans to bed exhausted and demoralized.
The game took a total of 6:06 to complete and 147 minutes of hockey was played. Former Yale Bulldog, Alex Lyon made 94 of 95 saves on the evening to rocket his playoff save percentage to .958. His counterpart, Alex Nedeljkovic made 51 stops on the night. Despite having the ‘easier’ evening, the top goaltending prospect with the Hurricanes still took the loss. He’s been dynamite this post-season with a .933 mark though.
The Phantoms take a 3-1 series lead back to Lehigh Valley.
Elsewhere in the American League, the Toronto Marlies completed their sweep of Syracuse this week. The Marlies have been an absolute powerhouse this season and displayed that once against by dispatching the Lightning’s affiliate; a squad that is littered with exciting young players.
Here’s a look at the AHL playoff scoring leaders thus far:
There are few 2018 draft-eligible players still left playing hockey at this time of year. However, Noah Dobson and his Acadia-Bathurst mates are right in the thick of a QMJHL final against Blainville-Boisbriand, currently tied 2-2.
The smooth-skating, right-shot defender has been this season’s biggest riser. He’s climbed from a likely second-round selection to consensus top-10 talent. Dobson doesn’t offer the most dynamic of skills, but he has tremendous skating ability coupled with across the board talent. His ability has helped him produce 81 points in 84 combined regular season and playoff contests with the Titans in 2017-18, and has scouting staffs drooling at his long-term potential.
Dobson checks-in at #7 on my recently released Top 115 Draft Rankings.
The OHL finals on Wednesday night offered a terrific back-and-forth affair between Sault St Marie and Hamilton. The two teams traded goals through regulation before Greyhound defender, Noah Carrol scored the 3-2 goal on a breakaway in overtime to even the series 2-2.
How shocked are you to see two Tampa Bay Lightning prospects atop the OHL playoff scoring list? Not so much? Yeah, me either.
The World Championships are well underway and a few youngsters are making their marks.
Elias Pettersson missed the Swedes’ most recent game due to illness. But he punctuated his short tenure with the men’s national team with a filthy snipe and an assist the night before. The young forward has been lauded by the likes of John Klingberg and Gustav Nyquist for his incredible skill set.
Here is a translated excerpt from Uffe Bodin’s article –
John Klingberg knew very little about Elias Pettersson before becoming teammates at the World Championships, but the NHL defender likes what he sees.
“He has sick skill that many others do not have. Cruel to cover the puck, cruel on the little surfaces just like (Patrick) Kane. Dribble up and look up and see the game. Then I think he goes into games and is good without the puck. It’s a player that really going to be good..”
I say this virtually every week, but if you don’t own this kid in a keeper league, you better be working the phones like a madman to get it done.
Timo Meier jumped on a plane after San Jose was dispatched by the Golden Knights and has had an immediate impact for the Swiss squad. He scored a goal and added two helpers in his first game. I spoke about the potential of Meier in a DobberHockey Ramblings last week.
Kirill Kaprizov continues to the tease Wild fans and fantasy GMs everywhere. The overtly talented Russian has six points in four games while looking oh-so-comfortable next to Pavel Datsyuk. This comes on the heels of another near-point-per-game KHL campaign and monster Olympic performance.
The recently turned 21-year-old has two more years left on his deal with CSKA Moskva so the wait remains lengthy, but the upside is sky-high. I know my buddy, Patty can’t be the only one burning a keeper spot on this kid for the better part of half a decade in the hopes he becomes a superstar.
A couple of recent graduated NHL rookies are looking strong for Canada. Tyson Jost has been all over the ice, recording three goals and four points in four games. He’s going to add some strength this summer and that Avalanche squad is going to be even more lethal.
Mathew Barzal has six helpers in those four games and continues his dominant season. People are justifiably concerned about the impact the loss of John Tavares would play on the entirety of the Islanders. And it will. It will affect Barzal as he’ll become the focal point of every opposition and would lose one of the best players to work with on the power play.
However, the only saving grace for the Isles if Tavares does walk, is the fact they have a 20-year-old superstar centre just hanging around. Not too many teams can say that.
Morgan Geekie signed an entry-level contract with the Hurricanes on Thursday. After a stellar regular season, the 2017 third round pick torched the playoffs. The 19-year-old scored 17 goals and added 10 assists in 14 post-season games for Tri-City. Clearly, new GM, Don Waddell took notice.
Add another name to the pile of exciting young prospects heading towards Carolina in the near future. That lottery ball that went their way a couple weeks back won’t hurt either.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3