Dallas feels confident in Khudobin backing up Bishop, who is a muscle pull waiting to happen in every game. And Nashville likes Saros a lot, which is nice protection for Rinne. And in terms of No. 1 guys, Marc-Andre Fleury is the proven winner on this side of the bracket. Subban is a shaky sub for the Golden Knights, but the lead guy gives them confidence.
Winnipeg owns the blessed ROW (regulation/overtime wins) category. And, yes, the talented Jets are certainly a scary team.
Trout vs. Fowler? You are pulling a muscle with that one. Certainly the Cardinals have some good ex-players playing on other teams -- perhaps more than usual -- but they will contend again this season for the umpteenth time in a row. I don't see Mozeliak going anywhere unless he decides to do something different.
Calgary is very good. Lots of firepower there with Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk up front and Mark Giordano having a Norris Trophy season on defense. But do they have a shutdown goaltender? They have two guys that have played well, but that is the question for them.
That looks less likely all the time. First he has to get healthy, then he has to get his mechanics back -- if that is even possible.
The Blues own the rights to left-shot defenseman Scott Perunovich, a small but talented prospect from Minnesota Duluth. He could sign after his sophomore season. He has chased some other free agents. Not sure if he is close to getting any.
He scored 79 goals in his previous three season, so he has leverage to get to $7 million. Salaries are soaring in the league. If you offer him $5 million, he'll play out his contract and take his chances. He will play next season at age 28, so he has some miles left. Another 25-goal season would make him an attractive free agent.
I'd go with Kucherov for the Hart and Giordano for the Norris. For the Vezina, I'd love to say Our Town's Ben Bishop, but four trips to the injured list ended that candidacy. Vasilevskiy will lead the NHL in victories with strong ratios too.
The Boston Bruins would be that pick. Love that team. Somewhere on the list is the Blues. Believe it, this team has a shot. It's a scramble on this side of the league and a first-round exit wouldn't shock me either. But this team has a chance.
It's not like Tampa Bay burned up the last of its energy winning the regular season title. The Lightning have more talent than anybody else. I don't see the President's Trophy as any sort of curse.
The best NFL quarterback from Mizzou? Yeah, he could be better than the Zark, Or Gabbert or Daniel. Brad Smith (receiver) and Phil Bradley (MLB outfielder) has nice careers too, as non-QBs.
Actually, for the home opener, they did round up some frozen custard. So, yeah, I was all over that.
Binnington is hot. It would take something bad happening to get Allen in the playoffs for more than a spot appearance.
Jack Flaherty is scuffling early, with men on base in all three innings so far. And the Cardinals failed to generate any offense at all in their first two turns against Nick Margevicius.
After months of hockey, these guys are all banged up to some degree. The Blues had some depth on the blue line with Gunnarsson and Edmundson getting healthy and Del Zotto showing well after he first arrived, so why not rest a guy? That happens a lot this time of year around the NHL. Fabbri could yet come in, since injuries are inevitable and depth is critical come playoff time. It was smart to get him out there. Could he play ahead of Blais at some point? Sure, depending on team need.
Berube has been a big fan of Sanford's work, but Zach has lagged in recent weeks and Fabbri could yet be a factor. Robby appears to be moving well despite those two knee surgeries, but he needs to get his old tenacity on the puck back.
Paul DeJong's solo homer has been the only sign off offensive life so far in this game. Otherwise the Cardinals are stacking the outs -- and quickly.
That's it for today. See you next time!