Thanks to the 'Net-less Thursday, it's now time for Friday Five-- huzzah!! We're inching closer and closer to the final day of the regular season and many teams have clinched-- so now it's time to see who's going what and where.
1. While there's a lot of teams who have clinched, at what point do they start to rest their star players, if they even do it at all??
You see the Capitals have done this with Alex Ovechkin, but when it comes to some teams-- you probably won't see that until one or two games left in the season, not eight or nine. With the Canucks, who have already clinched the Northwest Division, you probably won't see the Sedins rested too much because they're also in some personal accomplishments in the league, as well. It could be all discretionary on the team and players-- but I don't think we'll see anything epically happen when it comes to resting guys.
2. You have teams like the Canucks and Bruins being dominate down the stretch again-- but is this a red herring to their fans or could they be on a collision course of the Cup??
It depends on the expectations for the teams. When it comes to the Canucks, it seems like it's Stanley Cup or Bust-- which could be a huge set-up for a letdown, especially coming out of the Western Conference, where it'll be a rough road. When it comes to the Bruins-- they could be fueled by the disappointment of last year's outcome, but they are looking pretty solid-- even though the B's have to get over the Flyers or Capitals to get to the Cup Finals.
3. As the herd thins out, who can be the team who plays the role of spoiler for these teams in contention??
Out East, it doesn't seem like any particular team could be spoiler, as many teams have their destiny in their own hands. Out West, Edmonton has a good chance to spoil the Flames chances (for good, that is), as they play them twice, as well as playing Minnesota twice-- though both teams the Oilers play are in a solid free-fall themselves. Not too much to spoil, but at the same time; put the nail in the coffin of divisional rivals.
4. With Zach Parise coming back-- is this to actually help out the Devils who are nine points out of 8th with nine games to go or is it to display himself for his impending free agency??
It's very doubtful that he's doing this in order to actually bring some hope to the dwindling playoff chances the Devils have, so it's probably to put himself out there for display when it comes to his free agency. He probably want to be out there in a game situation with his surgically repaired knee and show that he can keep up and he won't have to wait until summer to get back into any kind of game situation. It's highly unlikely that the Devils could be able to re-sign him, but if we've learned anything from Lou Lamoriello it's that he's the only guy to get this thing done.
5. As we look forward to the Draft for the teams out of a playoff spot-- where in the Draft does the talent pool start to get dicey??
I think if you're not picking within the top-10, then you're going for a crapshoot in terms of, not so much the talent, but the time it'll take in order to get the Draft pick to the big club or even into the organization. It's not the deepest draft, but many thought this year's ago because of the lull of development of kids sticking to the game. We saw it in 1999 and this could be something like that all over again-- some stars, but many guys who just get bounced around; though I'm sure time will prove it all wrong.
That's it for the week, so enjoy. Email me at Scotty.Wazz@Gmail.com if you have questions or topics you want me to tackle.....or not.