Brendan Shanahan answers questions, reflects on 2011 All-Star Game Fantasy Draft

In the simplest way, the selection process during the 2011 NHL All-Star Game’s Fantasy Draft will feature Team Eric Staal and Team Nicklas Lidstrom rattling off players in a fashion very similar to school kids choosing sides during gym class.

Of course, there are some things that complicate matters, which Brendan Shanahan discussed with Puck Daddy in a story that was published this morning. We’ll cover some of the highlights from that interview in a second, but it might be important to discuss some of the caveats first.

  • Each team will have three alternate captains which include two forwards and one defenseman.
  • There will be a 36-player pool to choose from during an 18-round draft.
  • Each sides’ three goalies must be taken by the 10th round.
  • All defensemen must be chosen by the 15th round.
  • There will be a “Mr. Irrelevant” in the draft, something Shanahan hopes will be treated in a “tongue-in-cheek” way.

OK, now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s get to some of the most interesting comments from Shanahan in that PD article.

After discussing how the restrictions will make the draft most interesting, Shanahan discussed the way goalie selections can leave you rattled in a mock draft:

SHANAHAN: Originally, we were going to tell them to draft who they wanted, when they wanted. But when we started doing mock drafts in the office, you realize [poop]: If I’m drafting against you, and you took your goalies in the first few rounds, because you’re a goalie freak, then the reality is that I’m not going to draft a goalie [until late] because you’ve essentially picked mine. I’m not going to waste a pick on a goalie because I can just wait until the end to draft them. The last six guys standing could have been predetermined; totally bad, dead TV.

(snip)

That’s what was fun. It’s like that old saying in boxing: Everyone’s got a plan before they get hit. That’s how it was: Regardless of you many times you did the mock draft with a plan, the other guy would do something you weren’t expecting and you’d have to change it.

On how being picked last might motivate that guy to win the MVP:

Everyone keeps focusing on the guy going last, but the reality of it is that if you go 10th, then you think you should have gone 7th. If you go fifth, you think you’re better than the four guys who went in front of you. If you go second, you’re mad at the guy who didn’t take you first, and you want to beat him.

I ran it past some perennial all-stars, and Luc Robitaille told me that if he had been taken last, he’d go home, get some sleep and then win the MVP.

***

Click here to read more from Shanahan, including the fact that players might find some “perverse pleasure” in splitting up the Sedin twins.

Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

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Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

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Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

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The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

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Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.