Minnesota has a pair of recent draftees in center Zack Phillips and defenseman Jonas Brodin as well as the acquisition of Charlie Coyle (from San Jose) who they’re sky-high on. Now we’re left to wonder who out of this bunch will be the first to make a splash in the NHL.
Phillips and Coyle were teammates at St. John in the QMJHL, a powerhouse team of late if there ever was one.
Coyle left Boston University to play in the Q in his abbreviated season he piled up 38 points (15 goals) in 23 games. In the playoffs, he was a monster adding another 34 points (15 goals again) in 17 games. Meanwhile, Phillips scored 30 goals with 80 points this past season with another 32 points in the postseason. That’ll do, kid.
Brodin spent his time in the Swedish league with Farjestad and is poised to come to North America this season. Brodin isn’t an offensive blue liner as he had just eight points this past season. The Wild are in need of a solid two-way guy and he could be the answer.
Of these three, Coyle seems most ready to make the leap. At 6’2″ and 207 pounds, he could be an impact forward in the league. What do you think though? Give a vote in our poll.
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Stamkos' surgeon, Karl Illig, told the Times, his risks are "very, very low," decision up to Stamkos. "I think he's doing the right thing."
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
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