- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 21, 2008

ON WASHINGTONTIMES.COM: AN EXCERPT FROM IN THE ROOM, OUR NHL BLOG

Before Friday night’s NHL draft, Caps beat writer Corey Masisak took a stab at making a mock draft. Here’s a look at how his top five projections stacked up against what really happened:

1. Tampa Bay: Steven Stamkos (Corey’s pick: Steven Stamkos) - The Lightning made this pick clear just hours after winning the draft lottery. Only a Herschel Walker-like trade would’ve stopped this pick.

2. Los Angeles: Drew Doughty (Corey’s pick: Nikita Filatov) - Imagine Ray Bourque and Nicklas Lidstrom playing together. It could be a similar star pairing with Doughty and Jack Johnson in Los Angeles.

3. Atlanta: Zach Bogosian (Corey’s pick: Drew Doughty) - If Doughty was available, the Thrashers would have taken him. Instead, they get a player who will be ready to play next season.

4. St. Louis: Alex Pietrangelo (Corey’s pick: Zach Bogosian) - On the right track with a defenseman, the Blues went with the best one left on the board.

5. Toronto from N.Y. Islanders: Luke Schenn (Corey’s pick: Colin Wilson) - The Islanders had two chances to take Wilson and traded down both times only to end up with Josh Bailey. Toronto made Schenn its highest pick since 1989.

TWT FIVE: BEST NO. 1 NHL PICKS

1. Guy LaFleur - Montreal Canadiens, 1971: With LaFleur in La belle province, the Canadiens won five Stanley Cups including four in a row from 1976 to 1979.

2. Denis Potvin New York Islanders, 1973: Potvin made nine All-Star teams, three Norris trophies and helped deliver four Cups to Long Island.

3. Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins, 1984: A gimme No. 1 selection, Super Mario not only captained Pittsburgh to two Cups, he saved the franchise by becoming its owner.

4. Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals, 2004: Ovechkin and No. 2 pick Evgeni Malkin have proved the scouts right as they have turned out to be the stars of the 2004 draft.

5. Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins, 2005: It’s only a matter of time until Crosby leads the Penguins to their third Stanley Cup.

SATURDAY’S BEST BET ON TELEVISION - The Cubs and White Sox meet again with both teams in first place. The White Sox send out Jose Contreras against the Cubs’ Jason Marquis. 1 p.m., WGN