Dobber’s fifth annual Midseason Fantasy Guide – out January 6 with a special addendum update for January 13.

 

Harling's got today's Studs and Duds HERE

 

No updates on Sidney Crosby, but Dustin Jeffrey should start skating "soon" and Jordan Staal should be back next game.

 

In looking at the Dallas/Anaheim results, the first thing that jumped out at me was Goligoski’s goal. Monkey now off back. Doesn’t mean the hand is at 100 percent, but it’s gotta be getting closer. The Stars are 4-2-0 since he has returned and were 4-7-1 while he was gone (I am counting the game he left early). The ripple effect – Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson each have five points in those six games (but five and six respectively during the 11 prior games).

 

Richard Bachman picked up another W as Lehtonen nears a return. He may get one more start, but then he’s off to the minors until Lehtonen’s next injury (just a guess).

 

Bobby Ryan – one point in five games after it looked as though he had turned a corner.

 

After Monday’s game, Ryan Getzlaf sits at minus-14.

 

Matt Frattin had one point in 16 games to start the season, but has seven in his last 14 now. It was interesting to see Ron McLean compare him to Ryan Kesler on Saturday. I don’t think he has Kesler’s upside, obviously – but then again, I didn’t think KESLER had Kesler’s upside. I initially thought he was more of a checking-line center with 60-point upside. Those who know me know that I generally err on the high side when it comes to upsides, because that’s what upside is – so I hate being wrong by coming in too low. So the Keslers of the world, where a player exceeds my upside, are quite rare. As for Frattin, I figured him to be a mid-60s potential top sixer, with none of Kesler’s defensive attributes.

 

James Reimer had his first real stellar performance since returning from injury. He took the shootout loss, but stopped 40 of 42 shots to get to that point.

 

The Kings played their last game before Sutter takes over the coaching duties. Six players had four or more shots and Matt Greene was the only player without a shot. Clearly hungry to impress, because you had to know Sutter was taking notes…from wherever he was.

 

David Desharnais has five points in his last four games. Six in six for Max Pacioretty.

 

Benoit Pouliot played a season high 15:20 last night and picked up his third point in four games (plus-5 in that span). Very positive signs and he’s had some very good hot streaks in the past. But this ice time was the result of Milan Lucic sitting out his one-game suspension. Still, he’s strung together about 10 solid games.

 

Speaking of suspensions, I’m sure you have heard that Rene Bourque got two games for that hit from behind that I showed you a clip of yesterday. Paul Byron has been recalled.

 

PM Bouchard was back in the lineup and showed no ill effects, playing over 16 minutes and firing five shots on goal.

 

The Sedins – three points each. Man this year’s scoring title will be interesting. The twins are reliable and should each get close to 105. Malkin, if he stays healthy, could beat even that, despite already having missed seven games. Stamkos is better every year, while Kessel is showing no signs of slowing down. And then there’s Giroux… if he is back on January 2, he’s still in the conversation for sure.

 

Matt Read has two points in his last six games. I figured that the injuries in the lineup would help him…but when you think about it, that doesn’t make sense really. He was already getting all the ice time that he needed. So removing a Claude Giroux really just takes a skill guy out of the lineup and puts stronger defense against the other skill guys like Read. Plus, the lines change around and with less skill guys to go around, he gets stuck with players like “Sestito”. My mistake.

 

Funny how we’re not getting the daily Crosby updates this time. Is it now at the point where we just roll our eyes and ignore it?

 

Speaking of concussions, although they don’t say it here, I think Giroux’s return for the January 2 Classic is a safe bet.

 

Look who has moved to the left wing – Marcus Johansson. Dale Hunter moved Ovechkin to the right wing and Johansson joins he and Nicklas Backstrom on the top line.

 

Puck Daddy counts down the 10 worst hockey decisions of 2011 here. No. 1 – the Guardian Project. With negativity by the grown-ups greeting everything that led up this project for kids followed by absolutely ZERO follow-up support in terms of arena store sales and jumbotron hype, this went nowhere fast.

 

Ian White at plus-23 leads all NHL defensemen.

 

Why has Dan Boyle been sucking? He has been playing with a broken foot. Suffered on November 10. Interestingly enough – the domino effect:

Joe Pavelski – eight points in 17 games starting November 10.

Joe Thornton - 13

Patrick Marleau – 11

Ryane Clowe – eight

 

Martin Havlat will not play Wednesday.

 

Because Jack Skille is injured and Sean Bergenheim too, plus the fact that the Panthers have been unimpressed with their call-ups, they have signed Bill Thomas. Thomas has had his share of good NHL stints, particularly with the Panthers last season.

 

Beauty goal on Price:

 

 

Staubitz vs. Alberts:

 


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Crooked Vulture said:

crookedvulture
Ryan Jones Fact: Chatham Ontario's own Ryan Jones has more goals than Ovechkin.
December 20, 2011
Votes: +0

GB said:

Front89
Crosby I obviously wish only the very best for Crosby and any other player who has concussions, but I find the lack of news about Crosby to be refreshing. This league is much more than just Crosby or any single player, hopefully the NHL (eh Bettman) finally gets that and starts promoting the myriad of other excellent players across the league. There is such an amazing array of young talent in the NHL and more coming soon...let Crosby heal and get better on his own timetable, the daily updates are pointless and annoying.
December 20, 2011
Votes: +0

gfhyde said:

gfhyde
Ugly I don't know who the Montreal forward was coming out of their end, but that was pathetic. A little soft.
December 20, 2011
Votes: +0

Stunaman said:

Stunaman
... The silence over Crosby is disturbing... this is likely less of a precautionary move and more definitely like a setback. I certainly hope there's nothing to read into and he's back Jan 1, but I'm not holding my breathe. It's scary how an elbow from Kreji was enough to know Crosby out...
December 20, 2011
Votes: -1

Rusty Pickles said:

Rusty Pickles
... Giroux is skating hard again and there is talk he may return as early as Friday vs the Rags per flyers pregame broadcast.
December 20, 2011
Votes: +0

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... Watched the hilites on TV and they mentioned something surprising. Ever wonder why JVR doesnt always get the ice time you'd expect? He had his first CAREER shootout attempt last night. Scored on a nice deke. Hard to believe if thats true.
December 20, 2011
Votes: +0
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