My Midseason Guide was released Friday, get it here. If you want to see how great the guide is, you can pick up last year’s edition for free here. This will have an update added (an addendum) on Friday the 13th (oooooh).

 

Finally, some good news on the injury front. James Neal actually has a bone bruise. No break. He's playing next game, what a turn of events!

 

Per Bob McKenzie, Pierre-Marc Bouchard has another concussion. It was from when we all suspected he had one back in mid-December. The only successful player that I can think of that is playing after missing a lot of time from a concussion is Patrice Bergeron. Can you think of any others? Everyone else, to me it seems anyway, is downed again within a couple of years. Especially these days when the slightest symptom means sitting for two weeks.

 

Good news Letang owners - he was "skating hard" yesterday and if I had to guess, I would put money on him taking contact by the weekend and getting back in the lineup between Jan. 21 and Jan. 28. Dr. Dobber's best guesstimate.

 

Hockey Pool Geek subscribers! My second-half projections are now in their database and ready for you to play with.

 

I just traded Jordan Staal pretty much straight up for Ryane Clowe in one of my keepers. How did I do? Just retooling a bit for the playoffs and I had Staal, Jeffrey, Crosby and Letang on PIT; Thornton and Pavelski on SJ. After that deal (Jeffrey went too, one of several small pieces that went back and forth), I have Crosby and Letang for PIT, Big Joe, Little Joe and Clowe for SJ. Just dialing back my investment in Pittsburgh. Not that I don’t believe in that team in terms of Cup chances, but I’m just sick of the constant injuries year after year during the regular season.

 

Last week, same pool, I moved Ryan Smyth and a late pick for Jiri Hudler. That’s been paying off nicely so far – and Hudler fits in with Franzen and White.

 

Marcel Goc returns to action…and posts points in each of his three games so far, four in all. He’s getting a ton of ice time and also some PP time. Yes, he should be owned in roto leagues – right now it looks as though his only liability is the fact that he is a major Band-Aid Boy. When healthy, he showed enough to me in Nashville that he can be a 40-point player.

 

Mike Ribeiro will not play tonight due to a knee injury. But Sheldon Souray is “probable”. I’d like to see how the red-hot Tom Wandell does with Ribeiro out.

 

More on Wandell, and many others, in my Puck Daddy piece from yesterday.

 

And while I’m at it, here is my THN column from yesterday on the situation in Pittsburgh.

 

Kevin Poulin won the AHL player of the week for last week, and was recalled Monday by the Islanders.

 

Derek Roy is a “possibility” for this weekend, he has been out with a shoulder injury. He’s another guy who comes back from injury quickly…

 

Both Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green flew back to Washington yesterday prior to their game against the Kings. Not the greatest of signs, but not definitive either. Backstrom has not skated in three days - and of course the team won’t say the “concussion” word.

 

Jacob Markstrom is day-to-day with a knee injury. Clemmensen, now fully healthy, is 1-0-1 in two games as the starter, stopping 63 of 67 shots. Just a hunch, but I think he’ll be starting for at least the next three games.

 

Travis Zajac is “unlikely” for tonight’s game against Calgary.

 

Interesting stuff – fringe NHLer-turned-savior Corey Potter has signed a two-year extension with the Oilers. The 28-year-old played nine NHL games before this season and has played 27 in 2011-12. He has 14 points and is minus-10. Would I have extended him? No. Not yet. I would have waited another month. He wasn’t going anywhere. Since returning from his sprained ankle he has six points in 11 games (good) and is minus-7 (not as good). In fact, the last time he was a “plus” in a game was November 3. Since then he is minus-12.

 

Still no word on how long Jeff Carter will be out with his shoulder injury, but here is the play – the hit is just a couple seconds in (No.7 is Carter):

 

 

Brad Marchand’s hit on Salo…and Mason Raymond’s hit on Marchand, side-by-side. I don’t really care, you have to believe me (though, disclosure, I do own Marchand in ONE of my five pools, but hell I own everybody in one pool or another…everybody except Salo that is). But I have to say that if a 6-5, 255-pound player was skating at me, I would duck – if I met him shoulder to shoulder he would kill me because I’m 6-1, 225 pounds. In this case, Marchand weighs a buck eighty, and Salo is 210 lbs – if he met him fair and square he would get killed. Not disputing that the hit was dirty – could care less about that part of the argument. But I’m just saying what I would do if I’m outweighed by 30 pounds and several inches shorter:

 

 


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Austin said:

austeane
Dang it Neal Why did everyone have to be so sure you were out for weeks?!? I had him waaaayyy below market value in a cap league that ends in a couple weeks.... I dropped him and now he is back to market value... Damage is done.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Kyle said:

lesouder
Marchand hit You're neglecting context, Dobber.

Salo, does not hit people. He has 11 hits in 38 games and that's because he knows if he hits someone, he is the guy who is more likely to get hurt. Marchand by comparison has 43 in 37 games and has a reputation as a guy who hits to hurt.

Also look at the situations. Raymond is coming up the side board at center ice and it's very obvious he is trying to duck the check and squeeze past Marchand on the wall rather than trying to throw a check and take out his knees. The complete opposite can be said for Marchand's hit. At no point did he have possession of the puck and he explodes through Salo like he's actually throwing a hit.

Also size difference doesn't mean a whole lot. If you asked any NHL player who they would rather be hit by Scott Stevens or Sami Salo, I think you already know what their answer would be.

And guess what?

Scott Stevens 6'0" - 200lbs
Sami Salo 6'3" - 212lbs

Sami Salo isn't capable of "killing" anyone but himself lol
January 10, 2012
Votes: +2

mick said:

hawkdog
to John from Idiot. you must frequent the TSN boards as that is generally where name calling is most prevalent.


January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

littleranger said:

littleranger
10 Fantasy Thoughts For some additional fantasy hockey reading: http://thehockeywriters.com/te...-and-more/
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

John MacLean said:

0
Back at Don Yes, you are correct that I am looking at it throug the "Boston Goggles". I actually stated that in my comments. As far as your question, Marchand had not YET touched the puck. Yes, he got to the vicinity of it first, but did not touch it and he ducked and took out Salo. That is why I said he deserved a penalty and a 1-2 game suspension. My comment about the Idiot was not directed at you, but the person in the comments section who stated "why don't you post the nhl video of the explanation? those hits are not that similar. one is a hip check and one is clipping.

Marchand's hit is obviously predatory. He totally ignores the puck, it looks like he fakes going for the puck?

Maybe when the two parts of Marchand's brain join together (he grows up) he will be able to control himself. Its a shame cause he has loads of talent, to much to be part of the cooke gang. "

When I am an official I am and must be "unbiased" in my actions. When writing retorts to others who are expressing their differing thoughts which are also clearly biased the other way. I will clearly admit again that I am a Boston Fan who is probably getting more riled up by contueing to have to listen to all the Banter being thrown back and forth between coaches, management and players.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Ernie said:

caperbuoy
Marchand Exactly what kind of official goes off on a tangent that results in childish name calling? I'm an Oilers fan, so I don't like the Canucks, but man, your comments are really sad. Did you even notice the fact that Marchand reached the puck before Salo did, so how in the world would Salo have been called for interference had Marchand not ducked? If thats the call you would make, then I really hope you don't ever ref a game of any importance in any league.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Don McKIllop said:

dynamo45
... To John McLean,

You claim to be a hockey official, yet you call someone else an idiot for simply expressing his opinion, and then call Vancouver fans "whining babies", and to top it all off you accuse the NHL of "conspiracy" to award Vancouver a win? Let me ask you this "Mr. Official" How could they penalize Salo for interference when Marchand had already reached the puck first? Waiting on pins and needles for your "unbiased explanation" lol As I stated I am not a fan of either, but you are clearly wearing Boston Goggles.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +1

John MacLean said:

0
Marchand To the idiot who said these two hits aren't similar, take a look again. With the Raymond hit, he has the puck skating down the boards and sees Marchand closing in on him. He throws the puck away and ducks under the check taking him out at the knees. In the Marchand hit, there are two players going after the puck and Marchand ducks to avoid contact. Clearly he did so without playing the puck and deserved a penalty. If he had not ducked, would they have penalized Salo for the interference call? We'll never know. I could see that since he's s repeat offender that there may be a 1-2 game suspension just on principle to say that hits like that won't be tolerated, but 5 games is way excessive with Shanahan clearly listening to the whining babies in Vancouver. Clearly the NHL and their officials wanted a Vancouver victory with how they called this game. When a full line of players and one from the bench JUMP a player and then all hell breaks loose only to have the team that sarted the 6 vs 1 attack ended up with a 5 on 3 advantage and wrongly throw out the first line winger because they didn't realize he was already on the ice during the altercation. Yes, I am a Bruins fan, but I also am a Hockey Official and see no way how that particular altercation was called fairly or correctly. The NHL even went back and after the fact recinded the Game Misconduct.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
James Neal... ...the Real Deal.

(seriously though, WTF James... I hope you weren't crying "It's broken, it's broken!")
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Don McKIllop said:

dynamo45
Marchand First off, I'm not a fan ot either. Secondly, Sala and Marchand had just hit shoulder to shoulder 15 seconds before. Salo is not known as a big hitter, nor is he a dirty player. He averages 20 mins in penalties a year. Marchand knew he was coming and just left the puck and went low. As Shanny said, it was pre-meditated, and predatory. Also it has to be taken into account thaT Raymond does not have a dirty past, Marchand does have a history of dirty plays. The League made the right move to put a curb on Marchands dirty ways before it progresses. The key here is that Raymonds hit was an instinctive move, Marchand was clearly looking to try something.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +2

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... Salo was trying to play the puck. That is a big difference. Aside from the fact, Salo isnt a big hitter either. If Marchand does something like that again, he should get 20 games like Downie did.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Curtis Curve said:

tcescon
JAMES NEAL IS IN TONIGHT! Per multiple Pittsburgh beat writers on twitter.

Update your roster accordingly!
January 10, 2012
Votes: +1

mick said:

hawkdog
@dobber why don't you post the nhl video of the explanation? those hits are not that similar. one is a hip check and one is clipping.

Marchand's hit is obviously predatory. He totally ignores the puck, it looks like he fakes going for the puck?

Maybe when the two parts of Marchand's brain join together (he grows up) he will be able to control himself. Its a shame cause he has loads of talent, to much to be part of the cooke gang.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Gsus said:

jodyshelleysface
... I see that you pair up several players from the same team with each other on your fantasy team(s). I have always had a tendency to do this as well. Is there any secret value in doing this, or is it just a quirk that you like have players from the same teams with each other (and the fact that it's fun when a team/line does well and boosts your team's output threefold for that day)? Sounds like something worth delving into in a future article, Dobber...
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Chad Burly said:

2sticks1puck
... So if someone is going to check you, you can duck down. Just don't duck too low because then it is a clip and you will get suspended 5 games. Or if the guy hitting you is too tall and you are too short. I bet if Chara checks Gerbe, and he doesn't even duck, that might be a clip. Please suspend Gerbe - he's clipping everyone out there!
January 10, 2012
Votes: +3

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Austin - all my sites shut down for two hours. Still determining the cause. Got the video from a buddy in Facebook yesterday afternoon and I then tweeted it. Got a great response so I threw it in the ramblings.
Staal...wasn't an easy move, but I have Staal in another keeper and just getting sick of his injuries so wanted to dial back my investment in him. I felt I was "buy low" on Clowe too, since a) SJ has played the fewest games in the league and b) he is on pace for fewer points than his last two seasons
January 10, 2012
Votes: -1

frozenpools said:

frozenpools
... I think your right about Potter. But with Whitney/Gilbert out, Potter is one of the best options for the Oil on PP. If he puts up a ton of points his price will go up.

Could go either way. 1.6 for 2 years isnt a huge gamble.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Todd Whittington said:

leaftodd
Hypocrisy To me that video doesn't defend Marchand's hit on Salo. It doesn't condemn Raymond's hit on Marchand. It plays the Vancouver organization and fan base who have been screaming over the Marchand hit as hypocrites in the same way that Cooke played Mario a hypocrite with his on ice play. You cannot attack an action of a player as vile when one of your guys did the exact same thing unless you in tern condemn his action. They didn't. They are standard hypocrites who are fine with an action as long as it isn't taken against them or are against an action as long as it isn't done by them. When its against them or done by them its totally different. Just another example of why i have no respect for the Nucks.
January 10, 2012
Votes: -1

Larry said:

Rollie1967
Salo vs Marchand as Austin pointed out- just a few seconds before Marchand submarined Salo- they had a perfectly clean shoulder/shoulder hit- no harm done, although Marchand deemed it worthy of a punch to the head...but obviously that wasnt enough for him.

As for digging up the Raymond hit- that was in the playoffs, when rightly or wrongly- the rules are inforced differently from the regular season-and more importantly this was before Shanahan took over. Dredging up incidents before he took the office really serves no purpose. The rules have changed, they had to- too may head injuries, too many rats running around with impunity it seems. Marchand did the exact same hit on Daniel in the finals last year- and dropped his gloves immediately- he knows that kind of hit will draw a response, he knows its at best borderline (depending on how low the hit is- where on the ice it is, where the puck is) yet he threw it anyways. He got 5 games, in part because hes got a history of undisciplined hits.

Not sure if it was done in the past, but I wouldve liked to see Shanahan review some of the more contentious hits from the last few years and outline what he would have done. ie the Chara/Pac hit, numerous Cooke hits,Eager etc, it may have reduced confusion on what is legal/what the severity of punishment would be. Having said that... Shanahan clearly said part of his judgement was due to the PREDATORY nature of the hit- he ignored the puck and hit Salo- who hadnt played the puck- and infact was turning to play it when he got hit. Raymonds hit isnt the same situation- Raymond played the puck- and ducked from getting hit- Marchand went over him- still dangerous,but no damage done (Marchand was partly braindead already smilies/smiley.gif ) I dont like the fact the injury is taken into account, but thats the road were going down now.
January 10, 2012
Votes: +3

Austin said:

austeane
Salo on marchand Did you get that video from my post on CDC? Lol
Anyway, that theory holds credence if you can find me a single highlight of Salo laying anyone out. Anyone. There aren't many 210 pound players that may have never laid someone out in their whole 15+ year career but he could be one of them. Marchand played 7 games against him and 10 seconds earlier went shoulder to shoulder at almost the exact same speed and angle in the exact same spot and was fine. I don't think he even got knocked down! Look at how fast Salo was moving and tell me he was dangerous.
Not sure that you made the right move in the Staal deal. I personally would be buying Pitt players right now cause they are probably at an all time low and the only time they will have a good chance of being healthy is the playoffs. If you needed help now I would dump the injury prone penguins but not if you want help down the line.

And was it just for me or did DH.com shut down for a while there?
January 10, 2012
Votes: +1
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