Mike Schmidt makes his debut on the hockey side tomorrow - look for his ramblings each of the next three days.
Here's an interesting one - the Pens claimed Cal O'Reilly off of re-entry waivers. I can't think of a worst fit for him. First off, the Pens haven't been the great in recent years for giving boom or bust players a top six role. Second, he's a centerman joining a team with the best 1-2-3 in the game, injured or not. I guess status quo would be worse for O'Reilly... but this is a close second. I like O'Reilly a lot. I think he has great vision and hockey sense, and he also tends to perform when the chips are down. So I hope for the best, but just don't see it.
I received another issue of Puck Life magazine. It really is an entertaining read for puckheads (and you'll notice my advertisement in there as well). Pick it up, very worthwhile
What a streaky goaltender Craig Anderson is. Four straight losses after going 10-1-1. Footage below on an oopsy that he made. Tough one! Should be benched this week. Wish I made that decision 24 hours earlier…
Since Jared Cowen’s four-point game, he has four points in 20 games.
Four games without a point for Jason Spezza – so obviously not all on Anderson.
Anton Stralman played over 19:28 in each of his last two games and has a point in each. Of the 12 games this year that he’s seen 19:28 or more of ice time, he has seven points.
With two assists last night, Carl Hagelin now has five points in his last five games. Saw just 13:14 of ice though, but what a great start – may be the reason we don’t see Mats Zuccarello get another good chance with this club.
Andy Greene was back in the lineup for the Devils, but didn’t see any PP time as before. That goes strictly to Kurtis Foster, who was a minus-2 in the game. I think Larsson needs another look there.
Steve Bernier made his season debut – saw some PP time, but was minus-1 on the night. New Jersey line combos last night (FREE – right here at Frozen Pool, where the tool was invented and created first – and obviously still the best): Elias with Clarkson and Sykora, Zubrus with Parise and Kovalchuk, Josefson with Bernier and Ponikarovsky.
Mikhail Grabovski picked up three points for the Leafs in their loss. But as I noted last week, his line is really heating up. Too bad the big line is cooling off now. Grabo was player of the week last week, so adding three points is just lights out. Give him eight in his last three games.
Steve Sullivan’s 18:13 was the second highest ice time he’s seen since November 12. He has three points in his last two games, as well.
Jake Gardiner has quietly put up a three-game point streak. He has five in his last five contests, plus-3 in that span.
John Tavares has entered into the scoring race with four points last night. He has 53 on the year, trailing top spot by six. Two points on an empty net helped both him and Kyle Okposo.
Three points for Matt Moulson, who is up to 46 on the year and just seven behind last year’s career high, with 33 games left. What’s also great? We’re still waiting for him to miss his first game.
Kevin Poulin got the start and his first win of the season for the Isles. I can’t wait until some of this goalie mess gets cleared up with this team. I’m eager to see if Poulin can get a foothold, or Montoya.
Ryan Miller seems to be righting the ship – back to back wins allowing just one goal apiece.
Hedman, Shannon, Pyatt, Wyman were all back in the lineup for the Lightning. None of them saw PP time, and Pyatt and Wyman each picked up a point. JT Wyman is starting to remind me of Curtis Glencross (but that only means a 40-point player potentially… for a few years until he takes the next step thanks to his versatility).
The first two points of the season for Brandon Yip and the continued hot play of Mike Fisher led the Preds to a crazy comeback win over the Wild.
Josh Harding has to make that stop late in the game. If he’s going to be trusted on a new team as a starter, GM’s need to see more clutch. Not looking good right now, in my opinion.
Heatley’s three points in the loss gives him seven in his last three games. Market corrections almost always come through.
How timely is Andrew Cogliano’s hat trick? The Ducks need secondary scoring and he was supposed to be it. Talk about back from the dead. Now he has six points in his last six games and the Ducks are red hot.
Mike Smith took the loss and got the hook.
In his first NHL game, Philippe Cornet picked up an assist for the Oilers. He’s their top scorer in Oklahoma City with 20 goals in 38 AHL games.
Devan Dubnyk has given up five goals in his last three games and is 2-0-1 in that span.
In a tight game, who led #Blackhawks forwards in ice time? Kane? Toews? Hossa? Sharp? Nope. Andrew Shaw. Wow. This kid is something. I still don’t like him for fantasy hockey, but for ‘real’ hockey he looks like an excellent third liner who can play any role.
Wow, what a train wreck, those Blue Jackets. Prospal continues to hit the wall, Mason continues to let a ton of pucks in, and team defense lets tons of shots through. So who will Yakupov play on a line with next year? Nash?
Jagr was back in the lineup and picked up an assist.
Bryzgalov took the loss last night, but he only gave up one goal. He’s had one rough game in his last four – but the other three he has allowed just a goal in each. Positive signs.
Tyler Ennis at center last night. He played nearly 19 minutes in his return to action and saw a ton of PP time.
Thomas Vanek left the game early with an upper-body injury. This will keep him sidelined for a minimum of one week, according to many sources. It looked like he was going to get back to his 80-point ways, but after just one point in 10 games and now missing three to (?) games he’s on the fast track to 64 points. That’s a number that he’s pretty much averaged for four years now, before this one. If a player averages 64 points over five years, then he’s a 64-point guy. Pretty simple.
Marc-Andre Gragnani was a healthy scratch again.
Mathieu Perreault scores again. Red hot. Pick him up, because when Ovechkin returns they’ll be linemates.
John Carlson was a minus-4 last night. Wow, did I trade him at the right time? Yesterday afternoon. I studied my team in my limited (keep 12) keeper. I have a great team, in second place, making a run. In analyzing my roster, I picked my 12 current keepers. Carlson didn’t make the cut, believe it or not – that’s how good a team I have in a 15-team league with 27-man rosters. So I traded him for some immediate help in Lubomir Visnovsky.
This morning’s Studs and Duds can be found here.
Tomas Holmstrom missed the game after a bad reaction to injections in his knees. The fact that he’s getting injections in his knees (last Thursday) at all indicates that he’s approaching the end of the hockey road, methinks. Apparently he gets these injections every six months or so. Jan Mursak drew into the lineup and picked up another assist – two points in three games, and still fighting to get into the lineup.
Ryane Clowe missed the SJ game, but is looking at Thursday for his return from a facial injury.
Patrick Sharp has a broken bone in his left wrist that may require surgery in the offseason, but he returned to the lineup Tuesday.
Thanks to Puck Daddy for this: Who has the easiest schedule the rest of the way? From Elias: The NHL teams with the toughest remaining schedule (based on the combined points percentage of its remaining opponents) are Nashville (.596), Chicago (.586), New Jersey (.583), Columbus (.576) and Buffalo (.575). The NHL teams with the easiest remaining schedule are Florida (.532), St. Louis (.541), Colorado (.542), San Jose (.543) and Vancouver (.543)."
Islanders prospect Casey Cizikas had nine points and was plus-5 in three AHL games last week. He was the AHL player of the week, and he’s a big reason why I think the Islanders will be more successful starting next year. Adding him – a potential ‘great’ third-line center – and Ryan Strome will transform a team already on the rise on the shoulders of John Tavares.
The latest in the Crosby soap opera is aptly covered here, again by Puck Daddy. Basically, no neck fracture byt an “abnormality” with the neck, a “soft-tissue” injury, which is doctorese for “you’ll know what’s happening in a few months”. Here is the Penguins’ official statement.
Oh wow, Craig Anderson, got him in two keepers - ouchie:
Jan Mursak grows a tail!!!