Goldie Says: I'm publishing another Live Scouting Blog for tonight's duel between Dubnyk and Reimer. These are way fun and allow me to post full-length thoughts without tweeting a million times a night. Game starts at 7p EST!
Fan Duel - if you won money, chances are it's in your account there. Go to Fan Duel and login.
My mistake - I could have sworn Snyder told me that the baseball Fantasy Guide was being released on the 11th. NOPE. The DobberBaseball Fantasy Guide is OUT TODAY. As with the hockey one, it's updated right up until the season.
Scott Gomez's ice time was down to 10:28 today as he slowly Jonathan Cheechoos his way out of the NHL…
The ice time was his lowest all season, other than the game he left in October due to injury. He had a great career early on, but I think Alexander Mogilny made him a better player than he actually was, and injuries took care of the rest. Similar reasons as Cheechoo.
I know Andrei Kostitsyn has said that he wants to stay in Montreal, but I think they’ll move him. Just a hunch, I normally don’t speak to trade rumors (or start them), but a new environment would do him a world of good, like brother Sergei. He’s better than this. But I think you’ll notice in the coming months that the Rene Bourques will start being brought in and the Andrei Kostitsyns will start getting shipped out. Finally addressing that sandpaper issue that fans pretty much identified eight years ago.
The team will be built around Cole, Bourque, Subban, Pacioretty, Eller – size and/or gritty skill. David Desharnais as well, because he over achieves, which is almost the same category. And of course Emelin. But I can see lots of changes outside of those players.
The snakebitten Artem Anisimov scored a goal and added two assists, ending his pointless drought at 17 games.
Scott Hartnell had a rare off-game, going minus-4 yesterday. Impressive to see that Matt Read was even, despite playing nearly 19 minutes. Man I like that player, I feel very comfortable that he’ll be at least a 45-point player for years to come, but has the upside for 70 or more. It would depend on how they play him, but as long as he consistently can be counted on in all situations (4:34 SH ice time, 2:26 PP ice time) it would seem that he is money.
Tom Sestito – 25 minutes in penalties yesterday. Seven shifts. Too bad you can’t count on him to dress for every game.
The Fan Duel contest Saturday had me finish 74th. That means 73 of you win five bucks, courtesy of Fan Duel. I went heavy on Oilers because they were playing Ty Conklin, heavy on Sharks because I own Mike Smith and he’s been weak lately (bad strategy I know, but I figure if he does great it helps me in my leagues and if he does poorly then it helps me in Fan Duel). My downfall was on defense going cheap with Cam Barker and trusting my SJ instinct on Dan Boyle. I also chose Bryzgalov as the goalie and he didn’t even start! That was announced close to the start of the game. Keep an eye out for more of these contest as we’ll try to run one every month both here and at DobberBaseball.
Speaking of DobberBaseball, the Fantasy Baseball Guide is out this Saturday.
I thought that Cal O’Reilly played very well in Pittsburgh debut, showing some of the old chemistry with Steve Sullivan. Then yesterday he picked up an assist on the second PP unit. It was interesting to see that when they pulled the goalie, O’Reilly was the player who jumped over the boards. It looks like Dustin Jeffrey is being trained to be a checker. They’ve tried him on wing, but he’s out of place there. So checker it is. Meanwhile, with Jordan Staal back soon I have to wonder where O’Reilly fits in.
Ilya Kovalchuk has 60 shots on goal and 20 points in his last 13 games.
Steve Bernier now has points in back to back games and is playing with Zach Parise at times (though primarily with Henrique and Ponikarovsky). He bears watching. I have to keep reminding myself that he’s only 26.
Yes, Henrique returned to the lineup and played over 15 minutes, but was pointless.
David Clarkson is on a four-game points streak and has seven points in that span. He’s up to 20 goals and 88 PIM, making 30 and 150 a possibility. But if he gets one, I doubt he’ll get the other – during his points streak he has just two PIM.
James Neal and Evgeni Malkin – combined minus-14 the last four games.
Alex Ovechkin has been back for two games now – over 42 minutes of action. He’s pointless and minus-2. Unfortunately, at this point, a good poll question would be: Does Ovechkin top 65 points? Keeper leagues note – this is a great ‘buy low’ situation. Ovechkin is a superstar with skills that surpass all but two players in the NHL. He will bounce back and shoot past 100 points again. Next year? The year after? One of them. But it will happen. He’s too good.
Brooks Laich left the game midway through and was later seen on crutches. The word is that he’s out at least a week, but we shall see.
I acquired Wojtek Wolski as a throw-in on the weekend. If he gets traded, I’ll look like a genius. If he doesn’t, then he gets dropped at the draft. But the guy is only 25. He has consistency issues and he’s soft for a big man. But he has shown that when motivated he can give you a good season.
I was surprised to see Stefan Elliott get sent down by the Avalanche and Tyson Barrie recalled. But Barrie deserves it, as he’s been tearing up the AHL while Elliott has hit a bit of a slump. I had just thought Elliott was an NHLer for good. Next time though, mark it. Both players ‘should’ be stars in this league very soon.
Sean Bergenheim has four points in his last three games. Seeing 17 minutes a game these days. If you remember, he had nine goals in 16 playoff games last spring. I think he’s a potential 25-goal, 45-point player. His career highs are 15 and 29 and he’s on pace this year for 18 and 22.
James Reimer getting back-to-back shutouts is huge, even if he wasn’t busy the in the first one. The second one, 49 saves, was spectacular. Imagine what that does for the confidence. If the Leafs have “that” Reimer back, then they are a lock for the playoffs. Easy. And if “that” Reimer really is back, you can probably count on a second round out of them too. But it’s too early to tell for sure, and they are playing the hot Edmonton Oilers next, and two games after that they play the high-octane offense of the Flyers. In fact, give Gustavsson the Oiler game and Reimer the “layup” against the Jets Tuesday. The Jets have scored just one goal in their last two games and three goals in their last 10 periods. My two cents.
Nathan Horton (concussion) was scheduled to skate yesterday for the first time since getting injured.
Subban vs. Wheeler:
Welcome to Talking in Circles, with your host – Gary Bettman! (re: Phoenix situation):