Don't forget to check out the free one day fantasy challenge over at Draft Street. Details here - some easy money to win!
My Friday Five post for the PlayNow Sports Blog - included are my top five hockey movies ever. Check it out here.
Taylor Hall is likely facing a suspension after a very reckless hit on Cal Clutterbuck. Hall hung his leg/hip and drove it into Clutterbuck's leg. Looked a lot worse in slow-mo (as hits like this usually do).
Another 23 minutes of largely mistake-free hockey for Jonas Brodin. He won't put up the points to contend for the Calder, but what he is doing as a rookie is really impressive.
Matt Cullen, a player I could see moved at the deadline, had two goals and a helper. He's solid at both ends of the ice, a great skater, and great on the draw. I imagine a number of contending teams would have interest.
Benn/Jagr were phenomenal against the Canucks last night, and Brenden Morrow was good too.
The difference in the game - goaltending. Cory Schneider was solid and made some big saves, while Cristopher Nilstorp did not.
The Sedins continue to roll offensively - they were creating a ton all game long against a depleted Dallas blueline.
Brenden Dillon and Stephane Robidas saw a steady dose of the Sedins, both at even strength and on the PK.
Jason Garrison scored a nice goal, blowing a point shot past Nilstorp. More of this, please, says every Canucks fan.
Kevin Bieksa is struggling defensively, but he is making up for it with his offense - he now has five goals in his last eight contests.
Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler combined for five points and nine shots on goal last night against Carolina. Wheeler, in particular, looked great.
11 minutes of ice time and no points for Eric Tangradi with the Jets.
Ryan Murphy played for Carolina last night. And he played a lot - 24 minutes. The 'Canes also played Michal Jordan on the back end - two rookies suited up, along with 20-year-old Justin Faulk.
Jiri Tlusty scored twice and continues to thrive on the top line with Semin and Eric Staal.
Craig Anderson left the game last night with an injury. Um... can things get any worse for Ottawa?
Ben Bishop was great in relief. Depending on Anderson's injury Bishop quickly becomes a solid fantasy option. Apparently a sprained ankle.
Gutsy win for the Jackets last night - Vinny Prospal scored a goal with 25 seconds left in the third to get the win. First game in front of new GM Jarmo Kekalainen, too.
Artem Anisimov left the game on a stretcher after colliding with Kyle Quincey's elbow on the way to the ice - Quincey also left with an injury on the same play and didn't return. Anisimov was responsive on the way to the hospital, which is a good sign of course.
Cam Atkinson had one helper in about 18 minutes of ice time - his first game in a while, as he has been on the shelf with an ankle injury.
Silfverberg had a goal and eight shots - and he played close to 22 minutes. He didn't look like a rookie last night, that is for sure.
He has also now beaten Brodeur and Lundqvist in the shootout in the same week. Not too shabby!
I was surprised to see that Gonchar wasn't above 40 minutes of ice time last night. Kidding aside, he played 22 minutes. The Sens are going to lean on him heavily this season.
Dougie Hamilton had two helpers, but he only played 10 minutes.
The fantasy value of Milan Lucic - plus-1, three SOG, two blocked shots, and seven hits.
Cory Conacher had a goal for the Lightning, and played his best game in a while.
The ageless wonder Patrik Elias recorded a goal and a helper for the Devils last night. He has really turned his career around in the past few years.
Andrei Loktionov had a goal in eight minutes of ice time. Nice to see some production from him, and hopefully that leads to more ice time.
Kovalchuk had a goal and seven shots - didn't catch much of the game but he looked great from the limited action I saw.
The Caps were outshot 37-19 - Holtby allowed three goals in the loss.
Huberdeau is pretty good, in case you didn't know. Four points last night, plus-3, and three shots on goal. I am really enjoying the Huberdeau-Shore-Mueller line. Mueller looks really good - two goals and seven shots on goal last night.
Shore added two points as well - the trio was very, very effective, to say the least.
Jake Voracek continues his hot streak, as he notched the only Flyers goal. I wouldn't be selling high right now - he obviously won't put up eight points every three games, but I think this is more of a sign of things to come.
Erik Gustafsson had an assist and saw steady PP minutes. I liked him last summer as a depth/sleeper option, and he was injured at the beginning of the NHL season. Getting his chance now.
Bryzgalov allowed four goals on 15 shots. Not the best 48 hours for him.
It must really pain Flyers fans to see how well JVR is doing. Two more goals last night for the Leafs, and he is really emerging as one of the best young goal scorers in the game.
Amazing what a coaching change can do for a player - Cody Franson had two assists last night and was an offensive catalyst all night for the Leafs. I really enjoyed watching him develop during his time in the WHL - he is an elite puck mover and he makes as crisp a first pass as you will ever see.
Ben Scrivens had a great game and continues to provide solid goaltending in James Reimer's absence.
Matt Read will be out for up to six weeks with torn ribcage muscles. Not a fun injury to deal with – ouch.
And brutal timing, too. Not there is ever a "good" time for an injury, but the Flyers are already undermanned, and Read was playing really well as of late.
Scott Hartnell will be back within the next 10 days, which should give the Flyers a top line once again. I wonder who will join Hartnell and Giroux?
Briere? Simmonds? Voracek? Who do you think is the missing piece on that top line?
Voracek's good work from the other night:
Congrats to the three winners of the 2XU/DobberHockey February Fantasy Contest. We received a number of great submissions, and here were the best:
1st Place – 2XU compression shirt – Jeff McGee
2nd Place – 2XU compression socks – Chris Beaudin
And 3rd Place – fantasy hockey team audit from yours truly – Reagan Wong
Fire me an e-mail (angus at dobberockey.com) to get your prizes set up.
Thanks to everyone who took part. Hopefully we can get a few more of these in over the next few months.
"The Gilbert- Nick Schultz trade seems a win-win for both teams, which is often not the case. The Wild wanted a puck-moving defenceman and the Oilers wanted a shutdown guy to play alongside prized rookie Justin Schultz." - Jim Matheson
The Oilers wanted Nick Schultz to play with Justin Schultz. The problem is that at the time of the trade, Justin Schultz was a member of the Anaheim Ducks organization, which means the Oilers are guilty of tampering, and Jim Matheson just outed them.
Why hockey fans are the greatest in the world. This is simply a great, great read.
But you don't see this at hockey games. Hockey fans are into it, across the board, screaming and chanting ("Potvin sucks," still!) and stomping and going nuts, essentially for 2 ½ hours straight. Everyone's wearing a hockey sweater -- and it was a little crazy how many different names I saw on the back of Rangers fans' jerseys. Everybody at a Knicks game has Carmelo on their back, but I counted at least 35 different names on the back of jerseys in my section alone -- everyone's intense and everyone knows everything about everyone on the ice. It's like a massive family of people glaring in one direction.
How will Ron Rolston impact the Sabres? Check out this read from Hockey Prospectus.
On Tyler Myers:
The 23-year-old former Calder Trophy winner has been more up and down than a mechanical bull over the past two seasons. Ruff isn't entirely to blame, of course. Myers is still immature and struggles with conditioning and the mental aspects of the game. Rolston will certainly have a challenge with his 6-foot-8 defenseman. But Lindy didn't help the cause by asking his young D-man to be a decision maker. Ruff's system asks defensemen to jump into the play often—something that Myers never quite grasped. Rolston is a little more conservative with his defensemen. His approach is less yell-in-your-face and more analytical as well.
Puck Daddy chatted with Bruce Boudreau (or Booce Brodreau, depending on who is calling his name) on Wednesday. Here is that interview.
On the goalies:
I think “happy” is a good word. No matter who you choose, you’re getting somebody good in there. It makes it complicated. You start really thinking about how you’re going to do this, and then you overthink it – did he practice good on Friday to play Saturday? Rather than just saying ‘you’re going to start here, and you’re going to start here.’
Jonas earned the No. 1 goalie position [last season]. At the start of the season, we were thinking Jonas would play 40 games.
Brandon Worley attempts to quantify the energy players in Dallas. Solid read here.
So what have we learned from this process, of attempting to quantify the actual value to the Stars of players known mostly for their energetic ways? The most stats-heavy of those among us will say they have little to no value, especially as the offensive production regresses. The rest, however, will see two players who have had a positive impact on the ice and for the overall attitude and emotional well-being of a team in transition -- a quality that certainly cannot be overlooked but is in no way actually measurable.
Brian Burke has joined the Anaheim Ducks as a part time pro scout.
Brendan Ross of DobberProspects has his latest Ramblings. Have a gander at who is making waves in the prospect world.
I caught a few really intriguing future NHLers last night in the Sarnia Sting versus Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds game. Flyers’ 2011 3rd round draftee, Nick Cousins, put on a show in Sarnia (as he usually does) recording a hat trick and four points. In typical irritating Cousins’ fashion, the OHL’s leading scorer celebrated every goal he tallied and capped it off by taking his glove off and holding up three fingers, one for each goal, to the Sarnia crowd (many thought he flipped them the bird). Cousins was born to be a Philadelphia Flyer and he plays his role perfectly. He’s shaping up to be one of the NHL’s future pests, much in the same mold as Sean Avery. Cousins leads all OHL skaters with 97 points through 57 games including 14 points in his last three games.