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: