I know that some Leaf fans, and even non-Leaf fans, are happy with John-Michael Liles. The Leafs extended him for four years. Myself, this is one move that Burke made that I don't like. UNLESS he has a trade up his sleeve that moves someone like Schenn or Gunnarsson. Because Toronto has a nice problem on their hands. Too many decent defensemen. Liles walking in the summer would have solved the problem on it's own. But he's around for another four years now, so the press box merry-go-round will continue unless a player is moved.
One game left tonight. That's it until January 29. I have to admit - I didn't watch the ASG last year or the year before... and the last time I watched it from start to finish (and not just a period or two) was when Owen Nolan called his shot. I do watch the skills competition. But the ASG doesn't excite or even interest me. Let's face it - it's not an actual game of "All Stars". Not when there are rules like "each team must have a player (except Winnipeg haha)". No Crosby, no Ovechkin, no Toews, no Hopkins, no Backstrom and bloated rosters (to please fans of each city). Great for a 'fun show' but for a hardcore fan - or a hardcore fantasy hockey fan - give me four regular NHL days over this four day break where I don't get to watch any games, or see a single game summary.
So whose eyebrow perked up when they saw Mathieu Perreault scored a hat trick?
His ice time, as expected, was up due to the Ovechkin suspension. The goals went in due to the team counting on him. It seems as though he performs when he needs to the most – but again, Perreault’s problem is his ability to sustain it. But that will come with experience, provided that his coach has patience with him throughout the process (could be years). That’s five points in two games and six in four for MP.
Surprisingly Alex Semin only played 14:46.
After seven straight wins, Tuukka Rask is 0-1-1 in his last two. Between he and Thomas, the Bruins are just in a bit of a funk. They can’t be on a hot streak forever.
Well, Clarke MacArthur snapped out of a major funk Tuesday. Three points, after going eight without a point. In fact, the best line for the Leafs in 2010-11 was finally the best line for them last night as Mikhail Grabovski tallied four points. If this line heats up, watch out – we saw the damage that they could do last year. And they have a lot of “catching up” to do now. Only one game, but just sayin’. Kulemin had two points.
It was Al Montoya’s first game in over a month and he allowed four goals on 21 shots to take the OTL.
Jake Gardiner has his first career goal last night, and also added an assist.
Luke Adam was down to 4:39 of ice time last night. His last point was December 17 and since then he’s been a minus-8. Remember 20 games in when he was a Calder nominee?
In the last five games, the Devils have allowed 101 shots. That’s about 20 per game, and yet Martin Brodeur is still only 2-2-1 in that span.
Worth putting on your radar for PIM – Mike Angelidis. The undrafted TB player got into his first NHL game after posting 59 points and 264 PIM in his last 118 AHL games. He scored in his first NHL game, but saw just four minutes. His asset in fantasy hockey is obviously his PIM, but scoring in limited opportunity is how you increase your ice time.
Second game back and RJ Umberger picked up two points for the Jackets. Ice time still moderate though, at 14:38.
Vinny Prospal has now gone eight games without a point. I traded him about a month ago for the red-hot Justin Williams. And the beauty of it? It was to my closest competitor. Gotta love that. He and I duking it out for first place, and I pull off a heist like that (knock on wood).
Another line, besides that Leaf line, that is back from the dead – the big Florida line. Not a huge game, by the numbers, but enough to get them out of a funk and sometimes that’s all you need. Fleischmann, who scored, isn’t exactly known for smooth, consistent production.
Brent Burns is out indefinitely with a Charley Horse. This would be a relief, as it looked like a pretty bad knee injury. He’s had significant injuries in two of his last three seasons, so if this one’s serious it’s time to lump him in with the Havlats and the Gaboriks. But apparently, it’s not (or so they say).
Joni Pitkanen (knee) update – he’s expected out until March, per Jim Rutherford.
Dmitry Kulikov is out for 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Erik Gudbranson saw some PP time as a result, but there wasn’t a lot of PP time last night to really judge. Campbell and Garrison were the big guns anyway.
Victor Hedman is targeting January 31 for a return.
Patrik Berglund, did he read my ramblings yesterday? He showed up last night and potted two goals. If he gets 30 points in his next 30 games, his season will still suck. That’s where we’re at now with this guy. But I found an interesting “Keith Primeau” career progression comparison in the comments section yesterday. Not style, but points progression and offensive upside. Sounds about right, though I’m not ready to limit Berglund’s upside to the mid 70s just yet. Although it’s pretty easy to after seeing him this year.
Did I speak too soon on Craig Smith? A three-game point streak for him now. What is it with the Preds and their players? A couple guys get hot for 3-6 games, then a different line gets hot for 3-6 games. Not just this year, but since the beginning of time. The end result is a bunch of 50-point guys.
Studs and Duds can be found here.
MORE Frozen Pool stuff to announce to you. This one, for now, is members only – Jason Arbuthnot has added “games remaining” as a column in some reports. He has also added the ability to EXPORT to EXCEL the roto ranking results, and the report generator – now stat geeks can take his numbers and easily manipulate them further! More great tools still on the way…
And while I’m at it – Goldman is going to introduce something pretty impressive – and free - to you to help give you a leg up in your goalie selection. Look for it tomorrow on Goalie Post.
Mike Ribeiro played 21 minutes in his return and picked up an assist.
Well, Craig Anderson had a great run while it lasted, but I guess it’s over now. That was a torrid run he went on, but he’s lost his last three games despite not really facing a whole lot of shots.
Ovechkin gets Perreault good with a shaving cream pie in the face…
Second game for Nashville, Yip fights Montador: