Hensick

So far, so good for Colorado fans. With Paul Stastny and T.J. Hensick leading the NHL in pre-season points prior to Sunday’s games and with newcomer Jaroslav Hlinka leading in assists, the Avalanche offense looks like a force to be reckoned with.

(Originally published on Sept. 26 by THN and MSN)

 

 

The three of them have been playing on a line together, with the sophomore Stastny making it clear he doesn’t believe in any kind of second-year jinx. Hensick, a rookie with his eyes on a roster spot, has been nothing short of spectacular. Hlinka is a 30-year-old who is coming off a huge offensive season in the Czech League. It would seem his spot on the roster is now secure.

The very idea of Hensick having a rookie season like Stastny’s last year has keeper league owners drooling. However, Milan Hejduk and Marek Svatos are currently sidelined with groin injuries and coach Joel Quenneville has indicated that when they return, he will go with a different second line. Hlinka and Stastny will remain together, while Hejduk will join the pair in an effort to rekindle the chemistry that he had with Stastny in the spring.

So where would this leave Hensick? Likely in the American League, where he will lead Lake Erie in scoring. Still – nothing is set in stone. After all, Stastny came from out of nowhere just one year ago and forced his way onto the roster…

Columbus prospect Derick Brassard is making a strong case to win the job as the team’s No.1 center. After having a fantastic rookie camp, Brassard has continued his strong play with four assists in three games. Keep an eye on this situation, as Brassard could either stick and contribute 50 or more points this season or he could be one of the final cuts and likely lead the Quebec League in scoring…

One of the most impressive players in the NHL this pre-season has been Daniel Carcillo of the Coyotes. The future second or third-line agitator has performed as advertised, buzzing all around the ice and getting under everyone’s skin. He has five points in five pre-season contests to go with 16 penalty minutes…

Injuries, from a fantasy perspective: Kyle Wellwood went under the knife again Saturday and will be out of the lineup for at least a month, which opens up the door for a player to win the second-line center job on the Leafs. Matt Stajan is one possibility, as is John Pohl. There has been some talk of moving Alex Steen to the middle, as well. Don’t count out Simon Gamache either. The former CHL player of the year has had an excellent camp…

Farm Report: Recent cuts of interest: Justin Pogge and Robbie Earl, Toronto; Tyler Kennedy, Jeff Taffe and Alex Goligoski, Pittsburgh; Zach Hamill, Boston; Michael Blunden and Troy Brouwer, Chicago; Brian Boyle and Lauri Tukonen, Los Angeles. The Kings also waived goalie Dan Cloutier, paving the way for a trip down to Manchester.


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