Montreal has recalled forward David Desharnais from Hamilton. He has 16 goals and 48 points in only 37 games with the Bulldogs. Looking at his stats, he was a scoring sensation in both the QMJHL, and the ECHL. However, he is only 5-foot-6 and 170 pounds. Montreal signed him as a free agent in 2008, a season in which he had 106 points with Cincinnati of the ECHL.
Another player in NJ who will benefit from Kovalchuk is David Clarkson. He could be the fourth forward on the first unit (along with Parise, Zajac, and Elias). Clarkson has developed into a fairly strong player in front of the net, and with Kovalchuk shooting there will be many rebound opportunities.
Kovalchuk skated with Zubrus and Langenbrunner at practice today.
Zubrus had some success playing with Ovechkin in Washington a few seasons ago. He is a smart player and is strong on the draw, so he may have the inside edge at being Ilya's center.
Jeff Carter is on pace for 33 goals and 359 shots. Last season, he finished with 42 goals and 46 goals on less (342). This stat could mean a few things. Did Carter shoot abnormally well last season? Has he lost his ability to find the back of the net? Sounds like a silly thing to say as he currently has over 20 goals, though.
Karlsson will be out until after the Olympics with a shoulder injury. He was logging heavy minutes for the Sens, and was even seeing some PP time. He could be a 40-point defenseman as early as next season.
Nashville is 18-0 and Joel Ward records a point.
The Kings won their eighth straight last night. Lots of big winning streaks going on right now.
Matt Beleskey had a goal and played over 15 minutes. He has really earned the trust of the Duck coaching staff. Beleskey had 40 goals in his last year of junior with Belleville, and had 38 points in the AHL last season. Might make for a decent fill in if you are in a really deep league.
Jason Blake had two points for the Ducks and skated on the second line with Koivu and Selanne.
Anze Kopitar and Jack Johnson both had four point nights. Wayne Simmonds played close to 20 minutes and had two. LA really has a great thing going on right now with that young core. Simmonds should be a contender for most improved player in the NHL this season.
Cody Hodgson, who has been a mystery for the past few months, finally returned to game action last night and was fantastic. I only caught highlights of the game, but he had two assists in a Brampton win, and was selected as the game’s first star.
Daniel Alfredsson had three assists last night – his fifth multi-point game in his last 10, and third three-point game.
Jason Spezza scored for the 8th straight game. Quite an impressive streak.
The Blue Jackets won their first game post Ken Hitchcock. The ice time was spread out up front, as most of the top nine played between 14-17 minutes. Rick Nash, who is averaging 21 minutes per game on the season, saw less than 18 minutes last night.
Ovechkin with a beauty last night (his 500th NHL point):
Jason Demers had a helper last night in the San Jose win. He is sticking around with Dan Boyle still out, but expect him to be sent down soon, as Boyle is close to returning and the Sharks are rumored to be acquiring Niclas Wallin from Carolina.
Two underrated players in San Jose’s strong season – Scott Nichol and Jed Ortmeyer. Both had two points last night and have supplied energy and strong defensive play all season for the Sharks.
Patrik Berglund had a goal and added a helper in almost 17 minutes of ice time. It was by far the most he has played in his last 10.
Thomas Greiss got the surprise start for the Sharks and stopped 35 of 37 shots. I don’t think he has starter upside, and he won’t get many starts as long as Nabokov is in San Jose. However, if San Jose doesn’t re-sign Nabokov (depends on the playoffs), Greiss may play more next season.
Steve Downie had two helpers last night. He has seven points in his last 10, and 34 PIM over that stretch to boot.
Multiple Tampa players had multi-point games. Stamkos (3), Lecavalier (2), St. Louis (2), Tanguay (2). Lecavalier has really turned his season around over the past 20-25 games. Stamkos and Marty continue to roll. The way Stamkos hammers those one-timers from just in off of the half wall is amazing to watch.
Stamkos scored his 30th and 31st of the season last night. Sophomore slump I don’t think so!
Back to Lecavalier – on pace for close to 80 points.
Niittymaki earned the start again and was great – he is a streaky goalie and is absolutely red hot right now. Ride him while you can.
Kurtis Foster was a plus-3 and had a helper in the win. He is on pace for 10 goals and 30 points. His ice time has been limited (15-16 per game), but he is seeing his fair share of time with the man advantage.
Erik Karlsson, who was really impressing me last night in the Sens game, left with an injury and didn’t return. It doesn’t sound serious, though.
The Sens were dominant in all three zones, and their positioning and puck support was the best I have seen all season. Brian Elliott wasn’t tested until the 3rd period, and was a Kyle Wellwood goal away from earning the shutout.
Ottawa has won 11 straight, and the Caps have won 12. The record is 17.
Interesting factoid – thanks to “ryanclassic” for this one. The Canucks lost their second straight game to a goalie picked in the 9th round (Halak on Tuesday, Elliott tonight).
Henrik Sedin was pointless last night, making it two straight. He hasn’t been blanked for two straight games since November 1st. Alex Ovechkin had three points and passed him in the scoring race. It was only a matter of time.
Nick Backstrom had five points last night for the Caps. He is now 5th in NHL scoring, and two points back of Thornton and Crosby.
Tomas Fleischmann also had a strong game with two helpers. He played over 20 minutes, his most ice time in game since November 21st.
Michael Del Zotto had his first point in seven games last night.
Olli Jokinen had two points for the Rangers, but also had three minor penalties. Vaclav Prospal had four points. Both New York and Washington were clicking offensively.
Anton Khudobin got his first career NHL win after he came in to relieve the injured Josh Harding. Harding, battling a hip injury, has been forced into action as Backstrom sits out with the flu. Harding made an incredible save in the game, check the video out at the bottom of the ramblings.
Kovalchuk is a Devil! Check out the article I just posted for the fantasy breakdown.
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Josh Harding robbery: