Goldie Says: I wrote a doozy on Steve Mason's struggles and how he can improve. Time to get him a sports psychologist coach. My eyes are also locked onto Mike Smith - his shootout win over ATL plus Nabby rumors could push him to perform very well over the next week. 

 

Jeremy Morin was sent back down by Chicago, but expect him back up today and to be in the lineup tonight. The life of a salary cap casualty...

 

A great buy-low candidate for keeper leagues - Florida defenseman Dmitri Kulikov. He has only one goal and six points so far this season, and was recently a healthy scratch.

 

Marc Savard had two points last night, including his first goal of the season. Look for him to get on track production-wise. I wouldn't expect point-a-game production from him (too much depth), but he may not be far off.

 

Andy McDonald is on the IR officially with a concussion. More ice time for Sobotka, as he now is seeing a regular shift in the top six, as well as some PP time.

 

Chris Pronger will be out for up to six weeks with a foot injury. This opens up PP time for Coburn/Meszaros.

 

Kristian Huselius had a hat trick for the Jackets - this seems to be the year of the trick so far.

 

Rick Nash is on pace for 45 goals and 69 points - about where I'd expect him to end up.

 

Eberle has goal in three straight games.

 

Ryan Whitney is on pace for the reverse Cy Young - he currently has zero goals and 24 assists.

 

Both Hossa/Kane skated for Chicago this morning, but neither will play tonight.

 

More on Steve Mason - since the beginning of 2009-10, he has been pulled more than any other goalie in the league (12 times).

 

Mikhail Grabovski is quietly having a very solid season. He isn't a prototypical Burke player, but he is performing very well in the role given to him.

 

Omark, Paajarvi, Hall, and Eberle combined for 10 points last night.

 

Dan Boyle played almost nine minutes more than any other Shark last night.

 

I picked up Bouchard a few days ago – he had a helper on Minnesota’s only goal last night. I imagine he has been snatched up in most leagues by now – the Wild are desperate for offense so you know he will get his chances to produce.

 

Erik Karlsson had three helpers for the Sens, and he now has seven points in his past five games. Karlsson is a legitimate blue-chipper. His numbers may be up and down this season, but that comes with the territory (weak offensive club and him being a young defenseman).

 

Jack Johnson was a category filler last night – two helpers, four shots on goal, and 14 PIM.

 

Steve Mason is one of the most overrated players in the league. Outside of a six week stretch during his rookie season, his numbers are well below average for a starting goalie. Columbus would be better off sticking with Garon fulltime.

 

Willie Mitchell left the game with a lower body injury.

 

David Backes has 10 points in his past eight games. All 10 of those points have come in three of the games (four points, three points, and three points).

 

Vlad Sobotka played almost 20 minutes for the Blues last night, and his production warranted the increase – one goal and two helpers. He has some offensive upside, but obviously it is dependent on ice time and role (right now he is playing more of a depth/energy role).

 

Mike Cammalleri was an assist away from the Gordie Howe hat trick last night.

 

Max Pacioretty had a great game – a goal, an assist, and four shots on goal. He needed more seasoning in the AHL, but in his short time back with the big club he looks much improved from last season.

 

Cam Ward had a big bounceback game last night – 45 saves on 47 shots.

 

My two goalies are Lundqvist and Bryzgalov. New York beat Phoenix, but Biron and Labarbera were playing…. Nice.

 

Gaborik was goalless, but he did lead the Rangers in shots. He is getting his chances.

 

Joffrey Lupul has two goals in two games.

 

A few monster hits from last night. First, Boychuk on Pouliot:

 

Subban on Brad Marchand:

 

This isn't a new video, but it is still awesome:


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Comments (19)add comment

Ryan Van Horne said:

Scribe
Mason I think Mason was rushed into the NHL and developed some bad habits. I prefer goalies to get lots of seasoning time in the AHL or another pro league -- minimum two years. I thought Mason was a rarity, but he's proven me wrong. He needed that time. Blame one of Leclaire's many injuries for Mason being forced into action.
December 18, 2010
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Jah D, Morin is in the AHL so the 9 games doesn't apply to him. They can call him up and down whenever.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Jah D said:

sansai
Morin's cup of coffee runneth dry? Perhaps we won't see Morin again this year since he's played 9 games? Seems foolish if he's going to score goals and be a + player, no bias since I own him of course.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Mason

Mason reminds me very closely of Cam Ward. Great rookie debut, fired off fantastic numbers, then stunk it up for 1.5 years and finally has rebounded. It till him till Feb of the third year before his numbers returned to being good.

I see a similar situation with Mason. Probably will struggle till the end of this year and then rebound for a better year last year.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Chad said:

tryhard87
Mason I think he could be compared to Carey Price in a way. I mean, remember how much people hated Price last year and wouldn't touch him with a 10 foot pole? Well, I betcha sometime over the next few years he's going to put up a helluva season. The potential is there, it's just a matter of waiting for it to happen which is the worst part.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
Morin may not be back ... Hawks sign Ryan Johnson http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club...L|CHI|home

Hawks just signed Ryan Johnson. Not the same kind of player as Morin, obviously, but he takes up the roster spot, meaning someone else would need to get injured or demoted for Morin to get called back up.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Look at the splits - exactly. Garon's numbers are pretty solid over the past two seasons. Mason's are not.

I'm not saying he won't ever become a good goalie, I'm just saying he isn't one now. I'm not in fantasy hockey to win three or four years down the road. smilies/smiley.gif
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Mabus said:

mabus
... Goalies are like QBs, too much credit when things are going well, too much criticism when things are going poorly. A lot of play depends on the team around you. Look at a goalie's splits compared to his backup to tell how he is really playing. Mason's playing horribly. It's another reason I'm not fully on the Price bandwagon. Agreed that Mason is young, and you need to wait a few years to see his full potential. That said, you have to significantly overpay his production to get him in a trade, so he's overrated. I don't think his upside compensates for this upside, but obviously others do.

Mabus
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... I don't hate any NHL player. Mason is overrated. My opinion, and you disagree.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Bur said:

buriel
Subban hit What a great hit!

Reminded me of Larry Robinson crunching the Marian Stastny with a blue line hip check in the mid-80s.

BOOM Baby!
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

dennis said:

hannuemen
Subban Close to charging? How do you charge at a guy while skating backwards? Marchand was lined up and stood up. Nothing wrong with that hit.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Rustyrug said:

Rustyrug
Sobotka I think Sobotka has been playing more than a depth/energy role. He has averaged over 18 mins the last 6 games.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Kraftster said:

Kraftster
Mason You really hate Mason, Angus. Do you forget that the kid is 22 years old? His play during that stretch in his rookie season (under Hitchcock) landed him in the show a lot sooner than he probably otherwise would have been here to stay. He's a big goalie with the skill and pedigree to be a top starter in the NHL for many years.

Perhaps he's overrated if its been forgetten that he's still a kid (especially in goalie terms) and its expected that he's going to produce at the unsustainable numbers he put up during his rookie season, but I don't know who's reasonably rating him as that. He's struggling right now to be sure, but we saw another 22 year old struggle last year only to really find his groove this year. Not saying Mason's career track follows Price's per se, but I think your hate for Mason needs to be tempered a bit, so I want to get the other view out there for the readers.
December 17, 2010
Votes: +1

Michal Smida said:

StevenY
Kampfer In the deep league i am in you cant hesitate too much so i picked him yesterday - Hunwick left for Colorado so there is some space to fill on PP unit...i am still thinking about picking back Russell, because he is getting his chances on PP unit in Blue Jackets team...any thoughts?
BTW It would not be bad idea for Columbus to pick Marc-Andre Bergeron - it would not be expensive singning for them and they have nothing to lose...i cant see them making play-offs without converting that PP success rate - 12.7 is just horrible - only two teams are worse - Nashville and Florida..
December 17, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

David said:

OceanMon
Kampfer What's the deal with Kampfer getting big PP minutes with Boston??
December 17, 2010
Votes: +0

Tim Johnston said:

holdUP
Subban Yeah that was close to charging, can't tell if he left the ice before contact or not, but it was close. Then throw the elbow when Boston comes after you. Good work.
December 17, 2010
Votes: -3

RustyPickles said:

Rusty Pickles
... that turnover PK had to Richards that sprung Giroux all alone in front of Price to ice the game and sink montreal in a two goal hole was pure "swagga"smilies/tongue.gif
December 16, 2010
Votes: +2

dennis said:

hannuemen
Steve Mason Almost traded my Price for Steve Mason straight up this past off-season. Man am I glad that he rejected it.
December 16, 2010
Votes: -1

Chandan Singh said:

csingh
PK Hit was a beauty...seems to be getting some of his swagga back.. baby steps.
December 16, 2010
Votes: +1
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