Goldie Says: Report is up on Lawson's NHL debut. Impressive, but smoked in the shootout. I discussed Mike Smith's rise in value last week due to refined technique and Ellis' struggles. Since then he's been a major factor in TB's last two wins.
Paul Stastny will play today.
The Sens have recalled Mike Brodeur to replace an ailing (surprise surprise) Pascal Leclaire.
Chris Osgood gets the start today.
Stalberg, Kane and Hossa are all out for the 'Hawks in today's game vs. Detroit.
With Roman Polak back in the lineup, Ian Cole has been sent back down by the Blues.
Waiting for Anthony Stewart to slow down? Me too. Let me know when he does. He has 20 points already - he's barely been getting that in the AHL. What a turnaround - perhaps inspired by brother Chris? He has four points in the last two games and his 20 have come in the last 31.
Dustin Brown is on a seven game point streak and a four game multi-point streak. He has 11 points in those seven contests. His season pace is now 68 points.
Taylor Hall has 12 points in his last 14 games. His pace is for 49 points, but sign me up for 60+. My preseason prediction is surprisingly starting to round back into the realm of possibility.
Jordan Eberle has 10 in 11, and his pace is 57. Put me down for 65+, which again puts my ridiculous - or so we all thought a month ago - prediction pretty darn close.
Evgeny Dadonov has three points in his last two games for the Panthers. He's playing with Matthias and Reasoner and has second-line upside. But he's also a bit of a KHL threat, so he needs to keep putting up the numbers.
Eric Boulton scored more goals last night than he did last season. He has now tied a career high in goals with four. His penalty minutes are way down, making him unowned in most leagues, I'm sure. This Atlanta team...what a head-scratcher.
With 16 points in his last 15 games, Ryan Malone is on pace for 64 points. His plus/minus is also even in that span, so don't let the season plus/minus number dissuade you from him.
The Wayne Simmonds we know and love - four points, plus-4, five PIM in the last five games. Starting to come around? I dressed him for this week after having him on the bench for the three weeks prior. So far so good.
Chris Kelly has eight points in his last seven games. Go figure. I don't think it will last, because he's a 35-point guy, but still - very interesting.
Bryan Bickell has seven points in his last six contests. A potential 40-point third-liner, he is certainly playing over his head. Then again, he could be one of those late-blooming power forwards who come from nowhere.
Kyle Clifford has 21 PIM in the last six games. He also has three points and a plus-3 in that span, giving us a glimpse of his agitating potential.
Jordan Staal, who was supposed to have missed six weeks with his broken hand, has been out for seven. Well, longer than seven if you count the time missed with the infected foot. My guess is the start of January.
David Perron is still not symptom free (concussion). When a player is finally free of all symptoms, I find that it is another three weeks or so before wee see them back from a major concussion. So slid Peter Mueller into that category as well - best case for either of them is mid-January. Best case.
While Chris Pronger is sidelined, it looks as though the ice time is going to a forward. Timonen, Carle and Meszaros were still the three d-men used on the PP, but didn't see a noticeable bump in ice time. Ville Leino was taken off the power play and Zherdev and JVR were put back on in his (and Pronger's) place. The Leino vs. Zherdev vs. Nodl vs. JVR battle for PP ice time continues, and now with Pronger out there is room for two of them in each game instead of just one. The overall impact is probably going to be bump in the numbers for all four.
Erik Johnson was back in the lineup already and was pointless and minus-1. Alex Pietrangelo, close to a return, did not play.
Paul Stastny is "hopeful" for today's contest.
Patric Hornqvist continues to miss time with an UBI. He has missed the last two contests and seems doubtful for the next one. That's fine for the white-hot Sergei Kostitsyn, who is gobbling up the added ice time and PP time and making full use of it.
Zach Boychuk was recalled, but he was stuck playing with Ryan Carter and Troy Bodie.
Jamie McBain now has points in three straight contests. He is back on the top PP unit and I think we'll see him start shifting towards the production that we expected him to fly out of the gates with. With 50 some odd games left, he could still salvage 45 points on the campaign.
One to keep an eye on is Jesse Joensuu. He had two points last night, but has seen a bump in ice time for the last two games. He lined up with Grabner and Nielsen, which is the second line. However, when Kyle Okposo returns, all bets are off. I think Joensuu is still a potential linemate of Tavares in a couple of years when these young players start to take off.
Alexander Semin has missed two games with a lower body injury after a slump of two points in six games. So all he has contributed to you in eight games is just the two points. His pace is now 82 points (again). How many seasons in a row is he going to produce at a 100-point pace at the 25-game mark, only to slip to 82 by the 35-game mark?
Mathieu Perreault missed the game because he was sick. His hold on a spot is too tenuous to go pointless for so long and then miss a game, so I would be surprised if he isn't sent back down shortly. Hang in there with him though. These teasers will add up to something.
Teemu Selanne was back in the lineup and saw time on the big line, but he was pointless and minus-2. With Joffrey Lupul back, they have a ton of options for those first two lines. I think we'll see Lupul on the big line - and sooner than you think.
With two points last night, Oscar Moller now has three in his last three. I think he'll become a solid second liner, but not the first liner I originally thought he would be. When Marco Sturm returns, he'll probably still head back to the minors. Sturm is said to be pretty close. He may even be out when Brad Richardson returns (which is probably next game - he's ready to play now)
Despite two points Saturday, Alexei Ponikarovsky is still stuck on the fourth line and seeing zero PP time. Not a good sign at all.
In his first start in nearly a month, Jonathan Bernier stopped 29 of 30 shots for his first W in six weeks.
Nathan Lawson, who should be seventh or eighth on the depth chart for the Islanders, got the start last night. His 3.78 GAA and 0.890 SP numbers in the AHL clearly earned the promotion. I kid, of course. He has been an AHL beast the last two seasons and should have had an NHL look sooner, and this year's numbers have been impacted by injury. DiPietro has been hurt (knee) and Roloson has struggled badly this past week or two. I guess the coach, who was Lawson's coach last season, favored giving him a shot over Kevin Poulin (who has been fabulous so far for Bridgeport). Lawson stopped 32 of 35 for the OTL.
Matt Cullen was back in the lineup and played with Miettinen and O'Sullivan.
With Backstrom stopping 25 of 26 shots for the W, I wouldn't be shocked to see the 'every other game' system stop and he gets another start. It's what Backstrom owners have been waiting for - a real impressive win.
Pekka Rinne owners - breathe a sigh of relief. Anders Lindback finally had a weak game, allowing three goals on nine shots and getting the hook. Let me put it this way - if he had another shutout, I would think that the Preds would take their time bringing Rinne back - and then just easing him in.
Mark Dekanich and Steve Begin have been assigned by the Preds to Milwaukee. That implies that Rinne and Legwand will be back next contest.
With Paul Kelly as head of the NHLPA, my odds of a strike or lockout in 2012 sat at around 5%. With Donald Fehr there now, it is bumped up to 30%. I know he has learned his lesson from baseball's devestating stoppage, but the fact is he champions the player's cause as much as Bob Goodenow. His lawsuits against the owners for collusion (he won them all) and his ridiculous stubbornness against drug-testing do not help my opinion of him. Those in keeper leagues, start preparing rules for handling your draft during a work stoppage.
Defensive stalwart Anton Volchenkov was a minus-4 last night, and minus-5 on the season.
Ales Kotalik and Mikael Backlund were benched for much of last night's games. One or both could be scratched next game to get Curtis Glencross back in.