Darryl Sutter has stepped down as Calgary's GM. I think we can all agree - he didn't have the vision. The prospect pool was pretty bare when he went in (I'd give it a 2 out of 10) and it's pretty bare now (I'd give it a 3 out of 10). His top centers are 60-point players if they had a huge huge second half, Jay Bouwmeester is a No.3 defenseman who is paid like a No.1, and the cap space is non-existent. So no help is on the way. In fact, if the Flames had a fire sale, shed salary and got younger - they would probably be a better team.

 

St. Louis has signed winger Marek Svatos as an unrestricted free agent, a two-way deal. He will need to clear waivers before he joins the Blues. He will clear waivers, because he sucks. What you'll see is an early spark - probably six goals and two assists in his first nine games. This will be followed by two goals and two assists in his next 10 games. And then 10 games with just one goal. That's when the healthy scratches/AHL demotions will start. Favorite these ramblings and refer to them at the trade deadline and let me know how I did.

 

Rene Bourque has just three points in his last nine games. A streaky player, he will soon put together a big eight-game I'm run I'm sure. The problem is - no linemates. Morrison sucks and Glencross is a third liner.

 

Morrison has five points in his last 19 games and that's probably as hot a run as you'll get, going forward. I remember saying after they signed him: "he had 16 points in the first 20 games last campaign, so an early hot start is feasible. If you're going to pick him up, do it now and trade him within three weeks. In the last 54 games he had just 26 points and was a healthy scratch several times."

 

Matt Stajan has two points in nine games and his ice time has slipped into the 10-minute range. With Olli Jokinen starting to produce (nine points in nine games), I'm not sure if Stajan can ever get back on track enough to get 45 points.

 

Jiri Hudler got his chance and he took full advantage of it. Taking Cleary's spot on the line with Bertuzzi and Filppula, Hudler rang off a couple of points and saw some PP time to boot. I reinstate my "pick him up" suggestion.

 

Nick Lidstrom - four points last night. His second four-point night in seven games. How old is he again? He is on pace for 74 points.

 

Jan Mursak played just 6:55 in his first career NHL game. He is the NHL's second Slovenian - Kopitar is the other one.

 

Mats Zuccarello picked up his first career NHL point, an assist, in the big 7-2 win.

 

Since returning from his string of healthy scratches, Matt Gilroy has three points and is plus-4. The team is 1-0-1 and has scored 10 times. Look for Torterella to ride that and continue to dress Gilroy and give him secondary PP time. He's worth a short-term pick up for sure.

 

Just what the doctor ordered for Steve Mason. A goal-challenged opponent and Jose Theodore in the opposing net. That's practically a guaranteed win and no more than two goals allowed. Well, Mason allowed three, but close enough. He has a W - just his second one in five weeks.

 

Give Michael Frolik 10 points in his last 10 games.

 

Top producers of the last month:
Crosby 24
Zetterberg 21
Brown 19
Kopitar 18
Perry 18
St. Louis 18

 

That "Brown" name really jumps out.

 

Steven Stamkos: 38 points in 22 games, and christened a part of the Big 4, entering the stratosphere currently populated by Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin. Since then - 12 points in 14 games. By comparison, Marty St. Louis has 18 points in that span.

 

It's important that we treat the Big 3 as the Big 3 in keeper leagues that don't require positions. Why? Because they currently have the ability to post the points of 1.5 players and yet take only one roster spot. And they have the ability to one day produce like 2.0 players. You fill the rest of your roster with dime-a-dozen players and you'll still compete for the win. Just because you own one of the Big 3. In this format (points only, no positional requirements), they are gold and nobody touches them.

 

As for Marty St. Louis - he doesn't get enough respect. I'm as guilty as the next guy. Vincent Lecavalier goes nutty three years ago and I have him among the elite. Stamkos does it this year and - same result. But what's the common denominator? St. Louis. Lecavalier fades, and I blame his injuries, but I also need to consider that he no longer has St. Louis on his wing. Martin St. Louis is making superstars out of stars. He could make a Matt Stajan or a Tyler Bozak into 80-point players.

 

Brian Boyle, with three points last night, has eight in his last six and 17 in his last 25. He's also posted a tidy plus-6 in his last six games and is on pace for about 80 PIM. With his ice time now consistently up over 15 minutes, I think we can trust him to keep producing at a reasonable rate.

 

Jason Williams (remember him?) has signed a tryout agreement with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.

 

The word on Jason Spezza is six weeks with his shoulder injury, but no surgery required. The Sens are in dire straits right now. With Chris Kelly playing so well, look for him to finally see some PP time and try and build on that momentum. He may be worth a pickup now if you need a No.4 pivot.

 

The Devils have recalled Vladimir Zharkov finally. I think he was sent down for cap reasons, as he should have made this team in the first place. He has 18  points in 29 games for Albany.

 

Steve Sullivan is out for two weeks with an LBI. The Preds have signed Chris Mueller, who has been playing well for Milwaukee. He has 20 points in 33 AHL games, second on the team. I don't expect much from him. I do however like Linus Klasen on a line with Sergei Kostitsyn. I can see those two doing nice things.

 

Out of the Max Pacioretty shadow, Montreal prospect David Desharnais was the AHL player of the week last week. He had five points in two games, including two shorthanded goals.

 

Don't forget - the Midseason Guide is out in 10 days. I'll also put out an addendum to it a week later. And I'm still selling last year's Midseason Guide for two bucks if you want to preview what you're getting without shelling out the dough.

 

Patrick Kane is probable for tonight.

 

Jordin Tootoo has entered the NHL's substance abuse program.

 

David Legwand is probable for tonight's contest.

 

Steve Downie (ankle) still has not practiced with the team.

 

Interesting - Jakub Voracek was a healthy scratch last night for the Jackets.

 

Sharks/Kings highlights - CHECK OUT ABOUT 2:14 IN - WOW!

 

 


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Comments (18)add comment

jason said:

toewsfan
Stamkos Vs. Malkin Dobber: The Stamkos/Malkin debate is one for the ages, and obviously, it will be several years before anyone knows the answer. Based on my due diligence, my money is on Stamkos, but I'm willing to admit that the debate is very close. No one knows how this will end up, but I think your readers would just like you to admit that this is a neck-and-neck race, not some easy call with a clear-cut winner as you have called it out to be.
December 29, 2010
Votes: -1

jason said:

toewsfan
SVATOS Absolutely no chance Svatos comes close to 6 goals in his first 9 games. That's just crazy talk. You will deserve some serious props if anything remotely resembling that prediction comes true. I think 6 goals in 25 games would be a hot start for him.
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Scott said:

sjww
Wisniewski to MON New York will receive Montreal's second-round pick in 2011 and a conditional fifth-round selection in 2012 in exchange.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BS00120101229
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

MT319 said:

MT319
... lol yea I know St. Louis is the reason Stamkos is an elite forward option however Malkins switch to Crosby's line had absolutely nothing to do with his coincidental increase in production from that point forward...gimme a break man
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Crook said:

ddp
dobber big 3 Dobber is a big 3 on this site.
yaaaaaaaaaaawwwn, why don't we all just see who has more pts this year, next year and the year after? stamkos or Malkin? (stamkos please)
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

John H. said:

CommittedToTheIndian
... Svatos

Tell us what you really think.

That's what I love about Dobber's stuff. Whether you agree or disagree with whatever he writes, he gets straight to the point without being wishy-washy about it. Two thumbs up.
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Mike said:

slopoke
Sutter if nothing else, this makes it easier for the Calgary GM (Feaster) to trade some of the existing roster to start the re-build process. Feaster didn't make the trades/signings to bring these guys in, so he won't be as reluctant to move them out. Not that it will be easy given cap constraints, no trade clauses etc.
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Mabus said:

mabus
Sutter Finally something to cheer about in Calgary. Here is a nice synopsis of Sutter's horrible tenure:
http://insidehockey.com/?p=13094
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

lokguin said:

lokguin
schremp since you mentioned frolik... schremp has also managed 10pts in his last 10 games.
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

donions said:

donions
Brown's 2nd goal One of the nicest goals you will ever see!
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Jaxx said:

Jaxx
Stamkos - Big 4 not sure if the issue is stamkos vs malkin. its just that fantasy hockey will soon graduate to a big 4 if stamkos keeps up the same pace as he has for the last year and a half. whether he is better than malkin is not the issue (though i agree i'd rather have malkin right now) - its that he can soon be christened as a young highly elite player the same as sid/ovie/gino have been christened. there is no other player that can rank in that top 4. not getzlaf, kane, backstrom, the twins .... especially in a keeper league where goals are a higher factor.
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Gentlemen - I ALWAYS cherry pick stats for ramblings. That's what finding trends are! Every second point I make every day of the week is "so and so has blank points in his last blank games". That's cherry picking the stats to suit my point!

Enjoy owning Stamkos, he's a great player. But don't come to me with him if you want Malkin though. It won't get it done.

Stamkos does not have Ovechkin's upside. Nor Malkin's. I don't care if Stamkos has 30 points in his last 10 games and Malkin is pointless in 10. Malkin is the better player and in a different stratosphere. My point in "cherry picking" the last 14 games stat is that Stamkos is not comparable to those three, and I wanted to drive the point home. And then I would probably drop the subject...unless I still get comments arguing the matter (i.e. now). So now I'll have to bring it up (sigh) yet again next week. And I'll keep doing it until everyone in the world agrees with me smilies/cool.gif
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

DonCoburleone said:

DonCoburleone
Stamkos hate? Yeah I have to agree with what Brian said regarding Stamkos you are clearly cherry-picking stats to suit your own bias. You could find a 14 game stretch for any great player in the history of the NHL where he "only" put up 12 points... If your premise is that TALENT wise Stamkos is not on the same level as Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin well then thats your opinion, but strictly looking at how valuable he is from a fantasy hockey perspective he is without question on par with the "Big 3".

If anything your argument should be that there is a "Big 3" (Malkin, Ovechkin, Stamkos) and then a "Huge 1" (Crosby) cuz he has put himself on another level this year IMO..
December 28, 2010 | url
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
"The Hate", "The Love" The only thing I have "the hate" for is the term "the hate" LOL


I love Steven Stamkos. I hated it when my readers (and a writer or two on this site) crowned him as on par with Malkin and Ovechkin. He's not. If you disagree, then go ahead and trade your Malkin for Stamkos. My advice to you is not to do that. My advice has always been not to do that.

Does giving said advice mean I hate Stamkos?

Silliness...

December 28, 2010
Votes: +1

Brian said:

BrianSTC
Why hate-on Stamkos without looking at Ovechkin, Malkin stats? Stamkos? 12 points in 14 games?

well...

Malkin has 11 points in the past 11 games...that would include his 5 point game in that span, so without that game it would be 6 points in 10 games...

Ovechkin?

8 points in his past 12 games...

So why the hate for Stamkos?

And of course, stats can show anything because if you happen to take out the 6-game mini-slump, then Stamkos has 10 points in the past 8 games.

December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Chris said:

CascadeFilly
Top producers Wow, your list really puts things into perspective. The guy in first in my league has Crosby, Zetterberg, Brown, Kopitar and St. Louis. I'm in second, 29 points behind him. This KIND of gives me hope, because all of these players can't stay so hot, right? ...Right?
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

D Kane said:

dmk
St. Louis Nice to see the recognition of St. Louis. Never seems to get the notice he deserves. Has been 3rd or 4th in scoring and nowhere on the All Star voting and rarely mentioned in national press on either side of the border. Your comment about him being a major reason for the successes of Lecavier and Stamkos has been by thought for some time. Even Ryan Malone and Steve Downie have had their best spurts skating next to St. Louis. St. Louis is 35 and has been a top producer whether the team around him is good or bad.
December 28, 2010
Votes: +0

Ballsakic said:

Ballsakic
Hudler I just picked him up for cleary, should have done it yesterday.
December 28, 2010
Votes: -1
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