Happy Sunday! Enjoying the Midseason Guide? Haven't picked it up yet? Here it is. I will be adding some content to it. After consulting with Alessandro Seren Rosso, I will be adding my usual Midseason content on the NHLers in the KHL. I will also have fixed some of the small oversights pointed out to me, such as the lack of secondary PP notes for San Jose, and the page number snafu. Any others you find, email me or note it in the forum. On Thursday I will reupload this Midseason Guide with these updates, plus additional notes.
I'm souring on Andrei Kostitsyn. Talented player, but inconsistent and in the wrong coaching system. The consistency will come as he matures (he's still only 25). But unless he gets into a different coaching system, he'll never top 60 points. He has five points in his last 17 games and is on pace for 44. I think he'll end up with over 50, so another hot streak is on the way - but for now I've soured on him. In one of the two leagues that I own him in, I traded him and a first round pick for Michael Frolik. In the other league...I just killed his trade value by writing all this.
It's funny how a month ago we were all singing the praises of A.K.46 and dismissing Sergei as a future KHLer. Now Sergei is some sort of superstar and older brother Andrei is in a terrible slump. With Sergei's goal Saturday, he now has 23 points, which ties Andrei.
S.K. now has 20 points in his last 18 contests.
When Benoit Pouliot scored Montreal's only goal the other day, and then had that beauty of a shootout goal, I said to...well, nobody because I was alone... "his ice time is going up next game, and he'll probably get hot again". Well, he played nearly 19 minutes last night.
Part of that is because Mike Cammalleri left with "sickness" midway through the second period.
Last week I mused that Carey Price would spiral downwards for a couple of weeks before getting back into his groove, but he seems to be back in the groove now after two wins in a row. He has allowed three goals on 61 shots and won both games in extra time/shootout, which is obviously clutch.
The Devils are finally turning things around, as they ... naw, I can't finish with a straight face, sorry. Still suck.
Kovalchuk watch - the race to minus-50. So far: minus-30. Place your bets! Can he do it?
In a fantasy league, out of all the WJC players, I would prefer to own Brayden Schenn first and Evgeni Kuznetsov second. Then give me Tarasenko and Johansen. For points.
I forgot to mention - in that Frolik deal I was given the opportunity to hold onto that first round pick and instead include Sergei Kostitsyn and he would add Peter Mueller. I actually declined, against my better judgment. But I had just drafted SK an hour earlier and wanted to see how he pans out a bit. I had four first rounders in 2012, so sacrificing one wasn't as big a deal.
Matt Moulson has four points in his last four games and now that he is seeing time with JT again and JT is heating up, MM should start to roll for the next while. Tavares has 14 points in his last 11 contests.
Defenseman Andrew MacDonald has 10 points in his last 10 games. He's a steal of a pickup if you haven't done so already. This team will only score more goals when Kyle Okposo comes back.
As soon as I saw Kevin Poulin enter the game Thursday and shut the door, put in a bid for him in one of my leagues just minutes before the deadline. I dropped Leighton and picked him up. In two appearances, Poulin is 1-0-0, 1.53 and 0.946. Great AHL campaign and he's riding a wave of confidence.
Pekka Rinne has won four games in a row and has allowed exactly one goals in each.
Matt Calvert scored his first career NHL goal. My hunch is that he is only up for a few more games. He needs more AHL time. But promising future. Much improved over two years ago for sure.
My feeling is that Sidney Crosby will a game or two beyond the original one-week estimate, but no longer than that. Obviously, he needs to be cautious and he says he has been feeling "off". What we're not seeing yet - to our disappointment - is Malkin stepping up like he usually does when Sid is out.
Philly.com reports that Pronger is hoping to return to the lineup January 18.
Nathan Horton missed last night's contest with an undisclosed injury.
Miroslav Satan has signed to play in the KHL
Alexei Ponikarovsky was back in the lineup, but was pointless and saw no PP time - as has been the case all year with his new team. No fantasy value in LA.
Dorsett vs. Clifford: