Midseason Guide can be purchased here. I will have an update for this guide today or tomorrow, although I won't be updating projections because that requires a ton of spreadsheet manipulation and then formatting. But I will have a KHL piece in the update.

 

How grim does it look in Calgary? Their affiliate Abbottsford's top scorer (Greg Nemisz) has 19 points in 40 games. That's their top scorer. Seriously guys, rebuild. Fill those cupboards. That stressing third-line checkers with heart thing that you've been doing at the draft? Yeah, stop that.

 

Cam Ward and Jussi Jokinen - back in the lineup tomorrow night.

 

Alexander Frolov is like a game of hot potato. The music has stopped now - so who in your league owns him? Sucks to be that person. KHL.

 

Eric Fehr has seven points in his last six games.

 

If the Preds were ever proactive and brought in a first or second line center, he'd be thrown in betweek Kostitsyn and Hornqvist and the goals would fly.

 

Spencer Machacek was recalled and played for the Thrashers yesterday. He was pointless, minus-1 in 10 minutes of action. But he's having a breakthrough AHL campaign and he's profiled in the Midseason Guide.

 

Dan O'Neill of stltoday.com reports that TJ Oshie is still two weeks away at least.

 

Still catching up on some of the NHL news. Wow - seven year contract extension for Jack Johnson. Just over $4 million per.

 

And - again, I'm behind due to a) my midseason draft Saturday and b) my daughter's bday party yesterday - Alex Frolov has put his owners out of their misery by tearing his ACL! He's out for the season and now MZA can remain with the club for the entire year. That's something I'll tweak in the Midseason Guide on the update.

 

Interesting - before last night's big win, New Jersey was 10-29-3. According to Rick Chere of nj.com, the worst NJ team in history - and there were some bad ones - was 9-30-2.

 

Everybody puts down the Islanders. Ownership is a joke, GM is a joke, blah blah blah. But I'm not one of them. I think ownership wants a winner and I think Garth Snow convinced them that he has plan that will work. That plan being - shoe-string budget, acquire young talent until the system is bursting at the seams, and then invest in keeping the young talent together and bring in veteran pieces when the team is ready to win. In the 2012-13 season you watch. Tavares will be entering his fourth year. Okposo and Bailey will be rolling. This team will have the likes of Rhakshani, Joensuu, etc in terms of depth. Niederreiter, Petrov on scoring lines. Casey Cizikas will be the best third line center in the game. Hamonic and de Haan will be a one-two punch comparable to Letang and Goligoski. Kevin Poulin looks like a real stud between the pipes. And they'll have another lottery pick this summer. All they have to do is...hang in there and keep the team in Long Island until then! Bookmark these ramblings and tell me how I do in December of 2012.

 

I didn't mention these names, but surely one or two of these players will pan out for the Isles as well: Kabanov, Trivino, Nelson, Wishart and Ness

 

Interesting thought, inspired by a similar thought that I read by Scott Cruickshank - after each team shoots three times in a shootout, if it is still deadlocked, then each coach picks the next five shooters for the other team (as needed).

 

I had a midseason draft on Saturday. Just one round, but I managed to acquire three other picks. Points only, no positional requirements, playoffs count. My four picks, in order, were: Evgeni Kuznetsov, Keith Yandle, Sergei Kostitysn, and Kevin Shattenkirk. Just in case you wanted to know who I would take in a points-only league where positions don't matter - Yandle or S. Kostitsyn. There's your answer.

 

Also, for further insight, I traded Anisimov and future picks for the right to draft third (Yandle). So, yeah, I think Yandle can get 70 points one day...65 this year, but Anisimov I think is lower in both categories.

 

And finally, I moved Gustav Nyqvist and picks for the right to select seventh (Shattenkirk). I have been disappointed that Nyqvist could not at least match what he did last year (Hobey Baker final 10). He's still doing well, but I think both Tatar and Mursak have passed him on the depth chart. But Shattenkirk, although with lower upside, is a sure thing akin to Yandle.

 

Niklas Backstrom's hip is looking serious. Think - season ending. You can cross your fingers and hope that he can return in a week or two, and play through his hip pain. Or you can be pro-active. Jose Theodore is doing well right now. In fact, he's posting great numbers. But he gets into funks and when that happens, the Wild will look to the market. Nabokov? Leighton? Look to Leighton. It's a long shot, but if you're desperate for goaltending and have bench room, get him off the wire and sit him for three or four weeks and see if this happens.

 

Michael Russo reports that Marek Zidlicky will not have surgery on his shoulder and he could be back in a month.

 

Adrian Dater makes some great points here, and this makes for an interesting read. But I wonder if, when the media pressures a coach on a move so much, it has the opposite effect. Will Sacco not ever play Holos now because if he does then he believes he's caving to a reporter?

 

Immediate beneficiary of the Langenbrunner deal: David Clarkson. Wow, nice impact. Back on the power play and scores twice. Secondary beneficiary: Brian Rolston. Two assists. The two saw over 35 minutes combined. Normally it would take them two games to combine for that. Clarkson you should be all over him like a fat kid on a candy bar.

 

Kovalchuk watch: He was a plus-one. Get to the bomb shelter, the world is about to end.

 

Ways to make yourself useless in the NHL: keep allowing four goals per game after the team brings in a replacement for you. (Dan Ellis)

 

Teddy Purcell's point last night was his first in nine games. I don't know what to make of him this year. He's talented and has some upside, but with this team fully healthy I wonder if he can make it to 50 points.

 

My impression of Mikhail Grabovski, from 2007 until September: probably a 55-point player who could get into the mid- to high-60s if everything falls into place for him. My impression of Grabovski today: It's not that everything is falling into place for him - he's actually on a 65-pace because of his own talent. His shots are finding the mark like never before, he's no longer doing three extra moves and losing the puck, he's doing one extra move and hanging onto the puck. His consistency is there now. He had one points in seven games in October, and he was pointless in five in late November... but otherwise, he has been money in the bank game in and game out.

 

Pick up Kevin Poulin. The Isles can't win with Nathan Lawson, and Rick DiPietro suffers a pulled groin, a torn ACL and broken fingers every time he tightens his skate laces. With Poulin, the Isles seem to win. You need a goalie, and I think Poulin will go 10-7-3 in the second half.

 

Corey Crawford is 13-4-1 in his last 18 decisions and he's starting every game now.

 

San Jose has scored five goals in their last five games. Hard to win leagues when you have three or four guys on a team that does that.

 

Nice strip and score by Kane...

 

 


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Comments (10)add comment

paul said:

donpaulo
... as a lifelong suffering rangers fan I can tell you that few things please me more than a horrible icelanders team, especially after all the bandwagoners back during the cup run. Looking back on it now, Mike Bossy really was a special player...

anyway I think the Icelanders have a plan NOT to rush their guys to the show, which is probably a good thing as losing can sometimes be a cancer. I have seen them play a few times this year and despite the coaching change they have some very nice potential.

Stupid mistakes, bad penalties and learning a new system mid season have contributed to a season to forget.

Bailey looks like he is going to be a very nice player as does Andy frickin MacDonald I would give them another 2 full seasons before we see any real consistency from them but at that point they are going to be deep, talented and barring injuries a team to be reckoned with. They may not make the playoffs but they will beat enough playoff bound teams to be a factor.

Now would be a great time to become an Islander fan. Plenty of season tickets available in that barn of theirs too. Great seats and you can be there before they turn the corner.

a good rivalry with NY, the sabres and los diablos would also be good for hockey.

Maybe if Winnipeg is lucky they can steal the islanders away in time for them to peak in Manitoba !
January 11, 2011
Votes: +0

kjazz said:

kjazz
Lucic Lucic has 1A in the last 10 games, and had only 12:34 TOI last night. What gives? Still getting some PP time at least...
January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Brayden said:

ether
Calgary I'm pretty sure that point made above about Calgary is part of the reason Darryl Sutter was essentially fired and changed the minute that happened.
January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

emurdoch said:

emurdoch
Minnesota Goalies Just a couple of thoughts..
How would it work to do a Leighton deal? I'm not clear on why Philly would move Leighton if re-entry waivers come into play.

Isn't Khudobin ready to at least split starts with Theodore? I'm not sure they'll even make the playoffs, so why make a move for a goalie?

January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
Islanders No doubt the Islanders have some intriguing prospects,but outside of Tavares who have they developed successfully? Hamonic is in his 1st year,but seems to be on track-while Okposo,Bailey,Comeau have had their share of setbacks,developing young players in alosing atmosphere isnt easy, and outside of Niederreiter i dont see any stars on their prospect list. They will improve (nowhere else to go!)but its going to be a couple of years atleast- and who knows if they will be able to keep Tavares happy, or even remain in Long Island. Wang has had no luck with the new stadium, and his patience must be wearing thin, almost as thin as its fans who must be completely frustrated with a team that trades its #1 dman,#1 goalie for no rosters players midseason.ugh. This will go down as the biggest tank job the NHL has ever seen.
January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Ziggy said:

Isle B.
Re: Isles Dobber,

I agree that the Isles have some very good young players. Tavares, Okposo and Bailey are a very good core. McDonald and Hamonic have played well and Poulin is off to a good start.

They are more or less where you would have expected them to be this season (14th in the east) after they lost Streit and Okposo (although they took a very elliptical route to get there; 4-1-2 start, followed by an awful 1-17-3 stretch followed by a recent 8-3-1 run).

However, the some of the moves this team makes are really questionable:

While they may have gotten somewhat decent returns on Wisniewski and Roloson (2nd rounder and Wishart), I would say the Avs got a hell of a lot more for just Scott Hannan (Fleischmann). Also, trading both of them while the team is playing it's best hockey of the season smacks of blatantly tanking.

Nino Neiderreiter may end up being a very good top-six forward, but he already has a long way to go to catch up to Jeff Skinner and Cam Fowler, who have each made an instant impact.

Same with de Haan, who will be about two seasons behind Dmitri Kulikov, the pick right after him in the '09 draft.

The team really needs to step up to the plate and re-sign Moulson as a show of good faith. If he's swapped for minor leaguers and/or picks, it will be really hard to take this rebuild seriously as anything more than cover for slashing payroll to the bone.

The Isles right now are in a very similar situation to the Penguins pre-Crosby: Questionable ownership, playing in an ancient arena with little hope of getting a new one, and rumblings of a relocation in the near future. Hopefully things will work out for the Isles like they did for the Pens.
January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Jason - semantics. Obviously something such as each coach giving two exemptions is an easy rule to add. And I said "after the first three shooters from each team". So the fans have already seen their stars shoot.

Kris - Nyqvist was a sophomore and yet was still a Hobey Baker nominee. Had he built on that this year and had Tatar gone through a weak camp, he would absolutely be ahead of Tatar simply because of age. Upside is similar.
January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

jason said:

toewsfan
Shootouts Dobber: Can't have 1 team select another team's shooters. Players may have been injured during the game. What if the coach selects a player who got injured during the third period?

Also, keep in mind the fans. The fans don't want to see the 4th liner and #7/#8 defensemen taking penalty shots.

I just can't see how this adds to the quality/excitement of the game... and more importantly... I can't see this sort of thing ever being allowed by the NHL.
January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Kris said:

4horsemen
Clarkson Nice call on Clarkson Dobber! Do you figure he's a lock to see PP time for the rest of the year or are the Devils in for a larger shakeup?

I completely agree with you that Tatar is ahead of Nyqvist on the Detroit depth chart, however I'd argue you on the idea that Tatar had to pass him.....he was never behind him smilies/wink.gif
January 10, 2011
Votes: +0

STONE. said:

STONE.
Schremp What's his future on the Island? RFA this year -- does he stick around?
January 10, 2011
Votes: +1
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