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...