The Midseason Guide, you can buy it here, was re-released last night. I added a KHL article, as well as a one-page addendum with some updates and notes. Thursday night I will upload it one more time with added updates to the addendum.
The Leafs have won four in a row. Did you know that if they win 10 more in a row, they may have a sniff at a playoff spot?
The combination of James Reimer and the Grabovski, MacArthur, Kulemin line is a winning recipe for the Leafs. They're confident in front of Reimer and thus don't feel that they have to be quite as careful out there, which allows for more offense. And the fact that it's the "other" line that opponents are keying on means that Phil Kessel is starting find the net.
Colton Orr hit knee-on-knee with Logan Couture, who left the game and did not return.
A Subban slewfoot? See the bottom
Sergei Bobrovsky put forth his first solid performance in a momth. With the coach's tendency to play the hot hand, you could see a run of big starts from 'Bob' again. Remember how fun that was in late October?
I mentioned a few days ago that I thought Benoit Pouliot played a great game, scoring a goal and a nice shootout winner, and that would kick off a little hot run. He was shutout the next game, but saw a ton of ice time. Tuesday he scored the game winner again, so it does look like he's going to be on a nice little run here.
Jussi Jokinen is back - with authority. Give the man three points in his return to the lineup and that makes up for some of the games that he missed.
Meanwhile Erik Cole continues to hold a hot hand, notching four goals and two assists in his last five games to with a plus-3 rating and six PIM.
With Jokinen's return, Zach Boychuk's ice time and linemates suffered, and he was a minus-3 (Jokinen was a plus-3). So it looks as though the nice little run by Boychuk is over. They'll have to make space for this kid next year. He needs to play.
Miikka Kiprusoff got the hook, allowing four goals on eight shots. Henrik Karlsson came in and stopped 21 of 22. It's a shame that he was saddled with the loss. In fact, four of his last five starts were pretty solid and yet he has a 1-2-2 record to show for it in that span.
The Flames did score five times though. The last time they did that, Willie Plett was on the team.
The big thing for Flames fans - Rene Bourque scores. That ends a brutal slump and as a member of DobberHockey's All Streaky Team (hey, I should make one of those - it would go nicely with the Band-Aid Boys!), this should mean that a hot run is about to begin.
Neuvirth came in for Washington and took the loss, pushing the starting job even more firmly into Varlamov's hands. His fault or no, it's the results that coaches care about, and I think BB had a bias towards Varlamov to begin with.
Stephen Weiss has 18 points in his last 16 contests.
It seems weird - stunning even - that Claude Giroux is the only Flyer named to the All-Star game. But if you think about it, the Flyers are one of the best because of their team contributions. Who else deserves it? Bobrovsky? Maybe for October/November. Boucher? Maybe for December. Carter? Maybe for...every second week of the season. Richards? Yeah, a case could be made there.
The only thing wrong with the selections that I saw was Phil Kessel going over Mikhail Grabovski. The decision-makers must have been drunk at this point.
Four of Nick Spaling's six points have come in the last four games, if you need a center/winger multi-position guy for depth purposes.
Kevin Poulin - stud. Caught my eye immediately, and each game he plays I become convinced that he is the goalie of the future for this team. That multi-millionaire Band-Aid Boy will poke his head up from time to time, but Poulin will be the man. He single-handedly gave the Isles a point Tuesday, stopping 48 of 51 shots.
How Poulin lost the shootout:
Hartnell bit off more than he could chew in Guastad:
Is this a slewfoot by PK Subban?