Peter Forsberg has started practicing with the Avalanche. More info here.
Interesting news to say the least - he makes Brett Favre look like a straight shooter with his decisions. As a hockey fan I'm very excited as Forsberg was my favorite player growing up. Not sure he has anything left in those legs/feet.
Dean Lombardi gets fined $50,000 for criticizing the integrity of the league. Curtis Glencross gets fined $2500 for drilling Clayton Stoner's head into the boards from behind. All's fair, right?
Angus here - my thoughts on the Nabokov situation coming very shortly...
Dobber here - Panties in a knot, anyone? A lot of backlash from Howard owners. Sorry guys, Howard will be useless - for this season, I should have specified - when Nabokov joins the Wings. Take Howard out back and shoot him? LOL that comment was funny. Listen, Nabokov will cannibalize some starts. No arguing that. I think he'll cannibalize half the starts between now and early March - and most starts down the stretch. In most league formats, having a goalie who splits his starts is, well, worthless. You want a goalie who starts most games, not a 1A/1B situation. So upset Howard owners, untangle those panties, take a deep breath, and face reality.
I'm working on a very extensive piece on the NHL's Guardian Project that will give you my take, the information that I was able to gather from conversations with Mark Schultz of the NHL and Adam Baratta of the Guardian Project, as well as my expert insight on the characters. I say "expert" as a former comic book collector and Stan Lee buff. I will also draw a pretty ... blurry line that relates this to fantasy hockey and why we need this to work. Watch for it and get your kids/neighbor's kids to read!
The Red Wings have to have an arrangement with the Devils where the Devils claim Nabokov off of waivers and then hold him for the required week and then waive him again, giving the Red Wings first waiver dibs. It's a loophole in this system. What's in it for the Devils? We'll find out. But I really do believe there is something going on. Otherwise, why on earth would the Wings think they can sneak him through at that price? They can't. So I'm sure they'll compensate New Jersey somehow. To those Howard owners out there - sorry for your loss. Worthless soon.
Also - out yesterday was my Puck Daddy piece, and the day before that was my fantasy mailbag over at The Hockey News. Sorry for no links. I'll try and grab them later when I have a moment, or maybe Angus will throw them up for me. Or you could sniff around those sites yourself!
Ilya Bryzgalov had a strong game last night, stopping all 36 shots he faced for a shutout. He has struggled at times this season (especially compared to last), but there aren't many better goalies to own in your pool.
Craig Anderson is playing horrid hockey right now. Battling through an injury, perhaps? This is a contract year so he has motivation to keep playing, although his terrible stats aren’t helping the cause at all.
Glad to see Steve Kouleas is joining TSN with his own hockey show - I really enjoyed his segments on The Score - he knows his hockey for the most part.
Big news of the day is obviously the Nabokov signing with the Red Wings (one-year, $750,000 pro-rated). Once/if he clears waivers, I will post my thoughts from a fantasy standpoint.
The Midseason Guide, you can buy it here, re-released just this past Friday. Get yourself organized and ready to go in the second half by picking up this great read.
The Penguins unsurprisingly struggled without Crosby and Malkin last night.
Brian Rolston has points in four of his last five games (six points total over that span). Just when it looked like his fantasy value was all but dead, he is coming up for another gasp of air. He’s seeing lots of ice time and with his shot he’ll always find ways to produce if given the opportunity.
Cam Ward is sure making it hard for me to bench him – 39 saves on 40 shots last night against the Rangers. He has been too inconsistent for may to carry on any longer with in a league that has weekly line-ups.
Ryan McDonagh recorded his first career NHL point last night.
The always-streaky Jussi Jokinen has 12 points in eight games. Two three-point efforts in that span.
Jamie McGinn has one goal in 48 games this season. I had him pegged for 15 – huge swing and a miss. What a brutal season for the former OHL star.
Michael Grabner is on pace for over 20 goals – he won’t fill any other stat categories for you (maybe SOG), but he is a one-trick pony worth looking at in all league formats (especially keeper leagues).
Kyle Okposo returned last night – pointless in 18 minutes of ice time. Looked a bit rusty – I am looking forward to him and JT tearing it up down the stretch.
Is Nick Backstrom a 100-point player or a 70-to-80-point player? He’s on pace for 75 after recording a goal and a helper last night… Obviously a lot of his production is tied to Ovechkin, but he is a great buy-low candidate for keeper leagues (provided he can actually be had for below value).
The key with buying low is establishing that actual value – Backstrom has had a great start to his career and it will be interesting to see how it continues. He won’t be setting career numbers this season, something he has done every year since joining the Capitals.
Lost in the disaster in Ottawa has been strong play from Milan Michalek. He has five points in five games. A huge injury risk from a longer-term perspective, but I’d probably pick him up for some short term help.
Claude Giroux is on pace for over 30 goals and over 70 points. I had him pegged in the low 70’s, but his goal total is higher than I expected.
The PG/Gates section of the hockey forum is looking for some writers - info here.
Danny Briere is quietly on pace for over 40 goals. He doesn’t get much hype when discussing the best offensive players in the league, but he has to be up there. A lot of fun to watch.
Chris Pronger’s first game of hockey in almost a month – two assists and 20+ minutes of steady, dependable play.
Bobrovsky started for the Flyers and was stellar again. I had Boucher in over Luongo… should have paid closer attention to see who was starting for Philadelphia!
How long will Cory Clouston keep his job?
David Legwand is back on track after going pointless in three. He still has seven points in his last 10 – far from bad. Legwand is a solid option as a depth center in most league formats (I am thinking of picking him up in a league where I have only three moves all season).
Colin Wilson is quietly having a solid season – on pace for 20 goals and 20 assists on a very average offensive team.
Dobber and I were both very high on Pekka Rinne in the summer. He has one loss in his last nine games, and he has allowed one goal or less in six over the span. Rinne is in a great situation on a defensive team, but he is also a very talented goalie. He’s one of the better goalies to own in all league formats.
Jimmy Howard got the win after missing two games with a bruised kneecap.
So much for an easy transition – TJ Oshie played over 20 minutes last night, and he scored a goal. His return to the lineup is absolutely huge (obviously). Oshie is the straw that stirs the drink in St. Louis.
Jiri Hudler had three points. No, not over the past month… last night. He played over 16 minutes of ice time, including a fair chunk of it with the man advantage.
Atlanta now has seven players with 10 or more goals (Bergfors hit the total last night).
After a bit of a dry spell, Stamkos has six goals in his last four games.
Teddy Purcell has one goal and no assists in his last 10. A lot of skill, but he seems to be a step behind the play much of the time. Lacking in hockey sense? Probably not – looks like an effort/consistency issue to me.
Nik Antropov has six helpers in his last nine games (zero goals, though). A solid buy-low down the stretch for one-year leagues.
Anaheim rookie Brandon McMillan has five points in his last 10 games. He’s seeing decent ice time too – keep him on your radar. McMillan wasn’t a huge point producer at the WHL level (he scored 25 goals in his final year with Kelowna), but he is a classic overachiever.
Nice bounce back for the Leafs – Grabovski and MacArthur (by far Toronto’s two best players) combined for three goals and five points.
The Ottawa/Philly game turned nasty - Giroux can do more than dangle that is for sure!
Henrik Sedin with a beauty of a goal: