Alex Edler will be out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery today. No word on his timetable for a return yet (sounds like it could be 6-8 weeks). Opens up more ice time for Keith Ballard.
Edler out now clears the way for a Salo return. He's been practicing with the team for about a month or so, and should be getting close. Edler was playing a ton on the first PP unit with Ehrhoff. We will now see a mixture of Ballard/Samuelsson/Salo in that spot now.
Washington has extended Alexander Semin for one year at $6.7 million (he is currently making $6 million). Figure seems a tad high, but when healthy he is worth it (in the regular season, at least).
Michael Grabner now has 15 goals on the season. Florida (the team that waived him after training camp) is being led with 14 goals from David Booth.
David Moss has 12 goals on the season. He also has four multi-goal games. And in his last four games, he has six points (two three-point games, and two pointless games). Talk about feast or famine.
St. Louis rookie Philip McRae scored his first career NHL goal. McRae is a lanky playmaking pivot – his upside: 15-20 goals, 60-65 points.
Roberto Luongo hasn’t lost a regulation game since late November. 17-0-5 over the 22 game span. He was fantastic last night, preserving a 2-1 win with a ridiculous toe save in the final minute.
Pekka Rinne was equally as outstanding for the Preds.
Without Edler, Keith Ballard led the Canucks in ice time.
Lee Sweatt scored a goal on a beautiful wrist shot. He didn’t play much, but he looked like he belonged in his limited action (aside from being about a foot shorter than any other player on the ice).
Keith Yandle with another two points… Is he good or what? Now on pace for over 70 points…
Colorado is 10-9-2 since losing Kyle Quincey for the season.
Lee Stempniak is one of the streakiest players in the league – two points last night which now gives him 11 in his past seven. I snagged him off the wire last week. Ride him while he’s hot.
Ryan Stoa has scored in consecutive games for the Avalanche. He’s averaged over 17 minutes in the two games.
Quincey is a huge loss, but the fact that he is being replaced by Matt Hunwick only compounds the problem. I have no idea why Colorado traded Colby Cohen for Hunwick.
Is it worth holding on to Zach Parise in a one-year league? I have no room for him on the IR and could use another winger…
Valtteri Filppula is much better than the 50 points he is on pace for. He seems to elevate his game in the post season (a common theme among many Detroit players).
Brian Rolston took a dip in the fountain of youth eight games ago. He has 11 points during this recent hot stretch, and he is seeing a lot of PP time. I made this point last week – with the shot he has, he will always produce as long as he sees time in offensive situations.
Jiri Hudler has eight points in his last 10…
Pavelec made 36 saves for the shutout last night. Evander Kane missed his fourth straight due to the all-too-common upper body injury.
Brandon Sutter has three goals in his past two games – look for him to have a strong second half of the season.
Andrew MacDonald now has a goal to go along with his 16 assists on the season. He has six points in his last 10 games – I’d expect him to stick right around that pace for the remainder of the season.
A few of my Hart Trophy contenders – Crosby, Stamkos, Thomas, and Hiller. Any other suggestions?
Terrific goalie duel between Vokoun and Thomas last night.
Shawn Matthias left the game after sliding feet-first into the boards. Sounds serious as of now. He won’t be fantasy-relevant for a few seasons, but with his size and skill set he has upside in most league formats.
Without Savard, the ice time was pretty evenly split between Bergeron, Krejci, and Gregory Campbell. Was Colin Campbell coaching the Bruins last night?
Byfuglien is pointless in his past 10 games. Buy low? Kudos to those of you who sold high on him a few weeks ago – it is always an agonizing decision to trade a player who is having such a strong season.
Mathieu Perreault is pointless in his past nine games. He seems to hit a wall after an initial burst of strong play after each call up. Is he too small to play his style of game in the NHL? I don’t think so, but the evidence against is mounting…
I project a career season from him each year and seem to be disappointed with what he does. I guess it is time to adjust my regular season expectations?
Very rarely do players get by on one skill alone – Michael Grabner is going to score 30 goals in this league only because of his speed. He has a decent shot and decent hands, but he could be the fastest straight-away skater in the league (Gaborik and Helm are also in the conversation).
Nikolai Khabibulin has yet to win a game in 2011. Only two more years on that contract!
Jamie Benn and Alex Edler both missed last night’s games. The two collided at full speed in the open ice. Edler has back spasms and will be back for the Canucks next game.
Not often I see a player who I have no clue about in the box score. I saw “Morin” for Dallas and wondered if Jeremy had been traded without me knowing about it. Turns out career minor leaguer Travis Morin was making his NHL debut.
There is nothing like a date with the Oilers to get things back on track. Kari Lehtonen was ventilated by the Canucks for seven goals on Monday, but he allowed only one against Edmonton last night.
Brenden Morrow had a pair of goals, both assisted by Jamie Langenbrunner.
Sticking with Dallas – after watching them play the Canucks on Monday, I noticed something I have forgotten to mention in the past. There are few players in the league who are harder to knock off the puck than Mike Ribeiro.
Ribeiro may only weigh 175 or 180 pounds, but he is an incredibly strong skater and a crafty stick handler. Regardless of what happens with Brad Richards, I think Ribeiro should be valued as a 70-to-80-point player for the next two or three seasons. He turns 31 in a few weeks – lots of hockey left in those legs.
Jeff Skinner has become the youngest ever player to make the All-Star Game. His nomination is definitely helped by the fact that the game is being played in Carolina, but he has had a fantastic season – regardless of the number on his birth certificate.
Nathan Horton said to Boston reporters that he will spend the break looking for a new stick. How about a new heart? A comment I made on the forums a few weeks back – Horton can get a nice new curve on his stick, but until he plays with intensity on a consistent basis, expect more of the status quo (one goal in his past 20 games).
Ilya Kovalchuk played almost 28 minutes last night (the game didn’t go into overtime). His ice time was above 20 minutes after the second period alone.
I knew when I first saw him back in February of 2010 that Mats Zuccarello Aasen was going to be a terrific NHL player. I was lucky enough to see him play against Slovakia at the Olympics, and he was fearless going into the corners against Zdeno Chara.
The list of undersized and skilled forwards is endless, but the list of undersized and skilled forwards with a physical edge isn’t nearly as long.
From February 19 of last year:
“I expect that Mats Zuccarello Aasen (Norway) will get a shot with an NHL team every soon. He is small (very small), and was overlooked during his draft eligible years because of this. The fact that he played hockey in Norway obviously didn't help either. However, he is fast and incredibly skilled, and plays an NHL game. He is making world class plays against world class defensemen.”
Dustin Boyd had three goals and seven shots on goal yesterday for Hamilton in a 3-0 win. He has the skills to be an NHL player (although many in the AHL do). Great speed, a good shot, and a nose for the net. He’s undersized, but he plays with some jam. He was great back in 2006 on the Canadian junior team with Blake Comeau and Steve Downie.
I wouldn’t advise trading for or picking up Boyd right now (unless you are in a very, very deep keeper league), but keep tabs on how he does in the AHL.
Erik Johnson will take the goals any way he can…