Vancouver has recalled Cody Hodgson. Looks like it's his turn now and Shirokov's is over. This will be Hodgson's first career NHL game. I don't expect this recall to last, as the trend in Vancouver has been - cups of coffee only.
The players are starting to get called back up from the AHL. The Rangers recalled Del Zotto, Newbury and Grachev.
Interesting note by the Litter Box Cats - Michael Grabner has 15 goals. That's more than any player on Florida, the team that let him go for free. And you can't say "well, he's on a great team now" as an excuse - because clearly he is not.
Unfortunately, the All-Star Game did not bring any added grit or effort, contrary to what I figured. Couldn't they lightly hit each other? Just a tap? Just use his body to bounce off of and go the other way?
I can watch a game without any hits, that's fine. It's all in good fun. But not taking the game seriously with the idiotic over-passing? I found that a bit much. A guy would have an empty net and dish it to a teammate, who would also have an empty net, but he would pass it back to the defenseman who would try and set up the first guy but then the pass would be stolen. Let's be honest, the game should have been 20-18 but the guys were pulling their punches. The final two minutes, however, the teams actually cared and I found the game to finally gain some intensity. It is possible, those two minutes proved that.
All in all, though, I enjoyed the All-Star weekend - from the original Draft to the head-to-head slant on the skills competition.
Justin Bourne brought up a good point on Twitter - you shouldn't call Friday's Draft a "Fantasy Draft". After all, it was reality - not fantasy. The players selected played on the team they were selected to in an actual game.
The Guardian Project - decent light show, hopefully got some kids interested. I took a look at a handful of the mini-comics released on the website - seemed to cram a lot of detail into the six-page battles. I think the right move would have been to release a character's comic one per day, and expand the comic from six pages to 15 and do it properly. After all, they are not only introducing each new Guardian, but also each new Villain.
Nicklas Lidstrom was an impressive plus-7 yesterday. I don't care what the game is, that's pretty solid.
Although Crosby is skating now and I have a hunch things will speed forward from there - seeing a return perhaps in 7-10 days (a guess) - the Pens play three times in four nights starting with Tuesday's return to action. So right off the hop, Sid is guaranteed to miss 12 games (he's missed nine so far). That gives him 29 more games and 43 more points. But I'm sure you can knock 2-5 more games off of that. So call it 37 more points, finishing with 103.
According to an NHLPA poll, Loui Eriksson is the most underrated player. I buy that. Do you?
Another underrated player, Patrick Sharp, was the MVP of the ASG.
Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary are both expected back Wednesday. There is also a chance that Thomas Holmstrom will be back as well. This means Tatar and Mursak will remain in the AHL and Helm/Miller will be back to full-time checking roles with regular third/fourth line ice time. Has Jiri Hudler made enough of an impression to hang in there in the top six? Twelve points in 14 games is probably good enough. How sure am I? Um...D3.
Okay, I don't even know what that means. But I don't trust Hudler to keep it up, however I won't be dropping him in the one league I secured him in. If he still keeps it up, then it's Bertuzzi who likely slips (two points in his last eight games).
If you missed it - the unveiling of the Guardian Project:
AMAZING. I agree with the anaylyst - possibly the best shootout goal I've ever seen - Linus Klasen, Nashville prospect: