Coincidence - Mason Raymond's best game of the past few months comes right after the Canucks acquire Chris Higgins?
Kevin Bieksa skated on his own again today and should play at some point during the five game road trip that starts on Saturday.
Marian Gaborik is starting to feel better and could be back within the next 7-10 days for the Rangers.
Ryan McDonagh has three points in his past five games for the Rangers. Seems to be taking over the role previously occupied by the struggling Del Zotto.
Scott Gomez has two points in his last five games.Worst contract in hockey. Surprised more isn't made of it... is there a player who can look so good without doing anything? It seems that Gomez does an end-to-end lap of the ice at least three or four times each game without accomplishing anything.
Jonathan Bernier is starting for the Kings tonight.
One young player to keep an eye on for 2011-12 - Jordan Caron. Big, skilled, and smart. The Bruins will continue to balance veteran leadership and youthful skill like they have so successfuly this season.
Washington has signed prospect Dmitri Orlov to an entry-level contract. Orlov recently made the jump from Russia to the AHL, and he has played very well in his short time with Hershey. He could make the Caps as early as next year.
Caps GM George McPhee on Orlov: “Well, he can’t play in the NHL this year based on the rules that we have in the league. But we expect that he’ll play a lot for [Hershey] the rest of this season and the playoffs,” McPhee said. “And we’ll see how that goes. But we got a report from someone that was at the game who said Orlov’s first period the other night was the best first period he’s ever seen from a 19-year-old in the American Hockey League. So that was pretty encouraging.”
My thoughts on Mike Green? He has struggled with fluky injuries and a complete change in team style around him – seems tied down when he is playing. I’d buy low – can only keep a Ferrari in the garage for so long. May never hit 30 goals again, but he’ll come close.
Michael Frolik exploded for three points last night in easily his best game as a Blackhawk. He was all over the ice and looked a lot like the former two-time 20 goal scorer.
Jonathan Toews now has six multi-point games in his last 10.
Rene Bourque has four multi-point games in his last 10. He seems to improve each and every season. Should finish with 50-55 points after a bit of a midseason lull in production.
Chris Campoli was pointless in just under 17 minutes of ice time in his Chicago debut.
Corey Crawford started his ninth straight game for the Hawks.
Is there a better goalie in the league right now than Antti Niemi? I’ll eat some crow here – he wasn’t that good last Spring (I know, I know, winning is all that matters), and I didn’t exactly have high hopes for him this season behind a very mediocre defense in San Jose.
Kessel has eight goals in eight games. I traded for him eight games ago.
Al Montoya had a spectacular game for the Isles – Minnesota didn’t get a ton of grade A chances but he stopped 33 of 34 shots. Dobber was bang on with his call on Montoya a few weeks ago – a ton of motivation as this is perhaps his last kick at the NHL can.
Loui Eriksson is known as the most underrated player in the league, but I’ll toss a vote in for Frans Nielsen. Quietly plays a very effective two-way game. He had three helpers last night.
PM Bouchard is back on track with seven points in his past 10 games. He’s a sleeper for 65-70 points next season. Seems to be completely past any concussion issues.
PA Parenteau has only one point in his past three games, but it isn’t for lack of trying. He has 15 shots on goal over the recent stretch.
Ilya Kovalchuk has five game-winners in his past 11 games. Kovalchuk and Brian Rolston combined for 15 shots on goal last night.
Nik Kronwall was pointless last night, but he played over 10 minutes on the PP.
Dan Ellis was great for the Ducks in the OT win.
Zach Parise has been cleared for light skating.
Matt Niskanen had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. He saw no PP time, but playing with less pressure to produce could be just what the doctor ordered. He looked so promising as a rookie a few years ago but seemed to struggle when asked to do more the next season.
Carl Gunnarsson had two helpers and saw almost three minutes of PP time last night. No Beauchemin and no Kaberle has opened the doors wide open for him. He impressed me a lot in 2009-10 with his strong two-way play, but has had a very inconsistent season to date.
Check out Dean Youngblood’s fantastic OHL ramblings here.
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