I apologize, I was distracted this morning by that train wreck on Ustream known as "Sheen's Korner". Yeah, ramblings were delayed for that...won't happen again.
Andy and Andrew McDonald MacDonald were all over the scoresheet in the NYI/STL game. I found that amusing to review - McDonald had a goal and an assist, while MacDonald had two goals.
I love when this happens - yesterday in my THN column I touted the secondary scoring on Long Island and it is why they are producing at a 300-goal clip over the past two months. I then went into a blurb about the merits of Andrej Sekera. The Isles proceeded to win 5-2 and in another game Sekera proceeded to post two points for the fourth straight game.
Brad Boyes - four points in three games for the Sabres.
Very un-Yandle-like, but Keith has been held off the scoresheet in five of the last six games.
Chicago - and Corey Crawford - has won eight straight contests, firmly entrenching them in a playoff spot.
Columbus and New Jersey each play three more games than Pittsburgh, the Rangers, Phoenix and Calgary. If you can swing deals accordingly, and have no "max games" rule, you can capitalize on that. Actually, after today only Columbus will have played just 64 games, and only Calgary/Rangers will have played 68 games.
New line combos in Atlanta: Little with Ladd and Wheeler; Antropov with Kane and Stewart; Burmistrov with Dvorak and Thorburn; Schremp with Boulton and Stapleton. Boy, my money sure is on Schremp failing here.
So what are we going to do about Andrei Kostitsyn? My inbox seemed to have an inquiry about him by the guys in my league, pretty much every day in November. Those inquiries stopped as he stopped producing throughout December/January and much of February. As an owner in one league (I have traded him in another one), I went from pretty happy with him, to thinking about dropping him in my keeper... and now this. Seven straight games with a point, nine in that span.
Reader Samuel Lessard sent me an analysis, based on my musing that perhaps Sergei and Andrei are in fact just one Kostitsyn who takes turns playing in two different cities (the idea stemmed from something Brent Lemon wrote in a recent Puck Daddy). He broke down the points by day for each brother, and it turns out that just seven times did the two of them tally points on the same day this season.
A fellow GM in my league stated today that he would like to trade Thomas while his points are still fresh on everyone's mind and before everyone else in the pool realizes that he's old. Then it hit me - my 37th birthday is 13 days before Thomas' 37th birthday. I'm actually older than that guy who is considered "old" in hockey pools. Ouch.
With Logan Couture pointless in his last three games and Taylor Hall out for the season, Jeff Skinner could run away with things. But he's on pace for just 60 points. Does that trump a goaltender who posts 35 wins? Because with 16 games left, you know Corey Crawford will start 14 of them - and the way he's playing, going 9-5 is pretty feasible. Well, 37 wins couldn't get Jimmy Howard the Calder, but then again - a rookie defenseman getting 48 points is pretty special. Both Kevin Shattenkirk and PK Subban should flirt with 40, but with weak plus/minus. No, it's becoming clear that Skinner, Couture and Crawford will be the finalists, but I think Crawford wins if he gets to 35.
Speaking of hot rookies, Tyler Ennis has 19 points in his last 21 games. Too little, too late, unless he steps it up even more.
Peter Mueller has been shut down for the season. His concussion symptoms "have improved", but the idea is to give him the extra time and be certain that this problem won't return. He should be ready for training camp, but is obviously a high risk/high reward. He could be a player who gives you 35 points in the first 33 games and then suffers a big hit and another concussion, so owning him will have its share of stresses to be sure.
Much like Jiri Hudler did, Jakub Kindl needs about three or four injuries to the lineup at his position to get the ice time needed to show us what he's got. Even with Brian Rafalski out, Kindl saw just nine minutes and zero PP time. Mike Modano is getting all the PP time on the point (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong as I didn't see the game) and not even Jonathan Ericsson is getting a sniff.
Hudler, by the way, is pointless in three...
To get him some more starts, the Ducks sent Ray Emery back to the AHL. They had recalled him earlier than they wanted to, due to the Hiller injury, but since acquiring Dan Ellis there was obviously no need to push Emery.
Steve Sullivan will have surgery on his groin and will be out until the first round of the playoffs (if they get in).
James Neal is still pointless in Pittsburgh - six games in. Crosby or no, Neal should be able to chip in the odd goal regardless. He's getting the minutes and the team is leaning on him.
Jason Demers punches the linesman in the face:
Nice Dustin Jeffrey OT winner here. Very impressive (complete with interview - goal is a minute in)