Breaking: Sidney Crosby was back on skates this morning and shooting pucks
FrozenPool Update: Jason Arbuthnot here. The Fantasy manager is back online. Sorry for the delay. I hope it's all back and functional. First test runs look successful.
Time for a few plugs. First off, I want to offer my readers some cash, so I've managed to secure $250 from Fan Duel to give away as a prize over at DobberBaseball. All you have to do is have the best one-day fantasy team for opening day. Details are here. I'll have a similar contest on the hockey side announced later today or tomorrow.
I also want to share some notes on the Interactive Playoff Draft List and the Fantasy Prospects Report, because I'm pretty pumped about them. Why? Well, let's start with the Prospects Report. This year I have more people involved than ever before - myself, Jeff Angus, Jeff Renaud, Justin Goldman, Alessandro Seren Rosso and of course Matthew Bugg. This means an extra 50 prospects (give or take) will be profiled. This will also include, besides the upside and the certainty, I will be adding a new indicator - the 3YP that I introduced in the Midseason Guide. How awesome will that be? I've just taken the best damn Prospects magazine for poolies and pushed it into another stratosphere!
Now the playoff list - completely revamped. Instant pushbutton for 'my' picks. Increased flexibility in doing whatever you want with this list. Instead of choosing the first-round winners and two finalists, you can choose the winners of each round of the playoff tree. You can also manually add even more projected games to teams if you really want to stress them. Also - extra sort features: by points, by player name, or by team. Plus the usual goalies 'yes or no' option. And it's all ready to go at the push of different buttons - no brainwork involved. This thing kicks so much ass that I've been asked by the government not to release it, because they fear rioting.
Four games in a row for Braden Holtby, four wins in a row for Braden Holtby. My hunch is, the winner of the Neuvirth/Varlamov battle for Washington supremacy will be - Braden Holtby. Is he better than either of them? I would say no, but he's extremely close. And, most importantly, he does not get hurt. Those other two are solid Band-Aid Boys and that will be their undoing in Washington.
Michael Frolik played over 21 minutes yesterday. Sure, it was an OT game, but still... his prior high with Chicago was 17:20, his first game with them. His next highest was the game before last. Looks like they're leaning on him a little with the Bolland injury (below).
Dave Bolland suffered a concussion Thursday and missed yesterday's contest. The way concussions have been going, we won't see him again in the regular season. That no doubt played a role in the Frolik ice time, as he was moved to center.
Craig Anderson finally showed his mortal side for Ottawa, getting the hook after giving up four goals quickly.
Jordan Staal was pointless in his first five games back from injury. Let's give him that. So after his five-game adjustment period, he has 20 points in 26 games, which is about a 63-point pace. Next year he'll play with Malkin - a full year after it was promisted to us (remember that, back in September?). I cautiously pencil him in for a nice breakout season.
Tyler Ennis has 24 points in his last 26 games and five in his last three.
Two more points for Andrej Sekera. He's never looked so good - that's 13 in nine games.
Brian Campbell was only able to play seven minutes last night, due to his leg injury.
The Star-Tribune reports that Guillaume Latendresse has been complaining about soreness in his abdomen and he has returned to Minnesota. This is related to his previous abdominal issues.
Marcus Johansson has a point in each of the two games that Nicklas Backstrom has missed. The Caps have been pushing this guy to succeed and eventually we'll see it in the numbers. I don't think he'll fail - not just because of the talent, but because of the support too.
Cal O'Reilly (broken leg) is about three to four weeks away from a return, per the Tennessean.
Shawn Horcoff took a shot off the ankle and it is possible that there is a fracture or at least a bruise, though he did return to the game. We'll know more later today I'm sure.
Ray Emery got into his first game in over a year as Dan Ellis got the hook last night. Ellis allowed four goals on 21 shots, Emery stopped all nine that he faced. I think Ellis will get the next start, but the clutch-goalie Emery is circling above him like a vulture.
My Saturday column in THN can be found here.
After two points in seven games, Corey Perry has seven in his last three. That puts him back on his 85-plus pace.
Lubomir Visnovsky has nine points in his last five games
There was some worry that Jordan Staal would miss Sunday's game, but he was obviously fine, netting two points. Here is what happened Saturday:
Kris Letang says he is okay now, after taking this HUGE hit from Brule. I don't 100% trust that a player is okay these days, after they take a hit like this. Sidney Crosby was okay too, remember?