We're down to two suggested names for the DobberHockey columnist farm team - Black Aces or Hidden Gems. Voting ends at 5pm today. Currently, the Gems are winning. But for what it is worth - I voted for the Black Aces and that is where I'll throw my weight behind. Vote the Black Aces!
Dustin Byfuglien became the first defenseman to hit 20 goals this year. Firing 334 shots probably helped. He and Enstrom have hit a wall. Byfuglien has three points in his last 10 games.
Brad Marchand is on a run of five points in four games. His plus-26 and 41 points on the season (and five shorties) make him a Top 5 rookie. In fact, 40 of his points have come in the last 65 games.
Ondrej Pavelec, who had a tremendous season before this, has lost four of his last five and is 5-14-5 in his last 24 decisions.
Still rolling – Simon Gagne. Playoff dark horse and also could surprise with 60 points in 70 games next year. Injuries have kept him from being the star player he should have been. Gagne has 14 points in his last nine games.
Look at Ilya Kovalchuk, spitting in the face of his fantasy owners, laughing at us as he scores pointless goals in April after we are long eliminated. Fourteen goals in his last 26 games.
Kovalchuk played on a line with the returning Zach Parise and Travis Zajac. I thought I read that he had enough of experimenting as a right winger? I didn’t see the game, perhaps they put Parise on the right side.
Daniel Briere could be scratched for the Flyers today. Uh oh – it begins. Star players in and out of the lineups of teams that are well into the postseason.
Ray Emery finally lost his first game for the Ducks.
Jan Hejda was suspended two games for his elbow on Marcus Kruger
Pavel Datsyuk is expected back today for the Wings, but Nik Kronwall will sit out with a bum shoulder.
Phoenix has signed the nation’s top college scorer, undrafted free agent Andy Miele. The Hobey Baker finalist is a smaller player, but had 71 points in 39 games for Miami U. I expect he will play with the big club, which probably means Kyle Turris will sit out. He’s still only 22, so there is some definite upside here.
Martin Havlat did not make the trip to Detroit because of an undisclosed injury. Here is what Michael Russo had to say about it: “Not sure what's wrong with Havlat right now, but he was rocked by Mattias Ohlund coming across the blue line in today's game. He did stay in the game and didn't leave for the 15-minute window if the team suspects a head injury.” Despite that, I personally suspect a head injury. After his problems that final year in Chicago, I very much suspect a head injury.
The Tennessean brings up a good point. Mike Fisher has six points in four games, but now David Legwand’s hot streak has fizzled out. Legwand has just two points in that span. That’s the story of the Preds – only one line gets hot at any point in time.
Patrick O’Sullivan has 46 points in 35 AHL games and had a four-point effort last night for the Aeros.
Lubomir Visnovsky, the leading scorer among defensemen, was taken out of the game with this hit. It looks like a forearm injury and I’m thinking he’s done for a little while:
Check the amazing save by Jimmy Howard: