Final update for the Fantasy Guide is now ready for you to download. This update - Havlat, MacLean and more...

 

Marc-Andrei Gragnani is playing for the Sabres tonight - Mike Weber is a healthy scratch.

 

The Jets claimed Brett MacLean off of waivers from Phoenix. MacLean may be a case of a player needing a fresh start, or he may also be a case of a dominant AHL forward who is simply too slow for the NHL level.

 

Five more reasons why the Canucks should be just fine this season – my latest piece for the Canucks Army.

 

Ryan Kesler looks to be coming back well ahead of schedule – Kesler could be back in five or six games from now.

 

My buddy over at Canucks Army, Thom Drance, has a great interview up with Elliotte Friedman. Friedman is of course insightful on his thoughts regarding statistics in hockey.

 

Justin Bourne, who I have been pumping up for a fe years, has hit the “big time” with his own blog over on the Score (Backhand Shelf is the name). For his latest piece he wrote about playing when you aren’t quite strong enough for the competition – insightful thoughts on why he thinks Taylor Hall is primed for a big breakout season.

 

A comprehensive list of all injuries in the league right now – great read for those of you deciding between a few players for your final roster spots.

 

Meszaros, Pronger, and Timonen all saw more PP time than Matt Carle last night.

 

After Giroux and Jagr, Wayne Simmonds saw the most PP time among Flyer forwards. Very encouraging. Giroux had a spectacular goal for the Flyers – I’ll post a video when I come across one on Youtube (as of early on Friday, none posted yet).

 

Joe Corvo had a helper on the lone Boston goal, and saw considerably more PP time than any other Boston defenseman. He’ll push Seidenberg and Boychuk down the PP pecking order. Corvo is a bit of an adventure defensively, but he should fit in well in Boston. The Bruins can shelter him at even strength and accentuate his shot and puck moving abilities on the power play.

 

Watched all of the Montreal/Toronto game last night. I feel bad for Habs fans every time Scott Gomez steps on the ice…

 

James Reimer looked very solid (obviously, as he ended the game with a shutout). Goes to show that a shaky preseason can be forgotten quite quickly.

 

Phaneuf looked great for the Leafs – two points, lots of ice time, smart defensive plays (yes, you read that last part right). Liles will be a great defenseman for this team as he’ll take some of the pressure off of Phaneuf offensively.

 

Jake Gardiner isn’t ready for the NHL in terms of positioning, but he can cover his mistakes up so easily with his incredible skating and mobility. His offense probably won’t be there for a few years (at least a level of offense that would make him fantasy relevant in one year leagues).

 

Raphael Diaz saw lots of PP time for the Habs – he’s a mobile defenseman with a good shot. Diaz had 12 goals and 39 points in the top Swiss league last year (this is his first season in North America). Three Swiss defensemen for Montreal over the years – Streit, Weber, and now Diaz. Impressive scouting they have over there.

 

Matt Frattin looked really good too – better than Kadri has looked for much of his short NHL career. He is a great skater and seemed to be very comfortable in the offensive zone. Saw a regular PP shift as well.

 

Pittsburgh played a great team game  - Malkin was essentially invisible but Neal and Sullivan both looked good on his wing.

 

Cody Hodgson and his linemates (Sturm, Samuelsson) didn’t have a great game – Hodgson had a few good chances later in the game, though.

 

The Sedin twins were phenomenal – especially in overtime. So many chances… just a bit off with the timing.

 

Ballard looked great – saw some even strength time with the Sedin twins, who helped him score a beauty goal off of the rush. If he can rebound quickly, the team may put him in a similar even strength role as the one occupied by Ehrhoff over the past two seasons.

 

Chris Higgins was probably the best forward on the ice for either team – if he plays really well and Sturm has a slow start, he could easily slide up onto the second line. Once Kesler returns, Higgins could be an interesting fit on that line (the two have played together in previous tournaments for the USA).

 


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Larry said:

Rollie1967
... Yah i hate it when facts get in the way of an baseless argument...
Goaltenders are given too much credit, and too much blame when they win/lose. All the attention the fans/media puts on them (especially in Canada) is stupid. There is a reason Vancouver- and at times Toronto,Mtl have been labelled 'goalie graveyards'
I can understand someone being unsure of Luongo's ability to win the big game, but he did it in the Olympics- taking over the starting job from some guy named Brodeur(again canadian fans are never satisfied unless its total domination). But this is game #1, and as others have pointed out- for whatever reason Luo struggles early in the season and despite all the naysayers- his playoff numbers arent that different from his regular seasons. Maybe if the Canucks PP hadnt fallen apart in the finals? if the refhad called the game like the regular season? if Thomas hadnt played out of his mind, or if Kesler had been healthy- the outcome mightve been different. they missed the holy grail by 1 game.
btw- Thomas was considered done,finished a year ago.
Niemi was too raw.
Fleury was a flake, couldnt win the big game.
Ward- nah- hes a rookie, on an average team.
Khabibulin- no way a ruskie can win it.

the best goalie doesnt always win the cup,but I still like the Canucks chances.btw- only 1 goalie wins the cup- are the other 29 starters all crap
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

M. Calhoun said:

jeamcasmith99
... I'm so sick and tired of people pointing to Luongo's reg. season performance in defense of him.

Goldman lists mental toughness as the most important skill/trait of a goalie in his periodic table.

This is what Luongo is so terribly deficient in and why you see him post good numbers in the reg. season in front of a stacked team, but crumble year after year in the playoffs when the pressure is on.

Players who look good in the reg. season but consistently falter in the postseason are the worst kind if you ask me!

You have to pay them for the good numbers they give you in the reg. season, sucking up valuable cap space, but then they don't help you at all (and even cost you in Luongo's case) in accomplishing what everyone really only truly cares about.... winning the cup.

How many more seasons are you willing to throw away on account of this mental headcase?

The Sedins are not getting any younger.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

lcbtd said:

germant
Luongo Talk Man I love this message board! It's difficult to shoot from the hip when you've got guys who really know their stuff ready to bring some much needed clarity to the situation.

I get what M. Calhoun (Mackenzie? As in Star Trek???) is saying about Luongo and his maddeningly frustrating performances in some meaningful games. But Tim's right, the guy performs in the regular season and is anything but a hack (the stats just don't allow one to call him a hack or a bum or whatever). The guy is golden in the regular season games and for a pool where playoffs don't count, Luongo is maybe the top goalie to own.

As to the contract comparison - good point Sentium. However, in Tim's defence, player contract comparisons are often made where the contracts span a few years. The bottom line is that, at least at this point in time, Luongo represents a relative "bargain" cap wise regardless of when it was signed.

The long and the short of it is that there aren't too many gms who wouldn't want Luongo tending net for them and there are fewer poolies who wouldn't want him on their roster either.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... UW - not sure where our comments contradict?
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

Sanstanya said:

sanstanya
@Maximus I agree almost entirely and would add:

Other than a couple guys, Vancouver in general slept through the 1st, came alive some in the 2nd and played the 3rd. not a recipe for long term success, but also not uncommon for them.

Samuelsson and Sturm (other than a couple decent shifts from Marco) were just terrible. Samuelsson especially looked lifeless and disinterested.

Higgins was hands down the most engaged Van forward in the game and should have slid up to the 2nd by the midpoint.

Hansen (who is a personal fave) was just uncharacteristically awful. Terrible judgement, terrible timing, just off. It won't stay that way.

Manny was kind of just meh. Hardly noticied him for most of the game.

Tanev frequently looked like the new Ballard - as in last year's terrible version.

The "new" 4th line was the same as the old 4th line - pretty useless. Volpatti in particular looked like an AHL call-up.

Burrows looked good at times, but honestly I think all 5 SOG were in the 3rd period and OT. The 1st 2 he just didn't seem to create much even though he looked like he was flying.

As good as they were, even the Sedins weren't 100% on - seeing them make bad passes is just weird. But that won't last either.

Yes Luongo sucks in October, but he also sucks in shootouts. An October shootout just isn't even fair. Cory should come in for those.

As for PIT, Malkin was terrifying early on then started to struggle and seem frustrated. he still scares me though and I think he'll have a monster year.

Letang is so money.

Cooke is a d-bag. Even if he scores 10 goals.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... I have two issues with your Bryz/Luongo comparison, Tim.

First of all, Luongo's contract was signed in 09/10, when the cap was at $56.7 million. That's eight million less than what the cap was set for Bryz.

Secondly, Luongo's contract is one of the cheater contracts that the league grandfathered in when they established the new rules about tacking on a bunch of years at $1 million at the tail end of the contract. If Luongo had signed his contract today, you can be damn sure that the cap hit would be a lot higher than the $5.33 million it is today AND Bryz's $5.66 million.

So no, your argument doesn't hold up.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

Maximus said:

Mr Zizzla
Pit vs Van PIT
Malkin was certainly trying to do too much and it looked like he was playing with a greased blade on his stick as he couldn't control the puck or shoot last night.
As mentioned, when he was using Neal and Sullivan, that line was really flying but when he would try to deke around everyone or go end to end, he was stopped easily. That line was looking pretty good out there and Neal looked more comfortable last night than he did in 27 games last year with the Pens. Hopefully Sullivan plays 70 games...doubtful as that may be.

Fleury looked really sharp (despite the soft goal) as he made his typical 2-3 highlight reel saves, mainly with his glove.

Letang looked fast out there but it was clear that he was not comfortable playing on his off-side as he did look lost on a few shifts. Once Orpik is back, he is going to be flying out there.

Cooke looked fantastic but i doubt he will have many more SHG or PPG this season. Hopefully he continues to play hard without going overboard....is only game 1 though.

Staal and Kennedy weren't much of a factor.

VAN
The Sedins were in fine form, looking as good as usual.

Hodgson looked better and better as the game wore on.

Ballard was a beast last night and i seemed to hear his name as much as anyone's. couldn't believe that he was a healthy scratch last year as he seemed like THE MAN out there.

Edler i didn't notice at all. Barely heard his name.

Burrows had a few great chances and was really buzzing around the net. With some actual PP time, i could see big things for him this year.

Luongo got undressed in the shootout and looked like he was fighting the puck BUT LUONGO ALWAYS SUCKS IN OCTOBER! this is a well known fact and the luongo bashers and luongo supporters should all know this and take this game with a grain of salt. If this was game 82 and that shootout eliminated them from the playoffs, attack him, but it was the 1st damn game. relax.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

Tim Johnston said:

holdUP
A comparison And if you want a comparison, look no further than Ilya Bryzgalov.
In Phoenix, reg season numbers of: 2.54gaa, 0.917 sv% over about 250 gp.
His playoff numbers aren't very good, and I'll argue that and his reg season gaa are on the rough side because he's on a weaker team.

So then considering he makes more money than Luongo, how can you argue Luongo is overpaid? Philly has banked on Bryzgalov to take them to the Cup, just as Vancouver put their faith in Luongo. Philly has a bit more reasoning (Bryz HAS played some post-season games where Luongo had not), but it's not like it's a sample size which conveys great success.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +1

Tim Johnston said:

holdUP
'Overrated hack'? Calhoun, in your time watching Luongo in Vancouver, he's posted a 2.34 gaa and a 0.919 save % in the regular season. His playoff numbers are 2.50 gaa, 0.917 sv% in 60 games. Not outstanding playoff numbers, and I understand you're feelings that he hasn't dominated a 'big game' the way a lot of people hoped he could.

But, just as you're going off because someone defended Luongo, you're spewing out a bunch of crap calling him an 'overrated hack' and a 'bum'. Make your argument clear - if you think he sucks under pressure, say that, and back it up with some proof. If you think he's an 'overrated hack' in general, back it up with some proof.

I'd venture a guess almost any GM in the league would pay a goalie what Luongo makes for numbers like a 2.34 gaa/9.19 sv% through the regular season.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +4

ultrawhiteness said:

ultrawhiteness
penguins game I think I watched a slightly different game last night.

James Neal owners have to be encouraged - he looked forceful out there. Great sign. Letang also looked great. The entire Canuck team put in a pretty good effort. I thought Edler was maybe a little jittery but it's barely worth mentioning. Hodgson looked great - I don't think there are any issues with his skating anymore. Loved that Vigneault was putting him out against Malkin in the latter part of the game.

Malkin himself was trying to do too much and the frustration really got to him. It was a great move to put him out in the SO to get the winner - otherwise I'd be worried that he might carry that frustration over into the next game. If he simplifies and uses his linemates, it could be a big year. There aren't too many guys with his package of skating, size, and finesse.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

bluejays said:

bluejays
... Hockey? What hockey? Anyone watching game 5 of Detroit and NY, Yes, the Yanks are out!
Huge day today, with two game 5's......C'mon Roy Halladay!

BTW, when I did see parts of the Pitts game, Malkin looked like he had hands of stone!
October 07, 2011
Votes: -2

Guy Incognito said:

Guy Incognito
... What's wrong with a flat-earth denier? I deny that the earth is flat. It isn't.

And gotta give Einstein his props for that quote. smilies/smiley.gif
October 07, 2011
Votes: +2

M. Calhoun said:

jeamcasmith99
Luongo makes me puke! "Sorry, but that is unacceptable goaltending by Luongo."
-Justin Goldman

Larry, I wish this was merely just one game. My frustration comes from watching 3 or 4 seasons now of this prima donna of a goalie collapsing when it matters most.

What makes me puke is watching the Canucks continue to stick with this overrated hack as their #1 goalie.

What makes me puke is the thought of having to watch 11 more seasons of this bum in goal because idiot Gillis gave him an overpaid lifetime contract.

What makes me puke is being surrounded by one too many flat-earth deniers like you who can't see how mentally weak of a goalie this guy is.

What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
October 07, 2011
Votes: -4

Ross The Boss Palmer said:

Ross The Boss Palmer
Rule Changes As mentioned quite a bit last year, the playoffs are reffed differently than in the regular season. With the rule changes implemented this year (the Shanaban, head shots, etc.) the Canucks stand a high probability of reaching the Cup finals again just as they did last season, even with a bunch of injuries. If the playoffs are reffed like the regular season, it should be more than enough for the Canucks to take the Cup. Not saying they will, but with the rule changes and some consistency from the refs, I'd say their chances are better, regardless of Luongo. It was only 1 game.

And yes I realize that the Canucks have their own suspect hitters, but the Sedins are so dominant in the regular season and given consistency from the refs, they will be dominant in the playoffs.
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
give me a break You cant really ask for a better goalie to get you into the playoffs than Luongo, if any team was a 'lock' to make the playoffs- its the Canucks. ITS GAME FU**ING 1 LUONGO HASNT 'COST' THE CANUCKS ANYTHING! sick of all the idiot Luongo bashers, I guess with the Leafs winning tonight 'we should plan the parade?' or do you have some other nugget of wisdom we havent heard a billion times. think im going to go puke and call it anight.blah!
October 07, 2011
Votes: +3

M. Calhoun said:

jeamcasmith99
Luongo = awful Jeff,

Funny how you rambled about a number of Canuck players, but failed to mention how bad Luongo was.

As long as Luongo is in net, that team isn't winning the cup. He's too much of a drag to overcome.
October 07, 2011
Votes: -4

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
Great ramblings Jeff Does SOS stand for Shoot Out Sieve?
October 07, 2011
Votes: +0
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