Pick up Dobber's sixth annual Fantasy Guide here.
Matt Cooke was levelled with a headshot from Cory Sarich’s shoulder in the second period of the Pens/ Flames game as I started writing this Ramblings. My tweet minutes later was: “Matt Cooke takes shoulder to head from Cory Sarich. At least I think it was Sarich. Name on the back of jersey seemed to read ‘Karma’”. What did you think about the hit and does the fact that it was Cooke being smacked shade your opinion at all?
Incidentally, Evgeni Malkin was described as "sore" after this game by Dan Bylsma. The stud centre missed part of the third period, but that can also just be precautionary from the team given having three games in four nights.
Back-to-back multi-point games for Luke Adam to kick off the season. That does not suck and his line assignment to begin the year has been great, with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville on his wings. Adam had 29-33-62 in 57 GP for Portland last year and won Rookie of the Year honours.
Crazy third period with the Sens/ Leafs game, eh? Unreal. 4-0 Toronto lead headed in and then it ends up 6-5 Leafs. Jason Spezza has started this season with a vengeance, which is nice to see. Erik Karlsson... boom. Three points, just like that in one period. That’s four points in two starts now after having racked up 45 last year. He and Cam Fowler are going to be such a treat to watch in the coming years. And Daniel Alfredsson is going to end up being a steal for most people this season. Truly.
Phil Kessel lit up the Sens and he loves playing Ottawa. You expect him to score in fantasy though. Joffrey Lupul is the bargain so far, seizing his chance on L1 with four points in two starts. Don’t you get the feeling we’re going to see a rotating door as far as their centre, depending on who’s healthy at any given point? Dion Phaneuf looks really strong for standard league poolies too. The hit on Da Costa. Yowzers.
In a way, I'm kind of happy Ottawa scored goals in the third period like that. Could you imagine the media insanity if a Toronto goalie opened the season with back-to-back shutouts? It would have made the full-court press on this Michael Jackson doctor case seem like nothing.
Are you as happy as I am to see Sheldon Souray having some early success with the Stars? Hopefully that’ll continue and if he can earn even more PP time that’d be great. Good comeback story. Alex Goligoski picked right up where he left off too, with points in both outings. He had 15 in 23 after the trade last year.
Did you grab Ty Conklin for a spot-start tonight? 29-save shutout. He’s a solid guy on a strong team, so it really pays to keep up on starters each evening.
Tim Thomas has been putting up ridiculous stats again. Not a shock and yes, we should see increased GP from Rask too, but still... it’s really incredible what he’s doing between the pipes. Ilya Bryzgalov netted the Flyers a regular season shutout too. It’d be surprising if he didn’t put up another seven or eight this year, like he has in the past two years, although he could theoretically challenge for 10+ with that defence in front of him.
Do you think it’s a good idea for the Canes to load up Jeff Skinner – Eric Staal – Tuomo Ruutu on the same line? It changed some in both games, but it’s an interesting idea that’s been used so far. IMO, they really need to become a dominant trio to stick together. Like in Anaheim, the big three line up every night and it’s just a “come get some” mentality. Not really sure it’s best for the Canes to do that, although I would love to see Skinner and Staal stick as a relatively permanent duo for a number of years. Ruutu’s style is good for them in that respect, but it just kind of leaves the team thinner than it needs to be on the other lines.
I am EXCITED for the Oilers opener Sunday night. Aside from being a fan, there are no other competing games that I’ll need to watch for work. So I can just sit back, relax and see what the kids can do against a tired but superior Pittsburgh squad. RNH, Hall and Eberle on the same team, in addition to the others. Love, love, love it.
Brian Campbell was fully expected to run the power play in Florida coming over from Chicago and he chipped in a few points tonight with the highest PP TOI as well. He had turned into a second unit guy in Chicago, so it’s good to see him back in a prime spot. Again, it's all about the bargains in fantasy and he was likely available fairly late to round out a roster in drafts last month. Not bad for a guy who should add 40+ to your team.
I didn’t get to catch as much of this one as I would have liked, but 50 shots for the Sharks against Phoenix tonight in that 6-3 win? That’s a pretty good statement for a team that wants to get off to a good start. That said, it's generally not recommended to allow Keith Yandle 9:41 of PP time against you.
How happy is Craig Smith to kick off his NHL career with four points in two games? A spot on PP1 doesn’t hurt either and he skated with David Legwand and Colin Wilson. Smith spent the past few years with the University of Wisconsin.
Jiri Hudler just never got anything going with the Wings last year after his return from the KHL, but with points in each of his first two starts and a spot alongside Pavel Datsyuk... things are looking up early on.
Toward the end of the evening it was released that speedster Kyle Cumiskey was traded to Anaheim for Jake Newton and a conditional draft pick.
Long nights, these Saturdays. First one of the season down and six months to go. Q&A next Sunday, so next Saturday night would be a good time to sneak in a question. They'll likely post Sunday afternoons during the season with Ramblings coming at the end of my live blogging work night on Saturday evenings.
I really appreciate the warm welcome though and look forward to writing each weekend throughout the regular season.