Peter Mueller didn't play last night because he wasn't feeling well. I'm not sure if that means he has the flu/cold, or if his concussion issues have returned.
Not surprisingly, Pat Kane is looking good as a center. More time with the puck on his stick. A goal and two helpers last night. Won an impressive 10 of 14 faceoffs taken as well.
The Blues saw a lot of PP time last night – their TOI leaders with the man advantage – Berglund, McDonald, Stewart, Shattenkirk, and Nikitin (five more seconds than Pietrangelo).
Kari Lehtonen was sensational – 36 saves on 38 shots – won the game for Dallas. His commitment to training and fitness will allow him to stay healthy. When healthy, he’s a very good goalie (although he does lay the odd egg, as most non superstar goaltenders tend to do).
Colorado scored seven goals against Ottawa yesterday, and seven players had multi-point games.
Joakim Lindstrom scored twice in just 13:52 of ice time. He is seeing a regular PP shift.
Kyle Quincey saw six minutes of PP time, but was pointless. Erik Johnson saw about a minute more of PP time and finished with two helpers.
Surprised to see Ryan O’Reilly with over three minutes of PP time and zero minutes of PK time. Known for his defensive acumen more so than his offensive game (he had three assists).
David Rundblad was minus-2 in just over 12 minutes of ice time. He saw more than four minutes less of ice time compared to any other Ottawa defenseman.
Chris Butler had two helpers for the Flames – a solid depth defenseman in deeper leagues. Giordano is going to see the bulk of the prime PP minutes (and after him are Babchuk and potentially Bouwmeester), but Butler moves the puck and should end up with 25-30 points.
Nik Hagman has two points through three games this season. He was singled out by GM Jay Feaster in a summer as a player expected to perform much better than he did in 2010-11. Hagman should score 20 goals and finish with a solid amount of shots on goal. His numbers aren’t eye popping, but he’s a solid fourth winger option for deeper leagues.
Mathieu Perreault was scratched by the Caps last night. Johansson was pointless in just under 14 minutes of ice time. Expect the two to flip flop a bit, with Johansson receiving a better shot at playing more (teams tend to favour first round picks and Washington is no different).
Turns out Malkin isn’t going to spontaneously combust due to a faulty knee. He suited up last night and looked very good. He finished with two assists and he generated a lot of offensive chances on the man advantage.
Tampa Bay’s defense was a mess yesterday (caught a lot of this game). Tavares had a fantastic game – he doesn’t get the prettiest goals all the time, but he is able to produce so often because of his fantastic positioning around the net.
PA Parenteau had two points and four shots on goal. I snatched him up in a few one year leagues, as he is in a great spot on a team looking like it is on the upswing. He’s a better player than many people give him credit for, as well.
The top line for the Isles (Parenteau with Tavares and Moulson) combined for eight points.
Another rock solid start for Al Montoya – 34 stops on 35 shots.
The Devils look like they are going to ride Kovalchuk hard – he played almost 30 minutes last night (no points and three shots on goal to show for it). He played nearly nine more minutes than Parise.
Martin Brodeur left the game after sustaining some sort of upper body injury. Hedberg stopped all 16 shots he faced the rest of the way.
Not surprisingly, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins struggled on the draw going 1-for-8 against the Wild. It’s very rare for rookies to be good at faceoffs.
Rare poor game from Pekka Rinne, as he allowed three first period goals against the ‘Yotes. The Klein-Blum pairing was a brutal minus-6 combined. Surprising rookie Craig Smith was also minus-3.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson played 22 minutes, second among Coyote defensemen. Yandle ended with less than 17 minutes – Phoenix will try to manage his minutes in games like this as much as they can.
Jimmy Howard kept Detroit in the game early last night, and they rewarded him with some goal support. The Canucks looked rusty offensively, and no one outside of Cody Hodgson or the Sedins seemed to generate much of anything offensively.
I wish I got to see Pavel Datsyuk play more. He was toying with Vancouver’s defense all night (Bieksa and Edler in particular).
If you sat someone down in front of the TV for a Red Wings game who knew nothing about hockey, and you managed to catch Filppula on a good night, he or she would very likely assume Filppula was a star player. He’s such a dynamic skater and player (sometimes) with the puck on his stick. There are a lot of players in the league who “should” be better than they are, and he is definitely one of them.
Jiri Hudler looked good, and was rewarded with a few shifts with the big guns. He even played the point on the first PP unit. Looks stronger (had a great summer training in Quebec) and more confident (fresh slate with the coaching staff).
Hudler’s a good case of a player being overhyped so people ignore them the next year. So many (myself included) fell into the trap last year of looking at his KHL production and expecting big things. He disappointed tremendously, so most completely overlooked him this last summer. Manage expectations as best you can on a year-to-year basis.
A great read on the limitations of advanced statistics. If you have a few minutes to spare this morning, check this out.
Ottawa sent Filatov down to the AHL. If I were Bryan Murray, I’d think about sending Mika Zibanejad back to Sweden, as well. Clearly not NHL ready. No sense in rushing him during what is going to be a long, long season.
Chris Kunitz was re-signed for two years at a cap hit of just under $4 million per season by the Penguins. I like the term – the money isn’t great but it is fair with the ever-increasing salary cap. Kunitz plays a style of game that will probably begin to break his body down sooner than most other forwards. Committing no longer than two years is smart by Shero and company.
Tim Connolly has been shut down and won’t be practicing for the foreseeable future. He’ll still be attending and running the weekly Band-aid Boy Committee meetings, though.
Miikka Kiprusoff passed Mike Vernon for the most all-time wins for a Calgary goaltender last night.