Vinny Prospal is already frustrated at the acceptance of losing in Columbus. He isn't the first veteran to feel that way, either.

 

The above link touches on a point I have raised a few times. Young players that develop on losing teams can not grow comfortable with losing. It kills development. Look at Voracek, Brassard, etc. Looking back further, how about Brule, Svitov, Zherdev, and so on. Not saying they won't be great players (the first two, at least), but they are well behind the development curve compared to their draft peers.

 

Busy night last night – I caught the Boston/Toronto game as well as Vancouver/Nashville.

 

Toronto was awful defensively – at this point in time, Jonas Gustavsson is not an NHL goaltender. Too many holes in his game.

 

Cody Franson was a minus-3 in only 15 minutes of ice time. He’s off to a brutal start and didn’t do anything last night to prove he belongs anywhere aside from the press box right now.

 

JM Liles had five shots on goal and seven blocked shots. Solid peripheral stats in leagues that count those two categories. He isn't great defensively but the mobility he brings will help Toronto this season.

 

Seguin was flying all over the ice – three points, and a lot of scoring opportunities. He looks a lot like a young Mike Modano – once he gets going, it doesn’t matter how well defensemen control the gap against him.

 

Chris Kelly looked really good too. Picking him up last season was a great move by the Bruins. Kelly plays hard minutes and can do a lot of things well. The perfect bottom six forward, and great teams always seem to have a few of them.

 

Lucic played only 11 minutes, but managed to record three points.

 

Ovechkin and Backstrom both played almost 1/3 of their entire ice time on the power play last night. Both had two points, as well.

 

In a 5-2 win, Alex Semin managed to record zero points and a minus-2 rating.

 

Green and Wideman both saw over six minutes of PP ice time – Carlson saw under three. As mentioned above, the Caps saw a ton of power play time.

 

Brayden Schenn didn’t have a great debut – minus-3 in limited ice time. He did record four hits, though. Couturier played more and recorded a goal.

 

Van Riemsdyk had seven shots on goal – no points, but it is encouraging to see him firing the puck at the net so much.

 

PK Subban continues his slow start – another doughnut last night, and still just one assist on the season. He's playing some heavy minutes right now with so much inexperience on the back end (Diaz, Emelin, and Weber all playing a regular shift).

 

James Neal recorded another goal, continuing his hot play. His summer of training with the Gary Roberts crew has obviously paid off.

 

Without Letang (suspension), Paul Martin saw most of the PP time among Pittsburgh defensemen (over seven points, no points though).

 

Rumblings that Colorado is interested in Rene Bourque – I wonder if the Flames would be interested in a package including Tyson Barrie?

 

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton has 18 points in the first 10 games of his OHL season. The pick Boston received in the Kessel trade was used on Hamilton (the full trade breaks down as Kessel for Seguin, Hamilton, and Jared Knight).

 

Milan Michalek wants to prove to us that he isn’t washed up and injury prone. Two goals and a helper last night – he’s been one of the better Ottawa forwards to start the season.

 

Garon got the win for the Lightning last night – he’s a good goaltender who lacks the consistency to be a starter. However, he could see more games than many expected if Roloson continues to struggle.

 

Tyler Kennedy is out for a few weeks with a concussion.

 

Mark Giordano is such an underrated defenseman – played a ton last night, scored a goal, and added seven shots on goal.

 

Calgary really, really, really needs a center for Iginla and Tanguay. Matt Stajan should be nowhere near an NHL top line. Mikael Backlund will get a shot to play there once he is healthy. Brendan Morrison played last night but he's coming off of a few knee surgeries and is well past his prime.

 

Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda were a combined minus-5 with no points against Chicago last night.

 

The Pat Kane at center experiment continues. No points, four shots on goal, and he won three of eight faceoffs.

 

Both Varlamov and Crawford played great – Varlamov is such a fun goalie to watch. He is incredibly athletic and reactionary. I can see why the Avs are so high on him, but young goalies are usually pretty tough to rely on in fantasy pools.

 

Kesler scored his first goal in his second game back, and looked pretty good (a bit rusty, as expected).

 

Luongo was solid – not really tested, but made the saves he needed to. A nice win for him. His new mask is pretty nice, too.

 

The Sedin twins combined for five points and the Preds gave them a lot of time on the power play to set up. In the third period, both Suter and Weber were in the box at the same time (not a recipe for penalty killing success).

 

Salo had a helper and six shots on goal, filling in for Mikael Samuelsson on the top unit. He could have had a few goals as well.

 

Cody Hodgson continues to look pretty good. He's making smart reads, moving his feet, and supporting his linemates. Once Kesler gets going at even strength, Hodgson could be a great playmaker for him.

 

Sturm looked much better after sitting out as a healthy scratch on Tuesday. He was skating more and had a few good scoring chances.

 

On the Nashville side, Colin Wilson stood out among the forwards. The team clearly misses Martin Erat a lot.

 

Jonathan Quick has back to back shutouts for the Kings. Continues to bury any semblance of a goaltending controversy in LA. Something will have to give eventually as Bernier is a fantastic goaltender.

 

Some AHL updates:

 

Loktionov (LAK) is leading the AHL in scoring in Manchester. He would have been in LA this season if not for the Richards trade. Great to see him go down to the AHL and dominate and not return back to Russia.

 

Andy Miele had a five point night on Tuesday night.

 

Kyle Palmieri has five goals in three games – if there is an injury in Anaheim’s top six he’ll likely fill in.

 

Joe Colborne is off to a great start as well – seven points in four games. The Leafs would be best off keeping him in the AHL as long as possible.

 

The Rangers had a new-look first unit PP last night – Stepan, Callahan, Richards, Gaborik, and Del Zotto.

 

Nail Yakupov has a nine game point streak going on right now (seven goals and 23 points).

 

Brandon Saad had four goals for Saginaw (not Sarnia, my mistake) last night.

 

Carolina signed Victor Rask to a rookie contract – Rask is playing in the WHL and has 10 points in eight games to start the season.

 

Martin Havlat will make his Sharks debut tonight.

 

I've got some support building for the open writing gig at the Province...


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Comments (19)add comment

CommittedToTheIndian said:

CommittedToTheIndian
... Also, GB:
Miller doesn't have back-to-back shutouts. Quick does.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... GB - I unfortunately don't watch every single game. I miss things. As I have said before, I appreciate reader emails to bring to light players and performances I may miss.

angus @ dobberhockey dot com
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

CommittedToTheIndian said:

CommittedToTheIndian
... Prospal

Liked what he said about Marty St. Louis in the linked-to article. Also liked many of the reader comments after the article. My favorite: "Steve Mason lays down easier than my friend Ryan's mom."
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

GB said:

Front89
Miller? Nothing on Ryan Miller having back-to-back SO and looking absolutely stellar this season so far? Guess we expect it as this point, but gushing about Varlamov and Crawford while ignoring Miller is strange...might even mention Lundqvist having two stellar starts as well and literally carrying the Rangers, but maybe he's old hat too...
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
columbus I dont think you can compare the Columbus picks with the likes of 1st overallers like: Lemieux,Crosby,Sundin,Lecavalier,Kane- even Toews and Yzerman were #3 picks. Columbus maynot have made the best choices,but looking over their roster you havent seen the veteran leadership present to help foster winning. Its in part why the Oilers brought back Smyth. This year-the fact theyve stuck with Mason who had a great rookie year(nothing since)- and until the sigining of Wiz had arguably the worst d corps in the league (and theyre against the cap with this roster?)theyre struggles out of the gate shouldnt be a huge surprise. The return on Wiz and Carter will help- but this team is going nowhere till they straighten out their goaltending and their dmen.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

flaupmes said:

Zangief
Matt Read Led all Philly FW's in Time on Ice (21:32) and 2nd behind Jagr in PP time on ice. Worth a mention.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

shaun b said:

shingy
Columbus I think it's fair to say growing comfortable with losing can hinder progress. Whether it's in Columbus or anywhere else.

It's probably not fair to compare Voracek, Brassard, Brule, Svitov and Zherdev with some of the best players in NHL history. Everyone knew drafting Crosby and some of the others they'd be getting something special.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Maximus said:

Mr Zizzla
Pens vs Habs Pens

Neal strikes again! as was mentioned by Rob, the angry habs fan, his goal was rather lucky but the main thing is, he is shooting the puck and it's on net. Goal scorers shoot often and get ugly goals and bounces because they keep firing the puck. as a Pens fan, this is SO REFRESHING! the pens are notorious for making 1 too many passes and trying to get too cute because of their talent. Crosby finally realized this and started firing the puck a lot more and hey, he scores 51! Malkin still dangles too much and that's why Neal is a perfect fit for his line as he gets the puck and shoots! Beautiful piece, i just hope the Pens can afford him after this year.

Jeffrey played in his first game with limited minutes. It's good to see him back and with Kennedy out a few weeks, he will have the chance to see top 6 minutes.

Martin looked awesome last night and it really made me appreciate the signing of him and Michalek last season. I'd put the Pens D up against any in the league.

Fleury lost his shutout bid with 1:23 left in the 3rd off of a nearly high stick deflection. Aside from that, he was looking sharp and in control.

Engelland was a beast and looks like a Brooks Orpik clone out there. He had 2 assists and was laying the body all over the ice.

Canadiens
Price did not look like Price from last year. He looked more like the Price that lost his job to Halak a couple years ago. I am sure he will bounce back but he was certainly not elite.

PK Subban has to stop being such a prick and start focusing on his game. Last night he wasn't as dynamic as he normally is and he seemed to be more focused on the play after the whistle than anything else. I know he is a mouth piece and it's 'PK being PK' but he has too much talent to waste energy on chirping.

The overall offense was just terrible. I honestly didn't know Erik Cole played last night until i looked at the box score. Totally invisible. Aside from the odd time the Habs ran Fleury, i didn't notice anyone out there. Gionta, AK, Cammelleri, not one of them did much of anything (despite Gionta's goal).

The Habs need to blow up this offense and start from scratch or they will forever be a bubble team that has to rely on Price to get them to the playoffs and get them Ws period.


To sum up:
Neal is a beast this year and he is carrying the Pens offense. I am drooling thinkging about Crosby, Malkin and Letang all potentially coming back within the next week or so. Watch out.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +1

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Thumbs Down Angus - I disagree on this point:
Young players that develop on losing teams can not grow comfortable with losing. It kills development.

It is incorrect to issue a generic statement like that.

Most top players are drafted onto losing teams... Yzerman, Lemieux, Sakic/Sundin, Alfredsson, Lecavalier, Crosby, Kane/Toews, Taylor Hall & Co. How did each of these player's teams do for their first year or two in the league?

Perhaps the problem is more to do with Columbus & their scouting/analysis of young players. (?) A second side to the coin to consider... and less generic.

Let me help you revise your statement.
Young players that develop on losing teams in Columbus can not grow comfortable with losing. It kills development.

-1 for your insight on this one.



October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Heatley's had a bum shoulder since leaving Ottawa. Our resident Ottawa expert Big_Ev filled me in on the details a few months back.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
James Neal: Right and Wrong In points-only leagues, I rarely focus on goal scorers.

Neal is a career 13% shooter.
He has 34 shots on goal this year.

This works out to 4.5goals (34x.13). But he has 7goals + 1assist.

8.0pts in 9games = 73pts (in 82game season)
5.5pts in 9games = 50pts (in 82game season)

The Right: Neal is scoring more because he is shooting the puck.
The Wrong: Shooters will eventually return to their career AVG SH%. If Neal doesn't start chalking up some assists, he'll be closer to 50pts than 73pts.

The Prediction: His SH% will level off and he HAS gotten lucky bounces. But he will get more token assists with the return of PIT's offensive talent. 60-65pts is a good predicition, which is where I think most people pegged him this year. In summary, he's awkwardly on-pace.

Heater has lost a step.
If MIN's PP doesn't start clicking, he'll be a 60pt player.
He won't get 45 even-strength points this year.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Darcy S said:

swamp_mule
MIN/EDM game Anyone who watched the Oil/Wild game chime in (I was in attendance) ...

There is SOMETHING wrong with Heatley right now (even tho he scored the tying goal late). I could name 30 players in that game who could shoot the puck better than him last nite. He was sluggish skating (can groin injuries affect your shot?) and did not look like a 50-goal scorer the way he shot the puck.

Maybe all the talk about him being motivated and commited to conditioning this off-season was just smoke-and-mirrors ...
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Good goal scorers score ugly goals often. Dany Heatley during his prime was a great example. Putting pucks on net = more goals. Simple math.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +1

Rob Myatt said:

robmyatt
James Neal somebody needs to put together a video clip of all of James Neals goals so far this season. Is it just me or are his goals hideous? They all seem to be deflections or lucky bounces/or obvious goalie blunders.
They're calling him James "shoot when you feel" Neal.
I know a goal is a goal, but how long can this keep up? it's foolish.
I'm obviously a habs fan and his goal the other night was just pure luck. He wasn't even lookign where he was shooting.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Meant Saginaw - thanks.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Stefan Wasylko said:

OILSLICK
Saad Isn't Saad with Saginaw not Sarnia, unless he got dealt in the OHL, I would like to know thanks.....
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Tim Jarrold said:

TJ4
Subban gonna come around? is PK a textbook buy low right now in a pts league without hits and +/-?
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

GMGates said:

GMGates
... That Burrows clip is priceless Jeff! Right on.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +1
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