Ales Hemsky skated with the team for the first time this morning. He basically said today that the shoulder pain never went away until this period of time, where he's really been able to rest it. He feels great and could return as soon as Thursday in Los Angeles, but if not it'll be sometime on the six-game roadie. L.A. will be the three-week mark of the three-to-four-week recovery projection. Hemsky's return should push Ryan Jones back out of the top six with Hall-RNH-Eberle/ Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky.
Robin Lehner's first start of the season with the Sens will come tonight against the Leafs and Jonas Gustavsson. Craig Anderson started and won that crazy comeback yesterday against the Rangers. Lehner has four wins in six tries in the AHL this year with 2.77/ .927 splits. For comparison's sake, he had 2.70/ .912 splits last season in 22 games before his amazing playoff run.
Danny Briere is still day-to-day for now and whether he'll be able to play in Buffalo Wednesday against his former team is still up in the air. '06-7 was his last season there. Man, time flies.
Sidney Crosby is inching closer to a return. What can we expect when he returns? It's an interesting look at rust and timing issues from the perspective of a few Pens who have endured lengthy periods of injury, but Crosby is Crosby... anything is possible. Like you'd want to do anything but immediately put him right onto your active roster.
No Simon Gagne tonight again (improving, but not yet ready), but Jonathan Quick will start in the B2B situation.
Ron Wilson tweeted this after the game: “Great win. Monster was huge and gets start tomorrow. Komo keeps getting better. Dion and Phil are the best at their positions in NHL!”
People who hate the Leafs, Kessel and Phaneuf even when they’re doing well... go. The floor is yours. Limit yourselves to 140 characters please. It’s only fair if RW did it.
When I think about the potential for excellence and entertainment in this year’s HBO 24/7 with the Flyers and Rangers.... Can. Not. Wait.
Jaromir. Freaking. Jagr. Another multi-pointer tonight. 5-6-11 in 11 GP. What a huge steal for fantasy owners this season. All the people that went immediately to the negative “washed up” mindset when news broke he was coming back to the NHL lost out. He’s thriving in a supporting role and after tonight he’s only five goals shy of Shanny’s career mark of 651, which is 11th in league history.
Speaking of the Flyers, I love how so many people were hyperventilating about Ilya Bryzgalov, his contract and a small stumble in the big picture after that horrific Winnipeg game and then what he said following it. 24/25 tonight in the 5-1 win and surprise, surprise... he’s fine. He doesn’t suck. I really like his candour too. Really. Tonight one of his post-game comments was how he used the iPhone compass to find his way out of the woods, where he said he was lost a few days ago. Sit back and enjoy the show. Win or lose, he’s entertaining. And he’s going to win a lot, make no mistake. Big picture, people. Big picture.
Seriously... Jagr and Bryz alone will make the HBO series riveting. December 14th debut.
How sweet was it to see Josh Harding pick up a shutout tonight in his second start of the season? Wild over the Wings, 1-0. He’s stopped 74/77 shots this season (.961 SV%) in that small sampling and good for him. Talk about the school of hard knocks in the past couple of years.
Two cool notes from Detroit Free Press writer Helene St. James after the Wings loss:
Zetterberg offered this to the Detroit media after that game: “I'm sorry, it's got to be tough for you, too. But it's tough to make up different answers.”
Brunnstrom told her he hopes no one picks him up from waivers, would rather play minors for the Wings than with other NHL team. As she tweeted, that’s really impressive.
A few line notes from the beginning of tonight. As always, take any combos with a grain of salt because they change so often and what happens at the start of a game isn’t necessarily going to be how they finish.
The Hawks had been rolling with Brunette-Toews-Sharp/ Carcillo-Kane-Hossa. With Carcillo suspended, they opened with Brunette-Toews-Stalberg/ Sharp-Kane-Hossa. Stalberg has seen top six time in the past and he had a couple of goals tonight.
Columbus mixed things up yet again. Prospal-MacKenzie-Nash/ Umberger-Vermette-Johanssen. Derick Brassard had been seeing time on L1 in the middle. MacKenzie had a goal, but it was yet another loss tonight though, this time at the hands of Chicago.
David Clarkson was used on the right side of the Kovalchuk-Parise line tonight, although it looks like each member of that that trio was -2 tonight. DeBoer still said after this tilt though, a 3-1 loss, that it was one of Jersey’s best games of the trip.
Guillaume Latendresse slid onto the wing of the Heatley-Koivu line; with PMB, Cullen and Setoguchi on L2. Latendresse was also on PP1 with Koivu, Heatley, Zidlicky and Cullen.
The Preds opened with Erat-Fisher-Smith/ Wilson-Legwand-Hornqvist. Nashville has largely buried Hornqvist this season, so we’ll see what happens there. He has goals in B2B starts and we know he can get hot.
The Coyotes split up the top line of Whitney-Langkow-Doan two games ago. Tonight they slightly altered the lineup by putting Bissonette back in the line-up and taking Miele out. Miele had been between Boedker and Doan on L1, but Langkow went back there tonight and he actually had the winner too. Whitney-Hanzal-Vrbata remained intact to open this one as well and Hanzal and Vrbata have been good contributors in the past handful of games. Vrbata had three points tonight and has B2B multi-pointers with six points in his last four games. Hanzal has three separate two-pointers in his last four affairs.
Drew Doughty was back in the line-up for the Kings tonight, but how about the glimpse of Slava Voynov we saw in his first five NHL games? 2-1-3 with that one particularly strong outing, but keep in mind he racked up 51 points in 76 GP last season with Manchester, including another five in seven in the playoffs. The Kings’ broadcast crew noted before the game began that the management had one message for Voynov on his way down: you are an NHL player. Stay patient. Your time will come.
In fantasy we routinely talk about selling high on guys who are playing above their heads and buying low on star players who may be going through some struggles. The underrated part of that thought process though is that sometimes it really takes guts to make those moves. Nay... to use a Carey Price descriptor of Max Pacioretty after his recent three-point effort despite being a game-time decision, it takes “nuts”. Especially when you’re dealing with the buying low aspect of that equation, just pick players in whom you believe and pull the trigger. You may get burned once in awhile by a star having an off-season – it happens – but by and large making those moves will pay off in the long run of a six-month grind. October is wrapping up here and your window to get some of these players may well be closing.
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