Enter the Fan Duel contest and get a piece of the $500 worth of prizes they're giving away. Also - five bucks to each person who beats Dobber. The idea of the challenge: it's a one-day fantasy league! Details are here, this is for Tuesday's games.
Jordan Staal was not in practice today. No word if there has been a setback. I had him pegged as a very durable player, and last year was just fluky. But now I'm thinking otherwise...
The new line of Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder is really flying. They were pieced together after Steve Ott was injured. The problem is, now Mike Ribeiro is short a linemate. He’s still doing fine, he’s just not getting a piece of the crazy action. Five points in his last eight games.
Kari Lehtonen 10-1-0? Wow – all the guy needed was to stay healthy. Did Atlanta just lose their hockey team because Lehtonen couldn’t keep himself in shape until he got to Dallas? Food for thought. If Lehtonen was healthy in Atlanta, they would have made the playoffs more. Perhaps even win a round. Would that bring in more fans? Of course. So what’s the domino effect here? The move isn’t on Lehtonen’s shoulders…but he could have influenced things in the other direction had he done this with his career a lot sooner. Just musing…rambling, if you will.
This year’s three new entries in the NHL Superstar club, I have a strong hunch, are Benn, Claude Giroux and Tyler Seguin. Giroux juuuust missed earning that title last year. No question this time around. How we talk about Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, Parise and Getzlaf now is how we’ll be talking about the above three a year from now.
The Blues have fired coach Davis Payne and have hired Ken Hitchcock.
This is the shake-up I was waiting for, and had alluded to about two weeks ago. Immediate beneficiary is Jaroslav Halak. Does Elliott get rattled? Does he feel he has to prove himself all over again? Answer – yes. A new coach will look first to the Golden Boy.
Any other Blues slacker should also get energized. Which is pretty much all of them.
It’s obvious that the No.1 job in Columbus is Mark Dekanich’s for the taking – if he is available in your league, then you are playing with blind GM’s. It’s also clear that Brian Elliott is putting the heat on Halak (I’m not convinced that will last). But what I’m not hearing is how Jhonas Enroth is undefeated with four wins versus Ryan Miller who has five losses – also with four wins. The difference, of course, is that Miller has cemented his reputation as an elite starter. Then again, if Tuukka Rask can do it (only to lose it again a year later) then why can’t Enroth?
Josh Harding. A great example that I forgot, above. A “must” start in all formats. That guy is money right now.
Here’s an update on Brian McCabe – speculation that his career is over.
Missed on the weekend here was Peter Holland’s NHL debut. He saw 11 minutes of action and was held without a point (so missed for good reason, I guess). The Anaheim prospect has five points in nine AHL games and is probably two years away from making this team.
Peter Mueller is taking contact again so hopefully we see him back in the Avs lineup within two weeks (which is the general window for all formerly concussed players not named Crosby, once they resume taking contact).
Ales Hemsky is probably back tomorrow, so look for some line shakeups in Oiler land.
Did you catch this? Flyers rookie Erik Gustafsson was a plus-6 on Saturday. Off the top of my head, I can’t say that I’ve seen anything above plus-5 in the last few years. The talk is that when Chris Pronger returns (later this week), Gustafsson will stick around. That would be at the expense of Andreas Lilja.
Erik Gudbranson was a healthy scratch yesterday for the Panthers. He’s still looking for his first NHL point and he’s also a minus-6.
Kings are practicing with some new line combos. The top line is the same, but Richards is now with Penner on one side. Brown remains on the other. Stoll with Parse and Clifford make up Line 3.
Eric Staal is now up to… or down to, rather… minus-16. This year’s Ilya Kovalchuk. Ironically, in one of my keepers I had to suffer through a seventh place finish because of Kovalchuk and a weak second goaltender. This year I’m hovering around second place because I have a strong second goalie in Mike Smith… but I have Eric Staal holding me back. If it’s not one thing it’s your mother.
Freudian slip brought to you by Cliff Claven!
Logan Couture – wow, what a pass (WootskiWoo was right yesterday in the comments):