Craig Smith scored twice last night and now leads all NHL rookies with 14 points. Smith also led all Nashville players with six shots on goal. Tremendous start to the season for him. He has moved back to center with the injury to Legwand, and looks a lot more comfortable there.
Michael Del Zotto has been a pleasant surprise for the Rangers (and poolies) this season.
He is playing with confidence again, like he did during his rookie year. There aren't many defensemen in the league who have Del Zotto's offensive talents, but he appeared to be lacking confidence last year. He was tentative with and without the puck, and he quickly lost his way. However, he seems to have figured things out over the summer.
Scott Cullen ranks the early returns on the 2011 free agent crop.
The struggling Anton Babchuk is out with a broken hand. TJ Brodie has been called up and should see some second unit PP duties.
You own Mike Green in a standard keeper league. Do you trade him straight across for either Drew Doughty or Kris Letang?
Selanne on what Ovechkin needs to do:
Teemu Selanne: Ovechkin’s play, of course, still has fire in it. Everybody wants to stop him. He has some tough nights. Well, in every game he’s getting defended very tightly. If you give him freedom, he’ll use it. What’s happening right now with Ovi is not a big deal. He just needs a breakthrough. Find a way to get open and score. He needs to change something in his game. I’m not worried for him. Ovi is a great forward. Great players know how to get the job done.
The rest of the interview above with Selanne is a good one. Check it out if you have a minute or two to spare.
The Baby Pens have won seven straight games, and are a perfect 7-0-0 on the road as well. Brad Thiessen has been in goal for all of those wins.
Carter Ashton continues his strong rookie season in the AHL with a league leading 11 goals.
The Canucks won convincingly over Washington a few weeks ago. Luongo had a decent game, but one save in particular stood out. I’ll post the video at the bottom.
Back to the save – right after it happened, Justin Goldman tweeted that the save could be the turning point in Luongo’s season. Seemed a bit presumptuous to assume that a single save could turn things around, no?
Well, according to this piece from Jason Botchford yesterday, the save did exactly that.
Thanks for all of your continued support in my quest to be one of the next bloggers for the Province. The contest runs through next weekend.
A light schedule last night – only three games. I caught most of two of them: PHI/TB and NYR/OTT.
Chris Pronger returned last night, with a visor on. 25 minutes and over five on the PK – talk about being eased back in to the lineup.
Giroux and Pronger were both pointless, but the chemistry the two have developed is something to behold. Roloson only made 14 saves but it seemed like all of them were on these two.
Bergeron continues his great start for the Bolts – scored a goal off of one of his patented slappers from the point. Bergeron had four shots on goal, to lead all Tampa players (tied with St. Louis).
Sergei Gonchar was so, so, so bad last night. Multiple turnovers, bad pinches, and overall lazy play in all three zones. Directly at fault for at least one of the three New York goals.
New lines for the Rangers – Stepan centering Gaborik and Anisimov. The line combined for all three goals. Dubinsky and Callahan skated with Richards. Stepan looked great, and Gaborik had a ton of quality chances. Anisimov had a quieter game but was just as effective. He’s developing into quite a solid two-way force.
The trio mentioned above were a combined plus-nine.
Stephane Da Costa had a helper and was Ottawa’s most dangerous forward near the end of the game. His talent level is obvious, he just needs to get bigger and stronger so he can more consistently battle through checks.
Bizarre in the Flyers/Lightning game – who is at fault? The Flyers have the puck, it is up to them to attack. Tampa Bay had settled into their 1-3-1 system and seemed content to let the clock tick down:
Luongo save from a few weeks ago: