Jeff Skinner does indeed have a concussion. Ditto for Milan Michalek. So in the past week we have lost the NHL's leader in points, leader in goals and reigning rookie of the year to concussions... on the heels of losing Crosby. I don't believe that concussions are anymore prevalent than they were in the past, but it's obvious that teams are being more cautious. The result of this is more time missed by more players. Joni Pitkanen is also gone with a concussion.
I have a feeling that Bobby Butler gets back onto the radar as a result of the Michalek concussion.
Ville Leino is out 2-3 weeks with a lower body injury. The celebration in Buffalo is already underway.
So far, Tomas Kaberle has three points in two games with his new team. As I said in the trade breakdown, his game compliments PK Subban's and I thought that maybe it would work. I thought that he would get back up to a 40-point pace at least.
A great daily feature in our forum, check out today's Studs and Duds
Team Canada set their final roster this morning.
Mark Visentin (PHO) and Scott Wedgewood (NJ) are the netminders.
D – Mark Pysyk (BUF), Nathan Beaulieu (MTL), Jamie Oleksiak (DAL), Scott Harrington (PIT), Ryan Murray (2012), Dougie Hamilton (BOS), Brandon Gormley (PHO). Surprised to see that Pittsburgh prospect Joe Morrow was cut, as well as Ryan Murphy (CAR). Murphy actually made an NHL club (even if it was Carolina) and Morrow lasted a lot longer (and was more impressive) in training camp than Scott Harrington. What changed? Interested in Brendan Ross and Matt Bugg’s take on this.
F – Brett Connolly (TB), Quinton Howden (FLA – concussion symptoms), Jaden Schwartz (STL), Devante Smith-Pelley (ANA), Mark Scheifele (WPG), Mart Stone (OTT), Michael Bournival (MTL), Brendan Gallagher (MTL), Freddie Hamilton (SJ), Ryan Strome (NYI), Boone Jenner (CBJ), Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA), Tanner Pearson (2012). To me, the big surprise cuts include Tyler Toffoli (LA), Ty Rattie (STL) and Christian Thomas (NYR). These are elite fantasy prospects, but unfortunately fantasy often doesn’t match reality. It’s a case of “roles” and how to fill them.
New (temp) coach, same result. Or was it? The Kings put up a goose egg last night, but they fired 41 shots on net. Dustin Brown had six of them and Kopitar, Penner (?) had four each. Six other players had three shots.
First of all, with a new coach, you want to see what he does with the rookies who do not have a roster spot secured. Slava Voynov played 21:15, 5:07 on the PP. That’s his third highest this season and his highest while Drew Doughty was in the lineup. A great sign…if it wasn’t for the fact that he was minus-2 and had four penalty minutes – each are career lows. Let’s hope Stevens sticks with him.
Next up is Loktionov. His 16 minutes marked his highest in eight games. Also 3:36 on the PP. But he, too, was a minus-2. Again, I hope the coach gives these guys a few games before giving up. Some coaches don’t.
And finally, you look at the struggling players who are on the outs – Dustin Penner. He saw 3:35 on the PP and 16:04. He had four shots and was one of the few with an even plus/minus. It’s a start.
I know people aren’t high on Zach Hamill and I count myself among them, but I look at the results and I think I have to be fair. For a guy who has averaged 10 minutes of ice time in his seven career NHL games, he has done well. A point in his only game two years ago, a point in three games last year, and now two points in three games so far this year. He’s also a career plus-6. This “bust” (and again – I’m at the front of the line with giving him this label) has done better than most prospects in the first few recalls. I’m saying – instead of ruling him completely out, I’ll leave the door open a little bit. This team is too deep, but we thought that about Brad Marchand a year ago.
I love how Claude Julien sticks with his lines no matter what. I wish they all did that. You can see a line like Marchand, Bergeron and Seguin go into a slump that could last six or seven games – but they pull out of it and get hot again. You see it with Krejci, Lucic and Horton – but they also eventually get hot again. Most coaches bail after two games of no results.
As I noted in a recent THN column, Jason Pominville has a much better points-per-game average at home vs. on the road and the Sabres have played a TON of home games (18 home, 11 road). After Friday’s game, they play a crapload of games on the road over the course of a month so if you want to sell high on Pominville, now is the time to do it (or more specifically – Saturday).
In his second game back for the Sens, Peter Regin played nearly 19 minutes, scored a goal, was plus-2 and had five shots. Given his track record with hot/cold streaks, I would get on this guy now. Just a suspicion that he’ll be a good one for a couple of weeks. And if healthy, maybe longer.
Since going minus-4 on November 12, Luke Adam has played 15 minutes or more in a game exactly one time (14 games). Before that, he did it nine times in 16 games.
Cam Ward had himself a great game stopping 36 of 38 and nearly stealing it for the Hurricanes.
Eric Staal has points in seven of his last eight games.
I know he scored last night and played about 16 minutes, but at some point Alexei Ponikarovsky is going to have to show something for the new coach. He has yet to be a plus player and is minus-8 in the seven Muller-coached games.
Just like clockwork – Tim Connolly. If you asked me “Hey, what would Connolly’s numbers be after the Leafs play 30 games?” back in September, I would respond with: “Well, he would probably play about 18 of those games, and should be good for 15 or 16 points”. Bingo. If a guy is so injury prone that you can actually predict the injuries…well, that’s not so bad.
That slow skating defenseman who couldn’t get a roster spot and when he does play gets third-pairing minutes… well, he’s got eight points in 15 games now and has a four-game points streak. He’s also plus-5 in his last four games. His name is Cody Franson and just because his stride is a little lazy does not mean that his offensive instincts aren’t the best on this team. And his size and reach make him an asset defensively, too.
Richard Bachman. Was I right or was I right? Prospects Report after Prospects Report I tooted his horn and now he’s making me look good outdueling the great King Henrik last night. That’s a shutout and just one goal allowed on 72 shots in his NHL career. The Stars will keep riding him.
I warned you that it would take a week or two for Goligoski to put up any points and so far he is pointless in three. Probably looking at a couple more games yet.
Dan Cleary has five points in his last five games. He’s known to be pretty streaky. Six shots last night.
Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed three or four goals in eight of his last nine games. The win-loss record is one thing, but GAA is taking a beating slowly but surely.
Wayne Simmonds continues to roll. Give him six points and 14 shots on goal in his last five games. Also plus-4 and two PPG in that span.
Tomas Vokoun got the hook last night after giving up four goals on 21 shots. What a disaster for him. He takes a discount to play for this team and then ensures that he won’t be getting any raises any time soon. If only he or Neuvirth would get hurt so they could have an excuse to give Brayden Holtby a shot.
Sean Couturier played a career high 17:31, but managed just one shot. Actually, he played 17:45 back in mid-October, but close enough! He is trying out on the Jagr line while Giroux is sidelined.
Hey – Steve Mason came in and played a strong game! Fantastic stuff. He allowed one goal on 31 shots. But his leg cramped up and he couldn’t play the entire game. What he needs most is to do well twice in a row. I don’t think he’s done that yet this year.
Roberto Luongo is 4-0-1 in his last five and has allowed just six goals on 113 shots. So there you go.
Kurtis Foster, first game with his new team – 5:56 on the power play and 21:53 overall. He had four shots on goal, but was held without a point. Despite that, Taormina still got 2:08 of PP time.
Mike Santorelli has fallen short of 10 minutes of ice time in each of his last three games. I just had this feeling that he would be the one to suffer after the Panthers signed 50 free agent forwards in the summer.
Martin Havlat – one goal in 24 games. Holy cow! He’s played 24 games?
Just kidding. Of course I meant the goals. He has to be seriously unhappy there.
A good sign for Dan Boyle, as he has tallied three points in two games. Off to a terrible starts, perhaps this is a sign.
So how does Vlasic appear, suddenly get 50 points in a week, and then disappear again after all the poolies (myself included) scooped him up? Talk about a tease. Seven points in three games and then one point in 11 games. Huh?
Simon Despres is down to 12:35 of ice time and saw zero PP time. With Zbynek Michalek coming back in a week or two, he’ll go back to the minors with a whimper instead of a roar, unfortunately, unless something changes quickly.
Jordan Staal was back and played 21 minutes. He was minus-2 with two shots.
A once highly-touted prospect, Corey Trivino, had faded down the Prospects Rankings. The Islanders draft pick had gone through injuries, unimpressive play and alcohol-related issues that resulted in suspensions and just a bad reputation in general. Well this year he was kicking ass and finally putting the complete package together finally. Then he had to ruin it by getting drunk (again) and arrested. So that’s that. Well done, just cost yourself millions potentially.
Guillaume Latendresse returned from his concussion and scored the only goal for the Wild. He was on the top line on the power play, but played just 11 minutes overall. He was rushed back due to Matt Cullen being sick.
After being a healthy scratch for five games, Bryan Bickell will get back into the lineup for Chicago and play with Bolland and Brunette (the Killer B’s?). Ray Emery will get his third straight start.
Travis Zajac will be back in the Devils’ lineup – Friday. Adam Henrique did what he needed to do. He proved that he belongs in the top six no matter who comes back.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard left the game from this hit from Bogosian. Suspension? Bouchard left the game: