The final week before Christmas, but you have to wait nearly three weeks to get the present you REALLY want. Dobber’s fifth annual Midseason Fantasy Guide – out January 6 with a special addendum update for January 13.
Patrik Elias missed practice today with an illness. How he'll be tomorrow for the game will depend on how he feels tomorrow of course.
Today's Puck Daddy article is here.
Tomas Vanek missed practice today with an undisclosed injury. MA Gragnani actually practiced as a forward.
Of minor consequence fantasy-wise for this season, but Dallas prospect Philip Larsen was injured Saturday and left the game. He is day to day with a LBI.
Since the Devils took Adam Larsson off of the power play, he’s been doing very well, with four points in his last six games. Go figure. And he was on a roll before the PP decision was made too – he had five points in eight games prior to the above run and three of those points came on the PP. Talk about rewarding success. But anyway, with the pressure off, he’s still performing. Eventually, DeBoer will have to put him back on, as he is producing. But Kurtis Foster has two points in three games (both came on Saturday) with the Devils, and DeBoer has been going with four forwards.
Adam Henrique has a point in each of the games that he played since Travis Zajac returned. He has averaged about 18:30 in ice time, which is down about 30 seconds or so. Zajac, meanwhile, clocked in around 15:30 in those two contests.
Add Sean Couturier’s name to the list of concussions. Sorry – “head injuries”. He left Saturday’s game, and as Nichols noted later yesterday he was in hospital overnight. Matt Read gets leaned on a little more, as well he should…
After his two points on Saturday, I compare Jason Williams’ situation to that of Brett Sterling. I don’t believe he’s as talented or as deserving of an NHL top six spot as Sterling was… but I’m referring to the production that will mean nothing in the end. Williams could get six goals and nine points in 11 games, but if everyone else is healthy he goes back to the AHL. Remember last year when Sterling had five points in five games and then players returned to health? He was playing too well to be sent down, so they gave him four minutes of ice time for a couple of games and then, when he went pointless in those games they could justify the demotion a little easier. That’s life on the outskirts of the NHL – it’s all about bounces, contract details and the depth chart when you’re not established.
As a fantasy owner I am disappointed that Sutter is the new coach of the Kings. But I’ve had some time to think about it and I have to admit – the discipline that he brings will turn a lot of L’s into W’s. And that’s what matters in hockey.
Torrey Mitchell has played the last two games with Pavelski and Thornton. But if he keeps putting up goose eggs this won’t last for much longer. Something to watch, anyway.
The Caps have sent Cody Eakin to the minors.
PM Bouchard and Mikko Koivu practiced yesterday, but neither will likely play. It would seem that Bouchard is closer and he said he “felt good”.
Shawn Matthias was up over 21 minutes Sunday. He has three points in two games and is re-establishing himself as a future second or even first-line center. He has eight points in his last 11 and is plus-3 in that span. I picked him up for the bench in one league a few days ago, and I’m kind of regretting not activating him for the week. Went with Brendan Morrison instead, another player I picked up – needed to replace both Gerbe and Skinner.
Drayson Bowman played 19:43 and was plus-1. If I own a good prospect in this organization – and I do, I grabbed Zac Dalpe cheap a couple weeks ago – I’m happy that Kirk Muller is the coach.
Interesting power-play priority tree for Carolina’s defensemen. I had the game on, but had family over (early Christmas) so only had half an eye on the game so there may be a good reason for this, but here is the PP times given:
Justin Faulk (3:16)
Jay Harrison (3:08)
Jaroslav Spacek (2:52)
Jamie McBain (2:40)
Jeremy Morin was recalled and played just over 10 minutes for the Hawks in his first NHL game of the season. He’ll probably never hit his upside because of the kamikaze game that he plays. Injuries will stunt him.
Ray Emery won his fifth game in a row and is undefeated (in regulation) in his last six. Looks like Corey Crawford just got Ellio-usted! Yep, I made up a new term for a starter who can’t start because his backup is kicking ass. I had “Elliott-ed” but @kylekebert on Twitter came up with a better one.
Speaking of Elliott, he didn’t get the start yesterday, thereby lessening the effectiveness of my new term (but I’m sticking with it anyway). Halak started because it was a guaranteed win – after all, he was up against Steve Mason. Halak is now 5-1-4 in his last 10. Solid, but when your backup is 50-and-oh with a 0.00 GAA it’s hard to get him out.
Jeff Carter was a minus-4 Sunday, ending his five-game points streak with a whimper. Prospal was also minus-4. On the positive side, Derrick Brassard had his first two points in what seems like years.
Roman Horak was a healthy scratch for the third time in five games.
Richard Bachman gets the start for Dallas again Monday. Sounds like Lehtonen could be back for one of the following two games though, so Bachman owners would like to see him go out with a big statement first.
Still no timetable for Mike Richards to return, but he is practicing without contact.
Shocker – Peter Forsberg admits that Sweden may have tanked their 2006 Olympics preliminary game against Slovakia so that they play the Swiss in the next round instead of Canada or Russia. I love the ‘anything to win’ attitude and if the fans or the Olympic committee don’t like it, then they can change the system so that such a situation doesn’t occur.
Claude Giroux practiced with the Flyers Sunday. No contact, but still big news.
Laidlaw with this Monday’s Studs and Duds.
Jon Blum – called back up to Nashville.
What happened to Clitty? Grant Clitsome was a healthy scratch Sunday after going minus-2 in 10 minutes of action Saturday. Pointless in 14, related to the acquisition of Nikitin.
Brent Seabrook left last night’s game after being hit from behind by Rene Bourque. This could be his fourth concussion:
Martin Havlat injures his leg…just stepping onto the ice. Ouch! When you’re that much of a Band-Aid Boy, sometimes you have to find new ways. Thanks to Puck Daddy for the link: