FIVE games for Brad Marchand. Part 1 of my Pouliot hunch has paid off. Part 2 is him actually doing something during these five games...
Jordan Eberle could be out for several weeks with a knee injury. MRI today. The Oilers recalled Magnus Paajarvi and Gilbert Brule (and Ryan O'Marra). Paajarvi is suddenly a first liner, with Hopkins and Eberle out.
The word on Patrick Sharp - 3-4 weeks. As I said though, the guy is great for coming back early. Wouldn't shock me to see him back in 2.5 weeks (seven games missed).
Breaking: The Blue Jackets have fired Scott Arniel. Todd Richards in as interim coach. No, this isn't early November, when they should have done this.
Marc-Edourd-Vlasic may have stopped scoring after that one ‘blip’ of a player-of –the-week, but he has been gold for plus/minus lately. Plus-9 in his last nine games. I was looking at dropping him in my one league, but saw that and held off.
Dallas pivot Tom Wandell has banged off points in four straight games with a goal and four helpers. He’s also been a plus-5 in that span. He has nine points all year – and those are five of them right there. Worth a pick up? In dailies – yes. In weeklies…not so sure, unless you can get him immediately. I don’t know if he can keep this up for much longer, the Stars are scoring a lot of goals in general.
With Brad Marchand likely maybe possibly perhaps suspended, I made Benoit Pouliot active for the week. I won the bidding today in my one league and had planned on benching him for a week to see if he can keep it up. But with Marchand possibly missing games, I thought it would be a smart idea to roll the dice here.
Matt Read and Craig Smith must have read my comments last week. Smith scored Saturday, while Read picked up two points last night. Read has four points in his last five games. It’s a real grind for these former college players, the first two seasons of pro hockey.
My THN column today focuses on the Penguins and what’s ahead over the next few weeks, but two names that jump out at me are Tyler Kennedy (of course) and Jason Williams (not as obvious as Kennedy). Both will do well in the month ahead. I’m also seeing that Dustin Jeffrey is back soon, perhaps next game. I certainly like his role a lot more now.
Erik Karlsson is on pace for 77 points. Think he gets there? He has 15 points in his last 11 games. He’s scoring now, too. Remember when he had just one goal but a zillion assists? He’s scored four times in the last 10 games. A machine, plain and simple. Best defenseman to own in any league.
Karlsson was plus-5 last night.
Craig Anderson’s really been getting it done. Man, right after I acquired him to temporarily replace Mike Smith – now I can’t get Smith back into my lineup! Anderson has won five of his last six and is 7-1-2 in his last 10. I had slipped out of first in that particular league and faded way back (though still second), but now I’ve pulled right back up again thanks to Anderson and a rejuvenated Eric Staal.
Speaking of Staal, I hated that alien who took over his body and played like shit for three months. I’m glad the real Eric Staal seized back control of his body. Nine points in five games now.
Hmmm… four points in three games since brother Marc returned to action.
If you recall, I was not one of the many hockey fans to insult Bryan Murray for his recent trade. And his players are doing everything they can to make him look like a genius (if that’s possible). Karlsson is going nutty, making everyone forget about David Rundblad. And Turris has seven points in 10 games with his new team – and he’s a plus-8.
The NHL should say to the NHLPA – “please set up realignment for us and we’ll rubber stamp it”. Why? Because:
- It makes Donald Fehr and the NHLPA look like babies, and that the NHL is giving the baby his bottle. That’s PR gold – get the fans on the side of the owners AGAIN. I didn’t think that would be possible this time, but the PA just opened the door to that.
- The players do not want a terrible travel schedule, so they’ll do everything they can to make it work. The owners want the same thing. In the end, the players will probably choose the same setup, but just go with a different playoff format.
- The players will take it as a nice gesture, or they have to be perceived to be taking it as a nice gesture. Either way – win for the owners.
Patrick Sharp left last night’s contest with an upper body injury. The bad news is that it sounds bad. The good news – he always returns early. If it’s four weeks, he’s back in two. If it’s a week, then he’s back next game. And so forth… Wish I could give you more. Sharp’s goal moved him into the Top 15 in scoring.
Henrik Zetterberg has seven points in his last four games and he’s dragging his linemates Val Filppula and Jiri Hudler along with them. Those two will have career years – Filppula’s 35 points already have him five away from his career high. Hudler is on pace to match his career high of 57, but since he’s been getting his points more or less in the last 20 games, I think he’s a pretty safe bet to beat that number as well.
Corey Crawford has one win his last five starts. I’ve said it a hundred times, but in case you didn’t read on those days – I just haven’t been comfortable with him since the Hawks gave Emery a tryout back in the summer.
Michael Frolik picked up his first point in 11 games. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut. He’s one guy I would love to see get going though, all kidding aside.
Making his NHL debut – Iiro Tarkki. Dan Ellis left a recent practice with an injury… and Jonas Hiller left last night’s game with an injury. Suddenly, Tarkki is in the NHL. He stopped five of seven shots, so his debut could be better… but if Hiller is out for any length of time, he could be all that they have. Of course, if Hiller’s out for any length of time, the Ducks will trade for a goaltender plain and simple.
With a hat trick Sunday, Corey Perry has five points in two games. Didn’t we see this act last year? The second-half Gretzky impression?
Yawn. Another day, another Steve Mason gets-the-hook game.
James Wisniewski is out, and Grant Clitsome gets two points in two games. Not a coincidence, Clitsome is fantasy relevant again.
Jeff Carter left last night’s contest with a separated shoulder. What a train wreck his tenure in Columbus has been.
The Brad Marchand hit. Suspended? Live, it looked clean. Replays…low hit, but was he looking to get out of the way of getting hit himself?
Dorsett feeds Beleskey: