Pavel Bure gave an interview a few days ago. He also shares his view on the NHL, KHL, and a few other issues.
" Kuznetsov is 100% ready to play in the NHL. Sure, I’m not that familiar with his personal life, but hockey-wise he’s NHL-ready."
Tuukka Rask left the game today with an injury.
If you see a sharply dressed, fantasy knowledgable person behind the Sabres penalty box tonight, that is me. My first game in a few months, and it very quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town.
How much have the Sedin twins missed Ehrhoff this season? Find out here.
"This season, the first unit power-play has taken a small step back and the twins’ on-ice shooting % has “regressed” to a more sustainable but still elite level of 9.5%. That’s the main reason why neither will win the Art Ross this season."
Josh Harding did the exact opposite of “taking the ball and running with it” last night. Backstrom is out for a while with a groin strain, and Harding steps in and gets ventilated by the Wings. Is it Matt Hackett time?
Dany Heatley had fired a great opening round, finishing at four-under. Wait a sec… this isn’t golf?
Nick Lidstrom is out for a few games – Kronwall had three assists, and Ian White had two points. White was also a plus-4 with three shots on goal.
Brendan Smith (a favourite of mine) scored his first career goal in 15 minutes of ice time. Lots of upside - Red Wings may get him to tone down his aggression a bit, but he'll be a consistent offensive contributor starting next season.
Filppula’s strong second half continues – two goals, four shots, and a plus-3. He is a great example of a player learning the defensive game first – he’s very strong on the puck, something that surprises a lot of players around the league.
Zetterberg also had three points – his season has been a disappointment overall, but he could hit 70 points with a strong finish. He has eight points in his last three games.
Quincey was pointless, but he did have three shots on goal. Boy is that pick up looking smart with Ericsson and Lidstrom both out.
Brett Connolly is probably Tampa Bay’s best trading chip for a goalie this summer. He had an assist in about 10 minutes of ice time last night.
Brian Lee had two helpers – Tampa really had a patchwork defense last night – Aulie, Commodore, Mikkelson, and Gervais joined the top duo of Clark and Brewer.
Stamkos only scored once last night. Hopefully he can break out of the slump soon.
Teddy Purcell has been on fire since the Lecavalier injury. He played almost 24 minutes last night, and he now has 19 points in his last 12 games.
The Devils would like Jacob Josefsen to take the next step offensively, and I’m sure many poolies would agree.
Boring game in Edmonton last night – the Stars had 14 shots on goal and won. Tough game for Corey Potter and Ryan Whitney – a combined minus-6.
Philip Larsen is getting more comfortable each game – 22 minutes played last night, and he finished with an assist. He’s a great skater and he makes confident passes with the puck.
Leland Irving was really good against the Ducks, but he couldn’t make a crucial save on a Getzlaf shot with less than a minute to go (far from his fault). He stopped 35 of 38 shots.
Smith-Pelly had four shots on goal for the Ducks, tying for the team lead with a few others.
Matt Stajan’s consecutive games with a point streak ends at one. More seriously, he does have three points in his last five games… positivity, right?
Zach Parise had a hat trick for the Devils last night. He is peaking at the right time. He also left the game briefly after taking a huge hit from Brooks Laich – seemed to be fine upon returning, though. He’s such an incredible player to watch – his tenacity and aggressiveness after loose pucks is unparalleled around the league.
Adam Henrique’s impressive season continues – two assists for the Devils last night. I have only seen him a few times this year outside of highlights, and I continue to be impressed with his size and physicality. He’s not an aggressive or physical player per se, but he uses his size well and can create separation from many defensemen because of it.
Zubrus has been a great short term add for me in one of my leagues – two points, plus-2, and four shots on goal last night.
Marek Zidlicky was held off of the score sheet, but at least his plus-minus was on the right size of zero.
David Clarkson did some damage to his Cy Young chances with no goals and two assists last night. To those not aware, the Cy Young is when a player scores way more goals than assists (and his goals-assists ratio looks like a win-loss ratio for a baseball pitcher). Marek Svatos was always really good at this. Clarkson now has 25 goals and 12 assists on the season.
Washington with another dud of a game – Neuvirth allowed five goals on 20 shots. The core of this team is rotten. Who is to blame? I think they tried to completely shift team culture/philosophy prematurely. Lots of reasons could be given, though.
I’ll be at the Canucks/Sabres game tomorrow – my second game of the season. The after hours segment should be a good one, as Kevin Bieksa and Zack Kassian will be interviewed. Really looking forward to this one – a very surprising trade has suddenly made it one of the most hyped games of the season in Vancouver.
Wild goalie Nik Backstrom is out for a few weeks with a groin strain. Josh Harding will be given the starting responsibilities, but Matt Hackett could see some time if Harding falters at all.
I forgot to mention the Calgary/Phoenix game from Thursday night. Here are some thoughts:
According to the last game lines tool, Cammalleri, Iginla, and Tanguay combined to form Calgary’s top line (they also had a nice goal together).
The returning David Moss played on line two with Glencross and Jokinen. Moss isn’t a world beater, but he’s a solid second/third line forward who is a massive upgrade on some of the forwards Calgary has tried in those spots over the past few months.
The Coyotes inked WHL star Brendan Shinnimin to an entry-level contract yesterday. He was recently named WHL player of the month for February after recording a whopping 43 points during the month. Shinnimin is an undersized offensive talent, and he got a tryout with the Coyotes at their 2011 training camp.
Former Kings great Marcel Dionne calls out Anze Kopitar. Pointed words:
“"I think Kopitar's at the point in his career where he has to decide what he wants to do. Does he want to be the guy? If I was him, he should be looking at the situation and what's going with (Evgeni) Malkin. When (Sidney) Crosby was playing, Malkin was happy to be second fiddle. Then, when Crosby went out, Malkin took over. He wins games on his own. Kopi has to do that! You can't wait for wingers. You gotta make it happen. Some nights he's gotta be the guy. And if he's not, now it's getting to the point in his game where it's going to be tough to get up to the level he wants to be. Everbody knows him, everybody knows how he plays.”
James van Riemsdyk is out for 4-6 weeks with a foot injury. Should be ready to return for the playoffs.
A hilarious video featuring Gerry Dee training in the weight room with PK Subban:
Some video footage of the Sasquatch Sidney Crosby skating yesterday in Colorado: