Three game suspsension for Mike Green. Seems fair for a stupid hit.

 

If Alex Radulov does return to the NHL this season, does he make the Preds the team to beat in the West? The best goalie, the best defensive pairing, and all they are/were missing was a gamebreaking forward. Radulov is exactly that. He's the best player in the world outside the NHL, and if he returns, his impact will be both immediate and signifcant.

 

I’ll open today with a huge 'best of luck' to Justin Goldman. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside (well, online, at least) Mr. Goldman for the past few years. His knowledge of the goaltending world and eagerness to share it has helped me (and countless others) with fantasy hockey decisions. His passion for the sport and the position will lead to nothing but success in his future, I can guarantee. All the best, Justin!

 

To clarify - Justin is only leaving his weekly post at DobberHockey. His work on Twitter and for the Goalie Post will continue on.

 

One year to the day after the Chara hit/incident, Max Pacioretty scored twice, including his 30th goal of the season for Montreal. Pacioretty trails only two players in the league in the even-strength goal department, and they are both pretty good. Guesses?

 

How thin is Minneosta's defense? Steve Kampfer (who scored a goal) played over 30 minutes last night. Gilbert and Scandella also saw over 30 minutes. Kampfer came over from Boston in the Greg Zanon deal.

 

Josh Harding left the Wild game in the second with an injury - bad to worse in Minnesota. Matt Hackett replaced him, stopping 15 of 17 shots.

 

Really enjoyed the Jets/Canucks game. Blake Wheeler was dominant with his size, speed, and skill. Can see why he already is at 55 points.

 

Kyle Wellwood scored and has eight points in 10 games - he's working well with the two youngsters Kane and Burmistrov on the second line.

 

I outbid Dobber for Zack Kassian in the Experts League this past week. Kassian was promptly demoted to the fourth line, and he barely saw any ice time last night. He hasn't played bad recently, but Higgins works better on the second line, and the coaching staff doesn't trust Kassian in a checking role yet. He'll get his chances, but they won't be in close games. The Canucks shortened the bench to three lines in the third period.

 

Interesting power play formation - Kesler and Edler on the points, and Burrows up front with the Sedins.

 

The Sedins didn't put up any points but both had strong games. Good play usually leads to production, so stay patient.

 

Pavelec was sensational, especially in the first period. He's quick for a big guy, to say the least.

 

Higgins/Kesler/Booth were all over the ice, and the trio combined for 16 shots on goal.

 

Kari Lehtonen was sensational last night, stopping 45 of 48 shots. The Pacific Division-leading Stars are peaking at the right time.

 

The Stars leaned heavily on Goligoski and Larsen last night – the pair combined for almost 60 minutes of ice time. Sheldon Souray left with an injury, which likely led to more minutes for the remaining defensemen. The team was down to four defensemen later on in the third period, as well.

 

Marleau and Pavelski each had a goal, and they combined for 14 shots on goal (many of those shots set up by line mate Joe Thornton, who had three helpers).

 

Without Ott, Ryan Garbutt saw an increase in ice time.

 

Jamie McGinn likes playing with Colorado – six points in his last three games. He’s seeing top six ice time with Duchene out. He had two points last night, skating primarily with Paul Stastny.

 

Stefan Elliott had a rough game, finishing minus-3. Plus-minus isn’t always reflective of how the game went, but in Elliott’s case it is.

 

The O’Reilly line with Landeskog and Downie had no points and was a combined minus-9. Ugly night for a usually rock-solid two way line.

 

The NHL-leading Blues continue to roll – big, deep, and talented at forward and defense. If Andy McDonald can stay healthy, I think they can make some noise in the playoffs. They were really missing his playmaking while he was out with a concussion this season.

 

Ho-hum, another win for Halak. Seven in a row now.

 

Ben Bishop made his Ottawa home debut last night, stopping 25 of 26 shots against the Rangers.

 

John Scott contributed a lot to the Rangers loss, playing less than three minutes and firing one shot on goal. Such an important piece of that team…. (He did have a breakaway in the game, and yes, I am serious.)

 

Rookie Jared Cowen played over 20 minutes – lots on the PK. He has some offensive upside but it won’t come for a few years.

 

Kyle Turris now has goals in back-to-back games.

 

My weekly piece for the Canucks Army is on Wisconsin forward Joseph LaBate. He's a 6'4" freshman who has some offensive upside in three or four years with the Canucks. Read it here.

 

Revenge is sweet for Jack Johnson, as he scored the game winner against the visiting Kings last night.

 

Dustin Brown has 10 points in his last six games. NHL teams need to start leaking trade rumors more often.

 

No points and no shots on goal for Jeff Carter last night. He saw only 50 seconds of PP time (the Kings only had a few power plays), but he did see over three minutes on the PK.

 

Slava Voynov has quickly played his way into LA’s top four – his 20 minutes played placed him ahead of both Greene and Martinez.

 

Derrick Brassard is getting a great opportunity to produce right now – he had an assist and played over five minutes of power play time last night.

 

Mark Letestu is another Jacket benefitting from the Carter/Vermette/Pahlsson trades – he scored twice last night, and fired four shots on goal in 19 minutes of ice time.

 

Jack Johnson is going to be given every opportunity to be “the man” on Columbus’s back end. He played better in LA without Doughty, and some have speculated he wants the pressure of being the top guy. His line last night was worthy of it – one goal, plus-2, four shots on goal, and almost 28 minutes played.

 

Steven Stamkos had an assist last night and took over the scoring lead from Evgeni Malkin.

 

Teddy Purcell’s hot streak continues – two more points last night. There are few NHL players playing better offensively than Purcell is right now.

 

Mike Green is likely facing a suspension after blatantly elbowing Tampa Bay rookie Brett Connolly in the head last night. Stupid and needless hit, as Orlov was already taking Connolly out of the play.

 

Speaking of Orlov, he played almost 25 minutes and made a great play on Ovechkin’s OT winner. Seems to be getting better each game.

 

Dustin Tokarski made his NHL debut for the Lightning last night – he allowed three goals on 32 shots, or in other words, a goal or two better than Roloson would have done. Tokarski is a big, technically strong goalie with a solid pedigree. The Lightning are likely to look around for a long-term solution this summer as he probably is a few years away from starting (if he ever gets there).

 

Don’t look now, but Bryzgalov has two shutouts in his last three games.

 

Flyer rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson had an assist in about 18 minutes of ice time last night.

 

No goals for the struggling Briere, but he did have two assists and three shots on goal. Buy low now!

 

Eric Wellwood has three goals in his last five games. He has a good skill set – it will be interesting to watch his development. There obviously is NHL talent there, but in what capacity?

 

Matt Read scored his 19th goal of the season – as we have alluded to recently, he seems to be skating and playing much better ever since overcoming some nagging injuries that caused his production to dry up.

 

Brenden Morrow has missed close to 20 games with an upper-body injury, but he’s close to returning. Could be this weekend. The timing couldn’t be better, as Steve Ott missed last night’s game with back spasms. Dallas has some good forwards but they are pretty thin – their second line features Adam Burish, at the moment.

 

Bob McKenzie stirred up some interesting discussion yesterday, tweeting that Alex Radulov would be eligible to return to Nashville this season (if he so chooses) without having to clear waivers. Radulov owes Nashville another year on a contract he walked out on a few years ago. He’d have an immediate impact, to say the least.

 

Matt Duchene is out for a month with an ankle injury. He has had his fair share of bad luck this season, but a month isn’t that bad after seeing the injury occur – it looked a lot worse.

 

Sven Bartschi is making his NHL debut tonight for Calgary – he’s one of the best offensive prospects in the world. The Flames recalled him from the WHL on an emergency basis.

 

Great to see Nashville’s attendance is growing rapidly. That is one road city I have been dying to go to. The building always seems loud and involved on TV, and I am a huge country music fan.

 

Jonathan Toews continues to skate, and he also continues to get closer to returning to Chicago’s lineup. With him, the Blackhawks are thin up the middle. Without him, they are hopeless. Pat Kane has done a good job of filling in, but he’s infinitely better on the wing. Marcus Kruger isn’t a top six forward, yet.

 

Jared Spurgeon missed the game last night with the flu.

 

The Wings have called Gustav Nyqvist up, and he could play tonight, as Bertuzzi is still rehabbing his groin injury. Nyqvist has 54 points in 53 AHL games this season – he’ll be in the NHL next season.

 

Michael Grabner was “healthy” scratched last night – he had missed the previous two games with the flu. The team won both of them and didn’t want to mess with a good thing. It is a bit of a message, too, as the speedy winger has only 15 goals on the season (and only one in his last 19). When he isn’t scoring, he isn’t doing a whole lot else.

 

Johnny Boychuk made two highlight reel plays last night – one was a crushing hit on Vanek, the other was an absolute bomb of a shot to the top corner. He’s a throwback defenseman who fits Boston perfectly. He took his time developing in the AHL, which as we continue to see, is never a bad thing.

 

Cody Hodgson is in a slump right now – he was before the trade, and more ice time hasn’t helped. He’s a talented offensive player and will turn it around, especially if he establishes some chemistry with his new teammates.

 

Ilya Kovalchuk’s rapid improvement this season is quite impressive – he scored three goals last night, and is now only one away from 30 (he also crept past teammate David Clarkson in the team lead for goals).

 

Josh Bailey’s strong play continues – he contributed to the only Islander goal, and he continues to skate on a line with David Ullstrom and Frans Nielsen.

 

Marek Zidlicky had two helpers for the Devils, as did Zach Parise and Adam Henrique.

 

David Clarkson has 27 goals…. Extremely impressive. The offense many of us were hoping for a few years ago has finally arrived. Pete DeBoer loves him, and often times all it takes is a new coach and a fresh start to break out.

 

Craig Smith and Colin Wilson were both healthy scratches for the Preds last night. Surprising – I haven’t seen them play lately, but I would imagine this is a message being sent from Barry Trotz.

 

How excited are Eastern Conference teams vying for the sixth spot in the Conference? A first round match up with the “winner” of the Southeast Division awaits…

 

Paging Mr. Shanahan…


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Comments (13)add comment

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... of course I could be proven wrong but I don't see him helping the Preds at all for this season. Seasons after that, sure.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... The KHL is not only worse than the NHL, but it's easier and a completely different game, and it's going to take him time to adjust. He spent so much time over in Russia that I believe it hurt his development for North American hockey. He probably picked up a lot of bad habits on the big ice, and with the increased speed in the NHL he will have trouble adapting (at least for the rest of this season). This isn't the case of a Jagr who was already developed and refined in North America. Radulov left during his key developmental years and I think that will be a big issue for him going forward.Not to mention his attitude and ego issues. I see him as a 70 point winger in the NHL and nowhere close to that if he comes over to finish off the season. His talent isn't the reason the Preds will be dragged down; they will be dragged down because he will be a player who is adjusting after a long absence and the chemistry of the team may take a big hit.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +1

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... I'd disagree in a big, big way. He's one of the best pure talents in the world. He'll adjust in no time. Dragging his team down? This is the club that has Mike Fisher as its top line center (no offense to Fisher, but...).
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... I see Radulov dragging that team down a bit to be honest. He is not going to be anywhere near as good as he was in the KHL, and it's not like a player will magically adapt to a faster league with a smaller ice surface in a matter of weeks. He is going to find the adjustment quite difficult. If I'm the Preds I don't want him back.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +1

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Bob McKenzie speculated it yesterday.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Massimo Cinelli said:

rticinelli
Radulov Is there any indication that he may rejoin the Predators this season, or just conjecture since his KHL team was eliminated?
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Chris said:

DoubleDion89
Calder Trophy 2 assists for Henrique last night put him back in 1st for Rookie scoring. Yes, he plays with Kovy and Parise but he's tied for the league lead with 7 short handed points, 2nd on his team at +10, and plays in all situations. So far, he's earned my vote for the Calder. Anyone agree? Disagree??
March 09, 2012
Votes: +2

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Derrek - 12 games on - I can't watch them all.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Derrek said:

TangerineDreamTeam
No Love... for the Habs/Oilers? Yes Patches notched hit 29th and 30th last night, but that game was pretty darn exciting for two teams competing for 2nd overall... Draft picks of course! Subban played his best game in awhile. He was shaky for the first 10mins taking a penalty which the Oilers scored on, but scored before the end of the period for his 4th PP marker of the season. Finished with a goal and 2 helpers, while Max P had 2G 1A. The last being an empty netter which PK passed off instead of shooting. Gomez looked like he had something to prove, and got 16mins of ice time, which is a lot more than recent games. Oilers top line always looked good but was lacking a bit of finish at times. Oilers need a DMAN to take control of their own zone, as guys like Eller and Bourque were able to look good behind the net often.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

TheBoneweasel said:

TheBoneweasel
... Also, i don't think either kane or burmi is a rookie
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Excelsior said:

Excelsior
... That was Ben Bishop's 2nd start. He started against Tampa Tue. and won.

Love country music too and hope to get to Nashville next season for a game.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

flaupmes said:

Zangief
bryz Bryz has two shutouts, not assists. Great ramblings though!
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0

TheBoneweasel said:

TheBoneweasel
... I'm a flyers fan who lives in athens, GA and after losing the nearby thrashers had to drive out to see my boys play in bridgestone arena this season. It was an awesome atmosphere. Live music between periods, an involved crowd, and exciting energy.
Totally different from any other arena i've been to so far.
March 09, 2012
Votes: +0
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