Angus here - I was on the TEAM 1260 yesterday to talk Oilers and Canucks. Check the interview out here.

 

Can we all agree as a society that this whole half-yearly, Daylight Savings Time inspired clock-switching ritual is antiquated, nonsensical and should be taken out back and shot?

 

Marty Turco is seeing relief action against the Penguins as I write this. Apparently this is the first time since 2009 that a goalie other than Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask has been between the pipes for the Bruins. Then there  are teams like the Isles, who have seen one or two more in that time. Let’s see... Evgeni Nabokov, Al Montoya, Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson, Rick DiPietro, Dwayne Roloson, Nathan Lawson, Mikko Koiskinen and Martin Biron.

 

The Ducks say that Corey Perry is getting treatment for the shoulder injury sustained last night and he remains day-to-day. Could be worse, but that’s still a little fuzzy for Perry owners at this critical time of year.

 

Jimmy Howard will definitely be ready for Tuesday, while Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk are also expected back sometime this week.

 

The Rangers have brought up Mats Zuccarello from the Whale. He has 36 points in 37 games in the AHL so far this season.

 

***

 

Andrei Markov made his season debut against the Canucks and picked up an assist exactly where you'd expect - on the power play. There isn't much time left for him to get up to speed for this season, but that doesn't mean he can't help out your blueline if it's already decimated by injuries or slumping players for the final weeks. The guy just has a knack with the right offensive instincts.

 

P.K. Subban has seven points in five games this month and Max Pacioretty is averaging two points a game in that same span. Erik Cole added another pair of goals and needs one more to match the 26 he produced for the Canes last year. Blake Geoffrion also scored his first one with the Habs, which was nice to see. Lineage aside, the kid has legit talent. It’ll be really fascinating to watch how his story unfolds in Montreal over the years.

 

Ilya Bryzgalov and Jonas Gustavsson battled it out and each came away with a shutout. Claude Giroux was the only one to beat either goalie tonight and the winner came via an oh-so-sweet shootout move that he said he copied from Pavel Datsyuk. But Bryz. Yeah buddy. He has won all five March starts with shutouts in B2B contests and in three of four. Pretty impressive for a guy who has drawn the ire of many fans and media alike for his inconsistencies since joining the Flyers.

 

It was just what, three or four Sunday Ramblings ago where we touched on this very subject of striking in keeper pools when stars like Bryzgalov are in extended periods of dire straits. Use the anxiousness of hyperventilating owners and take advantage of the low price to pounce. Pick the guys in whom you believe and don’t let that confidence waver. In the long run of retention leagues, that strategy will almost always pay off if you’re investing in the right guys.

 

Sportsnet.ca’s Ian Mendes had this: Nick Foligno on seeing his brother Marcus score (his first NHL goal) tonight: "I was happy and pissed off at the same time."

 

The siblings clashed with the Sabres topping the Sens 4-3 in a shootout. With no Thomas Vanek, the Sabres began with a top trio of Ville Leino, Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville. Vanek didn’t skate or work out Saturday and his availability for Monday is still very much in question, according to Lindy Ruff in the post-game scrum.

 

The thesaurus is going to need to step up its game to keep up with Erik Karlsson’s exploits. Another two goals here, which leaves him one short of 70. When he gets that and then blows by that mark, he’ll join Nicklas Lidstrom, Mike Green and Sergei Zubov as the only guys with 70+ since the lockout. I think Mendes had that one too, although  Twitter tends to be a blur on Saturday nights.

 

Weird one between the Devils and Isles. No goals until 6:46 of the third period, when John Tavares scored. Then Jersey potted two, at 18:21 and 18:35, to win the game. Marek Zidlicky has points in two straight, his only points with the Devils, and is beginning to really get comfortable with his teammates on the ice. PP1 regular with Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise, naturally. David Clarkson has been pretty nifty for standard league owners all season and linemate Jacob Josefson quietly has picked up points in four of six this month.

 

Skinner! Jeff Skinner notched his first multi-goal game since the start of November and he has eight points in his past seven affairs. Nice to see the kid beginning to get back to where he was prior to the concussion. Tuomo Ruutu also played his first one since mid-February, when he was injured right in the midst of the trade speculation. Ruutu was winging it with Eric Staal to begin today.

 

Ryan Malone has a six-game point streak (easily his best of the season) and has points in nine of 10.


Pretty much the usual for the Blues tonight. I just love seeing how strongly Kevin Shattenkirk has come on in the last three weeks though. Alex Pietrangelo scored too and thanks to his overpowering results so far in 2012, he’s only one point away from matching last year’s total of 43. 31 have come since the start of January, which is still a mind-boggling total despite bringing this up routinely either here or in the Live Recaps. Point-per-game pace. Or, as it’s known in Ottawa, he’s Karlssoning.

 

Andrei Kostitsyn tickled the twine twice and has 3-3-6 in five starts with the Preds. He only had 24 in 53 with the Habs before the trade.

 

Two injury impressions from the 2-0 Dallas win over Anaheim. Brenden Morrow came back from his to play in that one, which gives such a different dimension to that Stars squad. The first line of Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder with Mike Ribeiro has really been clicking, but now having the captain back with prolific centre Jamie Benn and the ornery Steve Ott to reconstitute their dynamic trio? So much harder for the opposition to deal with nightly.

 

The potentially bad news was Corey Perry, who was barely able to play after injuring his shoulder in the second period. X-Rays were negative, which is a relief, and he’s considered day-to-day at this point.

 

Mike Smith picked up his fifth shutout of the season as the Coyotes dispatched the  Sharks by a 3-0 count. The potential was certainly there going into this season for him to have good numbers, given Phoenix’s style of play and the past success of Bryzgalov, but good on Smith for working out the kinks in his game to deliver the results he has to date. If you stole him at the draft back in the fall, all the better for you.

 

The Caps kicked off Saturday with a 4-3 win over the Bruins. Dmitry Orlov had a pair of assists in that one and has eight points in his past 12 GP. Milan Lucic needs 11 points to match last year’s output of 62 and he has points in all six March games so far, which is his longest such streak of the season.

 

The Avs topped the Oilers in a shootout, 3-2. Two things of note there. Peter Mueller, who has bounced in and out of the lineup for various reasons all season, played his 22nd game of ’11-12. More importantly, he has tallied points in four straight. The guy has so much talent and now that he’s getting some consecutive games played he’s doing what he can do offensively. He opened opposite Milan Hejduk with Mark Olver in the middle.

 

Second thing. Call it a pet peeve of sorts for me. Every time any Oilers-related discussion comes up these days, invariably it centres on their low standings placement and the possibility of either another top pick or close to it. Which prompts the debate of – depending on where the pick falls - whether or not the Oil should take Nail Yakupov (who was the victim of a pretty nasty head shot tonight, which forced him to leave the game), Mikhail Grigorenko or trade down to get a badly-needed defenceman.

 

Oy. Listen. I don’t profess to be an expert on the juniors because the fact is my gig with Sportnset commits me to watching and reading about the NHL continually. So I just don’t have the ability, time-wise, to delve as much into the CHL or juniors overseas as much as I’d like.

 

But let me tell you this: If I were in charge of the Oil, no way in HELL would I pass up a chance to draft one of Yakupov or Grigorenko. Are you kidding me? On a team already featuring Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

 

Do the Oilers need help on D? Abso-$#&*$^&*-lutely. But why do people tend to forget how long it takes for blueliners to develop once they’re drafted? Edmonton can fill that void in the coming seasons by trade and free agency, bringing in the required veteran presence. You don’t think interest is percolating around the NHL among players, who see the growing star talent pool simmering and getting ready to boil over? Say what you will about living in the city, as many players have, but talent is talent is talent.

 

As much as I, as an Oilers fan, would have loved a higher finish in the standings this season, I’ll be cheering vociferously for regulation losses from here until the first week of April concludes.

 

Bring. Me. The. Russian. #donotcarewhichone

 

Should you be so inclined, follow me on Twitter for NHL and fantasy info as a safe mobile notifications options with minimal self-involved dreck in 140-character spurts.

 

Check out tonight’s Live NHL Recap over at Sportsnet.ca for a full rundown, including line combos and PP times.


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Comments (10)add comment

Steve Montpetit said:

Haddock
... Jesus Dobber, cheer up! I thought my little smiley thingy made it clear I was being tongue-in-the-cheek. I visit your site a lot and buy every guide you put out, that's my tap on the back for ya! As a Habs fan, Cole has been one of the few bright spots this season so I wanted to make a funny about it this morning. Yeah I don't have a lot going on...
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan said:

kingshockeygm
clocks/dmen i'm not 100% against the clocks changing ... the fall back gain of an hours sleep is awesome. if only, we could just do that continually...

as per the dman for a trade, it would not have to be their first pick... Any team with cap issues will listen to a guy like Paajarvi coming back the other way. SJ could be in trouble if they don't make the cap and may need to retool. Chicago has too many d and not much cap room. Rangers have a bunch of kids coming up that will need expensive extensions. None of these deals would require Yakupov or Grigorenko going the other way. Other pieces would be more than adequate.

There's only a few teams with matching players that would want to acquire that pick for their young valuable defenceman. I don't see most of them moving in this case. It doens't help Edmonton to do that unless they are gaining a Duncan Keith or something of the like (very unlikely)
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0

Robert Esquire said:

bullwinkle
DST sucks! I fully agree with you Chris. This clock changing crap should stop - it's a pain in the ass!
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Steve - you act like I don't do that regularly. I always admit when I'm wrong. I have been watching him and waiting for him to get to 50 points first (but 10 points in his last 20 games have had me waiting for a long time - I wanted to note how I was wrong two weeks ago!).


BTW - where are all my accolades for the "good" calls that I did? Man, the Internet is so negative smilies/sad.gif

Edit - Steve, I just checked - in the Fantasy Guide I predicted 44 points in 80 games. He has 49 in 69. It looks like I'll be wrong in saying that he won't get 50 points again. The prediction wasn't a bad one though.

March 11, 2012
Votes: +1

Steve Montpetit said:

Haddock
... Has Dobber already posted about how wrong he was about Erik Cole or can we expect him to do his mea culpa about this guy anytime soon? :p
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
According to The Hockey News... Future Watch, 5 of Edmonton's Top 7 prospects, and 6 of their Top 10, are defensemen. Klefbom looks impact. Immediate impact. And Teubert is getting close. If they get a Russian, then I would think that they would trade Sam Gagner or Paajarvi - and bring in a strong goaltender. If Schultz and Whitney are healthy next year, adding Klefbom (with Petry and Smid) and the makings are there IMO. Not dooms day by any stretch, this team is knocking on the door.
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... That pick would have to be their 1st if anyone is going tot listen, Ryan.
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan said:

kingshockeygm
D men Sorry Big Ev, Nichols is right. The Oil SHOULD draft a forward and then trade for a Dman. Erik Karlsson is long from his draft year. Erik Johnson, Victor Hedman, Alex Pietrangelo, Cam Fowler and many others... Alll young dmen that prove it takes years to become an impact (20 min/gm) and effective Dman. Better to take the forward that can play immediately with impact just like they did last year. Then trade for the Dman. Edmonton goes shopping dangling one or two of Gagner, Omark, Paajarvi and a pick I'm thinking every team Is listening.
March 11, 2012
Votes: +1

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... We're talking about 2nd overall here, not like 20th. If you pick a d-man (the RIGHT d-man) 2nd it's most likely not going to take him a long time to develop. Example: Doughty. Then there's Karlsson, Pietrangelo, etc. who are all very young and already excelling.

However, the Oilers should take whoever they think is the BPA. That's it. Don't look at position. It's not a guarantee that they think Grigorenko is the second BPA.
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0

Derrek said:

TangerineDreamTeam
Oilers Rant Loved it, especially the last line, it got me to follow you on twitter.
#Fail4Nail > #fail4MikHail
March 11, 2012
Votes: +0
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