Terry Crisp was on Hockey Central (FAN590) and said that Alexander Radulov was practicing on a line with Patric Hornqvist and David Legwand. As I figured, they are keeping the Mike Fisher line intact. But I had thought that Andrei Kostitsyn would be the lucky one on that line. Instead, AK finds himself on the third line still.
Today's Studs and Duds are up.
Joni Pitkanen has been activated from injured reserve.
The Islanders have extended Evgeni Nabokov's stay by signing him to a one-year deal. He's been pretty good for them this season, and it closes the door on Al Montoya. To me, it goes from Nabokov to Kevin Poulin with Rick DiPietro making guest appearances between surgeries.
Ryan Ellis got back into the lineup and was minus-4. Back out he goes.
So hopefully Thursday we get to see Radulov vs. Crosby and Malkin. Will Nashville’s stifling defense (not last night) prevail? Or will the goals start pouring in?
Sidney Crosby (four), Evgeni Malkin (five) and James Neal (four) combined for 13 points. For Malkin, it extended his Art Ross lead to nine points 93-84, as Claude Giroux was shut out.
Adrian Dater asks an interesting question – who should get the bigger contract this summer, Matt Duchene or Ryan O’Reilly? The guy with the upside after a bad year, or the guy with high-end two-way skills having an awesome campaign?
Five points and plus-5 the last two games has changed Ales Hemsky’s season from “horrific but healthy” to “not very good, but healthy”. And “healthy” is a relative term, given that he’ll play more this year than the last two combined. And it’s no coincidence – he’s getting these points with Taylor Hall out.
If the Oilers are going to finally move forward next year, and I think they will, they need to stop this nonsense of only producing with Player X is out. It’s ridiculous. Sam Gagner, last night aside, only comes up big when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is out? Hemsky with Hall? Magnus Paajarvi can only find the net (another relative term, bear with me) when Jordan Eberle is out?
Oilers are outshot 44-19 but win 6-3. Devan Dubnyk is rolling – better goalie than Khabibulin and the only reason we didn’t get to see it sooner was because Khabibulin was “good enough” to keep getting regular starts. Dubnyk was left playing sporadically, never getting a rhythm. He’s allowed six goals in his last four games.
Hey San Jose, do you feel like playing in the playoffs this year? This team is playing to lose now.
And speaking of San Jose, that’s the second straight game I tried to watch online while working, and both were blacked out. I keep looking out my window for a dinosaur to walk by. Wake up NHL!
I know Jeff Carter has nine points in 12 games with the Kings, but at least two of them have come with an empty net that I’ve seen.
Despite the losses, it’s three-straight two-point games for Martin Havlat now.
Making another great impression for the Oilers is Teemu Hartikainen. He’ll never be a scoring line guy, but I think he’ll be a fantastic third-line center who picks up points in spurts. He has three points and is plus-5 in his last three games.
Jeff Petry has four points in his last three games, if you can still pick up defensemen and he’s around, he’s a great option. Bright future too, a potential 45-point guy.
Detroit prospect Riley Sheahan has signed an amateur tryout contract with Grand Rapids and will soon negotiate a pro contract with the Wings. Sheahan is a long-term project, in terms of fantasy hockey.
Nicklas Lidstrom is back in practice and is targeting Saturday for a return. Johan Franzen (back spasms) could only skate for 15 minutes – “did not feel good”.
Also in that link is word that goaltender Jordan Pearce will get the start for Detroit if Ty Conklin is claimed. So I have to wonder why the Rangers wouldn’t claim him. Then they can play against Jordan Pearce! Actually, Pearce was a solid goalie for the Fighting Irish a couple of years back.
Duncan Keith picked up four assists last night. In his last 15 games he is plus-10. After going plus-84 over three seasons, he was just plus-4 over the season-and-a-half prior to this run.
Andrew Shaw has a three-game points streak, six points and plus-5 in that span. And he was passed over in the draft nearly 350 times over two years.
A small trade – the Islanders acquired Yuri Alexandrov from Boston for futures. Alexandrov was a player I felt would make the NHL team two years ago, but he struggled in North American and returned to the KHL this season. For the Isles to bother with this, they must have a reason.
The Leafs signed Brad Ross to an ELC. Ross, a potential third-liner, will still need a couple of years of seasoning.
Sebastien Caron will back up Dwayne Roloson Thursday. Which means he’ll be in the game by the 12 minute mark of the first.
Another undrafted college player signs. David Eddy to Calgary. Eddy is another grinder with some agitating skills, but probably not top-six upside unless his 25 points in 39 WCHA games translate to the NHL better than I think…
Kris Versteeg has been back in the lineup for the Panthers for two games now and Wojtek Wolski has zero points in them. Wolski’s ice time was down below 12 minutes Tuesday.
So much for the “Steve Mason will be good now because he has bigger pads on” theory. He gave up five goals on 27 shots. I guess it’s only one game, but not a good sign.
Jason Spezza missed the game with sickness, the Sens were scoreless and lost without him. Don’t blame Ben Bishop, who allowed just one goal on 34 shots. And don’t blame a lack of shots – Karlsson, Foligno, Neil, Alfredsson and Michalek combined for 22 shots.
Andrei Kostitsyn is pointless and minus-4 in his last five games. His ice time has declined in each one of those games, and down to 12:27 last night. Not a good sign for when they get a certain scoring forward in the lineup tomorrow.
Does Shane Doan get suspended here? Check out the elbow on Jamie Benn (Benn returned to the game):