If you want to change your user name, find out how - right here. Limited time!

Now that we're about five games into the regular season, things are starting to correct themselves in terms of statistics. To wit:

Alex Ovechkin has finally scored.

Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have finally put up points.

Thomas Vanek is hurt. That seemed to be the only way he could be stopped right now.

Henrik Lundqvist, Devan Dubnyk, Jonathan Quick and Cory Schneider are already turning their numbers around. Now we just need to see Mike Smith and Miikka Kiprusoff

*

It looks like Corey Crawford will Jimmy Howard his way into the Top 5 among fantasy goalies. The Blackhawks have everything working for them finally, after two years. And he's the beneficiary. Ray Emery won't get the chance to usurp him, unless he gets hurt. I can already tell that CC will top 20 wins. He's already up to five.

*

A lot of people are lauding the play of Philly forward Scott Laughton, and I have to admit that the two Flyers games that I watched were both during "multi-game watching", so really I only saw about a quarter of each of them. So I can't speak to Laughton's play either way. But I did see him in Oshawa twice this year, Oshawa being the closest junior building to me, and he was the opposite of NHL ready during that small sample size. Nothing about his game jumped out. He was second fiddle to Tyler Biggs and Boone Jenner, frankly. I get the feeling that the Flyers had little choice in the matter but to give him a shot. After their first 12 forwards, the cupboard is pretty bare. They called up Tye McGinn for goodness sake, a player who wouldn't have been called up by any of the other 29 NHL teams. So it's a case of "opportunity by necessity". That's how I'm reading it. Anyway, Laughton has been sent back to junior.

*

Matt Read's ice time is steadily creeping up - and fully deserved, too. But with the Flyers struggling (prior to Saturday), Laviolette is looking to Read instead of the guys who should be doing something (such as Voracek). The way Read is establishing himself, it wouldn't surprise me to see him a Top 3 scorer on this team in the end. I love it when players force the issue. He probably won that job on Giroux's line for at least a few games, after Saturday's performance.

*

Daniel Alfredsson was out with the flu Sunday. The ice time went to Colin Greening, instead of Silfverberg or Latendresse, which is a troubling sign for those two. Can't say I'm comfortable with Silfverberg's outlook for this year, but I keep reminding myself that he needed about five or six games to get going in the AHL.

*

Jamie Benn hopes to get into the lineup tonight. No word on Derek Roy (groin) or Jaromir Jagr (back) so we may not see, tonight, what these line combos look like when the Stars are all systems go.

*

Patric Hornqvist is out indefinitely with a leg injury. It will be interesting to see if Craig Smith gets some added PP time, or how things sort out with this team of three second lines. Smith got four minutes of ice time last game. It sounds like Hornqvist will miss at least four or five games, possibly 10 or more, judging by what I read here.

*

The Hockey Writers takes a look at the Top 10 Fantasy Hockey surprises so far, by DobberProspects writer Santino Fasulo.

*

Matt Dumba has been returned to his junior team by the Wild. This is directly related to Jonas Brodin playing so well in his debut. Made the decision easy. And at this point, I think Brodin is worth a flier for the short term (and of course in keeper leagues). Marco Scandella was also recalled from Houston.

*

Marcus Johansson was a healthy scratch for the Caps. Line combos shuffled around a lot Sunday. Backstrom and Brouwer played with Ovechkin for half the game, and Wolski for the other half. Ribeiro with Chimera and Ward was a consistent line.

Michal Neuvirth has started three straight for the Caps. He has secured the starting job, but will probably ruin it with an injury - he's done that about 10 times now, dating back to the Varlamov days.

*

Brendan Gallagher scored his first NHL goal, two games after his first NHL point. His ice time is up around 12 minutes per game now.

*

Michael Leighton finally got a start, but got blown out 5-1, facing 26 shots. We won't see much of him this year, methinks. Not with Bryzgalov seemingly having his act together.

*

So Cory Conacher had his four-game points streak ended and he saw just 13 minutes of ice time. Instead, it was the Teddy Purcell show (three points). Conacher still played with Lecavalier and Malone, but Purcell got to play with the big guns.

*

It may be time to pick up David Ullstrom, if you need  a depth winger. He has a four-game points streak now, though he played with Keith Aucoin and Colin McDonald, a couple of career AHLers.

My article for the Hockey News today actually focuses on Aucoin, and what I think of his fantasy value on this team.

Al Montoya got his first start of the season and got the win, though he gave up four goals on 25 shots.

*

Wade Redden now has two goals for the Blues. He's eating up ice time, too. He saw over 21 minutes Sunday. Six shots on goal the last two games. That's enough for me - worth a short-term pickup and let's see what happens.

The Blues have allowed 117 shots against in seven games - or about 17 shots per game. Their goalies won't rack up the saves for you, but man their GAA is bound to continue from last year and stay extremely low.

*

The Sharks, a team I had figured for a decline this year, are going nutty as you know. They have two years left to take a run at a Cup before losing Thornton, Marleau, Boyle and Pavelski as UFA's. This summer they could lose Clowe. Marleau's …and Thornton's 13 points this year are ridiculous. The team is playing like champs.

*

Hey, didn't I warn you that Jason Garrison wouldn't repeat? Vancouver fans, it's early, but tell me what you think - is his $4.6 million contract, for each of the next six years, worth it?

*

Justin Faulk has an upper-body injury, but he was in practice yesterday. He's still questionable for Monday.

*

Jake Gardiner has been called back up by the Leafs.

*

Emerson Etem and Sami Vatanen have been recalled by the Ducks, while Peter Holland was sent down. Etem is hoping to play his first NHL game. He has 14 points in 40 AHL games, but 12 of those points are goals.

*

The Rangers apparently had a tentative deal with Jason Arnott on the weekend, pending a physical. Well, the physical didn't go so well and the deal is off.

*

I fixed the links on the player names so that they now send you to this year's profile instead of last year's.

*

Nick Leddy in OT:


Write comment
Comments (5)add comment

mrmojorisin said:

mrmojorisin
Niemi After the bashing this guy took from everyone last season I think that it is time to shine some praise on him, looks like he will be a top fantasy goalie this season.
January 28, 2013
Votes: +2

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... Philly's top 18 players are among the best in the league, but their bottom 5 and their prospects/potential callups could be the worst.

Garrison hasnt shone, but outside of Kassian,Raymond and Bieksa the Nucks have looked average. Once the powerplay/Sedins get going- he might benefit although I think Ehrhoff's style was better suited for the Sedins, Garrison has put himself out of position offensively on numerous occassions. His shot will make/break the value of that contract- which is at a premium regardless. Being the clear #2 in Florida isnt the same as being 1 of 4 in Vancouver, as we already witnessed with Ballard. What dmen flourish with decreased icetime on the 3rd pair? Ballard will always be overpaid as long as hes not in the top 4.
January 28, 2013
Votes: +0

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
Read This is a rerun from last season. Read got time on the 1st line and then lost it. That whole team is stuggling. Read got all his goals in 1 game. Expect more line juggling.
January 28, 2013
Votes: +0

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
New Hockey Verb "It looks like Corey Crawford will Jimmy Howard his way into the Top 5 among fantasy goalies."

This gave me a great laugh this morning...thanks!

January 28, 2013
Votes: +1

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... I have seen a couple of Philly's games and Laughton did not necessarily stand out but was effective in the ice time he saw. He didn't appear to turn the puck over, made the smart play with the puck and looked to make body contact in the offensive zone. With some quality developmental time and the right opportunity I could see him being a Flyer fan favorite.
January 28, 2013
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy