One defenseman who I have my eye on for keeper leagues is Tyson Barrie. He has been very good in Colorado this season, but the team has been hesitant to give him ice time (he did have an assist in 20 minutes last night).
Kudos to the Avs for doing their homework on PA Parenteau – most expected his scoring to fall off without Tavares and Moulson, but he has been arguably even better this season in Colorado.
Without Iginla, the Flames got two goals from Mike Cammalleri. It is only a matter of days until Calgary moves a few veterans, and that will open up some ice time and offensive opportunities for other players. And this will give poolies some great depth/waiver wire options for the final few weeks of the season.
I’d expect Calgary to take a look at some young guys (Cervenka – on a one year deal, as well as Backlund and Bartschi).
Calgary has started the rebuild (if they are indeed starting it) about two or three years late… but better late than never I suppose.
I am going to wait for the dust to settle on this one a bit before writing up a trade analysis – will be on the way later this morning. I want to see where Iginla fits in with the Bruins, and so on.
Um... Iginla to Pittsburgh? I'll have updates in the morning....
Montreal/Boston played a very, very exciting game last night. Some thoughts:
PK Subban will be a Norris finalist this year if he keeps this kind of play up. He scored his 10th of the season (a 30-goal pace over a full campaign) and he is dominating all over the ice. Boston fans absolutely loathe him – a healthy hatred/respect thing going on.
Subban had two points and logged over 30 minutes.
Michael Ryder scored twice and had a great game – his deadly shot opens up a lot of ice on the power play – it really helps with Montreal spacing out their point men – no team in the league can match the Subban-Andrei Markov combination.
Patrice Bergeron’s line – four points and 22 faceoff wins. After Crosby and Datsyuk, is there a more complete player in the league right now?
The defensive coverage in this one was… spotty (as you would expect from a 6-5 finish).
Nicklas Jensen with a dirty dangle in the AHL last night:
Another 29 minute performance for Ryan Suter last night – and a goal to boot. The best defensemen this season have been Suter and Subban (in the games I have watched/followed, at least). Who am I missing?
A big reason for Suter’s play – Jonas Brodin (25 minutes and a helper). He’d be my Calder pick.
Zach Parise had an assist and a team-leading seven shots on goal.
Phoenix forward Rob Kinkhammer has three points in his last two games. He is already a member of the all-name team, that much I know. He did have 44 points in 53 AHL games this year, so there is some offensive skill there.
I thought David Moss would be more productive in Phoenix (although his production isn’t terrible for a third line forward). I guess I expected him to play a bigger role with the ‘Yotes – he is a responsible two-way player, and Dave Tippett loves those kind of players. Could be a nice second half sleeper.
San Jose shut out the Ducks last night – I didn’t catch any of this game, so I can’t offer too much in the way of insights.
Tommy Wingels with a rare three point game. Aside from that, it was the usual suspects bringing the offense for the Sharks (Couture, Marleau, and Pavelski).
Brent Burns also scored a goal – in only 15 minutes of ice time. Did Burns play wing again tonight? Interesting that two long-time defensemen (Ballard the other) have seen extended time on the wing in 2013.
I don’t get to watch all 30 NHL teams play (trust me, I try my hardest to do so), and sometimes players slip through my radar.
One of those players is Nashville defenseman Victor Bartley, who has quietly earned a spot on the team’s second pairing with Kevin Klein. Bartley doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he has been a productive defenseman in the AHL (a great sign), and the points will soon follow in the NHL (as long as he keeps logging solid minutes).
Bartley — an undrafted free agent signee two years ago — turned into an all-star in the minors, with 26 points in 54 games this season for the Admirals. He was also a plus-4.
Coach Barry Trotz said Bartley was cut from the Predator-type mold, mostly because of the long, hard road he took to the NHL. He had also played professionally in the East Coast Hockey League, as well as Sweden.
Although Bartley is a first-year NHL player, Klein hasn’t seen much of a learning curve for his 25-year-old partner.
I am glad that Kent Wilson is on board with the Sunday ramblings. He will learn the ropes with what goes into the ramblings (formatting and the like), but I did like his take. It is good to get different perspectives, and I think the reader benefits tremendously. Kent is a really smart dude and a fantastic writer – I look forward to his perspective on the world of fantasy hockey (and he gets the busiest day of the week, as Saturday’s are usually jam-packed).
Weber has six goals and 13 assists for a total of 19 points. That’s an average of .58 points per game, which is actually ahead of his .55/game career average. He’s just .05/game off his pace from 2010-11 and .01/game off of 2011-12, the two years when he was runner-up for the Norris Trophy.
Love speaking with interesting and knowledgeable fitness/strength coaches. Andy O’Brien is one of the best in the hockey biz – I interviewed him last summer about Sidney Crosby (they have worked together for over 10 years).
O’Brien took on Matt Duchene as a client last year, and their work is paying off in spades. It is amazing to see the difference between a healthy and functional player (Duchene in 2013) compared to one playing with nagging injuries and trying to work around them (Duchene in 2011-12).
Here is the link to our interview, which also touched on supplements for hockey players, and nutrition as well.
For all of Matt’s fans out there, one thing that makes him stand out for me is his intense love for the game of hockey and a true passion for playing the game. He’s a very special player and I think his upside is much greater than many people realize.
I have a hunch that Duchene is going to flirt with the 50-goal mark – that won’t come until the Avs find a way to get some defensemen in the fold who can actually move the puck, but that is the kind of dynamic ability that Duchene possesses.
Thomas Vanek left the Sabres/Lightning game on Tuesday night with an upper body injury. He has had a few nagging issues over the past few weeks, and I would speculate that they are related to each other.
Sticking with Buffalo – are their new line combinations working?
In the three games Ott has two goals and an assist. Hodgson has four assists and Pominville has just one goal.
I logged some serious time on the NHL 94 – first, as a kid growing up, and again in university after I picked up an old Super Nintendo. Obviously Chicago and Pittsburgh were the great teams to play with, but I also liked playing with the Whalers and Canucks (Ronning and Bure could fly).
What was your team of choice?
One of my favourite defensive prospects in hockey, Jon Merrill, inked a rookie deal and turned pro with the Devils. Merrill has been a standout at Michigan during his time there, and he won’t need much in the way of AHL experience before he makes the jump to the NHL. He is a physical two-way defenseman who can play in all situations.
He has had to overcome adversity (a suspension and a serious neck injury), which will ultimately help him in the long run.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Oklahoma City native finished his career with the Wolverines with 11 goals and 36 assists in 82 games, but was limited to just 40 games over the last two seasons. He sat out the first half of last season while serving a suspension for breaking a team rule.
As the 2013 draft approaches, I start doing more research for my keepers. Curtis Lazar is definitely on my radar, and he should be on yours too.
Following an inauspicious start this season, when he had eight goals and 17 points in 27 games, Lazar finished strong, totaling 30 goals and 44 points in his final 45 games. His 38 goals led the team, and his 61 points were fifth.
"He had a dry spell for a while, but when he was on, he was around the puck and creating stuff all game," NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "He can certainly take advantage of his opportunities."
Kris Letang broke his toe, and the Penguins have recalled Simon Despres from the AHL. Letang has had rotten injury luck this season. I use the word luck because none of his injuries have been related to each other. He is probably inching towards band-aid boy territory at this point, but I’d hold off on naming him to the committee just yet.
“If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen,” Ribeiro said of a possible extension in Washington.
Ribeiro is no fool – he can take one look at the UFA market for centers this summer and see the $$$$ headed his way. He is the best center available, ahead of Derek Roy and Stephen Weiss. He will probably have to take a cut to stay in Washington – if he wants the most money possible, it won’t come from the Capitals.
The Capitals are playing good hockey lately, and Ribeiro has been their most consistent (and best) player all season. It will be a tough decision to make either way (keep or trade).
Jordan Schroeder looks great for the Canucks, and the “speed” line with him, Jannik Hansen, and Mason Raymond has been dominant over the past few games. Vancouver would love to be able to throw them out as a third scoring unit during the playoffs, but with injuries the are the second line right now.
The “third” line features a defenseman and Andrew Ebbett on it. Keith Ballard has actually looked good on the left wing. He is getting chances, forechecking and hitting, and of course skating well (his best attribute as a player). It will be interesting to see if/when he gets dual eligibility – could have some value as a defenseman in deeper leagues – he will get more scoring opportunities as a forward than as a 5/6 defenseman.
Sergei Bobrovsky was sensational against the Canucks – he reminded me a lot of Carey Price with his fluidity and efficiency of movement. Arguably the most impressive goalie I have seen face Vancouver in 2013.
I saw Joe Morrow play a bit during his WHL days with the dominant Portland Winterhawks. He played on teams that featured the likes of Ryan Johansen (Columbus), Nino Niederreiter (New York Islanders), and Sven Bartschi (Calgary). He was a slick puck mover at that level, and he is currently playing his first season of pro hockey in the AHL.
Morrow is known for his skating and offense, but he isn't afraid to play physical hockey, and he has good size for a defenseman, too. And he has an absolute bomb from the point.
A great finish from Mr. Eberle: