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Ray Emery lost a game. Trust me, I am as shocked as you. He now has a 12-1 record in 2013.

 

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Jared Spurgeon had a hell of a game for the Wild, and he has been playing fantastic hockey for most of the season (he missed the first bit coming back from injury). He is only 5-8 or 5-9, but he is very mobile and really smart. He was Minnesota's best defenseman last year (by far), and of course he has been overshadowed by the Suter-Brodin pairing in 2013.


He has 11 points in 14 March contests, and six points in his last five games. Time to take a look at him (provided he is still available).


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From The Hockey Writers - a look at 10 of the best "under-owned" centers in fantasy hockey (owned in less than 30% of Yahoo! leagues).


For most of the fantasy hockey season, Jarret Stoll might have fallen into the “fantasy lame” category, but the center has come back with a vengeance this month. Stoll has doubled his offensive output over the month of March as he has recorded ten points (4 Goals, 6 Assists) after only scoring five points (3 Goals, 2 Assists) over the course of the season’s first two months.


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Congrats to Jaromir Jagr for his 1000th career assist – he got involved in some post-whistle stuff after the Wild decided to goon it up – no one dared throw a punch at him though (it is Jagr, after all).

 

The ageless Ray Whitney (two points) had a great game. He is still such a factor on the power play.

 

Cody Eakin had two points and also had a really strong game – I love watching him play, and he has  shown more offensive pop this year than I was expecting.

 

Matt Hackett got the call in goal for the Wild – he let in five goals on 33 shots.

 

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Matt D’Agostini had two helpers for the Devils – he played over three minutes on the PP, too.

 

Alex Killorn had two points and two SOG – the Lightning managed to get the win for Jon Cooper, who was coaching in his first NHL game.

 

Cooper is very familiar with the Lightning team, since he coached so many of them in the AHL (Conacher, Killorn, and so on). I’d expect his hiring to benefit all of their young players – they all loved playing for him.

 

On that note, Conacher played less than nine minutes – injury related?

 

Some Stamkos guy had two goals and seven shots on net. Heard of him?

 

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A rough start without Iginla (although he technically didn’t play last game) for the Flames – they let in six Columbus goals on Friday night.

 

Lee Stemnpiak saw over 19 minutes of ice time (no points and minus-3).

 

Blake Comeau saw close to 18 minutes of ice time (five shots on goal, no points, minus-2).

 

The early benefactors of the Iginla trade.

 

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The most highly sought after college UFA has chosen a team – defenseman Danny DeKeyser has inked a deal with the Detroit Red Wings. What does this mean for Detroit’s other defensemen?

 

Detroit was the rumored favorite to land DeKeyser since the process began and it appears the Michigan native decided to stay close to home. Almost every NHL team had interest in DeKeyser, with NHL general managers, head coaches and in some cases owners pitching the 23-year-old blueliner this week near Toronto.


I’m not sure how this impacts Detroit’s other defensemen at the moment. DeKeyser isn’t your typical prospect – he is 23 and plays a pro-ready game, but Detroit is known for exercising extreme patience with player development.

 

This provides a bit of competition for Brendan Smith (Smith will be a mainstay in Detroit for the foreseeable future), and it is another defenseman on the depth chart for the other prospects, including Ryan Sproul.

 

Here is a bit more on him:

 

“He’s 6-foot-3, he’s got great mobility, and he’s got a very nice defensive presence,” Nashville assistant general manager Paul Fenton told The Tennessean. “He uses his size, his reach, his mobility to fend guys off.


He’s a guy that’s going to stop you defensively and he can make a first pass, so he’s the kind of defenseman that we are attracted to here.”


(Nashville put the full court press on, as did several other teams.)

 

Sounds like he projects as a reliable two-way guy with a bit of offensive upside.

 

Oh, and DeKeyser won’t play Sunday (Detroit’s next game).

 

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Marian Gaborik, meet the dog house. He is starting tonight’s game on a line with Taylor Pyatt and Kris Newbury.

 

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The injury problems for Philly continue – Braydon Coburn is out with a separated shoulder.

 

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Brandon Prust is ready to return for Montreal, as is defenseman Yannick Weber. Both are expected to play tonight against the Rangers.

 

Montreal also called up skilled defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from Hamilton (AHL). No word on his status for tonight (at least as of when I wrote this), but I’d assume he draws into the lineup.

 

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The Red Wings sent Carlo Colaiacovo down to the AHL for a conditioning assignment – no word on whether they shipped him there in bubble wrap or not (I am here all night).

 

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The Lightning are trying to get Jaroslav Janus back to North America. Because, as they have found out this season, you can never have enough goaltending. Or is it good goaltending? I can’t remember.

 

Janus, who backed up Dustin Tokarski with the Norfolk Admirals last season, is currently on a two year deal with the KHL's Slovan Bratislava, and his season ended earlier this month. He has an out-clause that would allow him to return to North America for the 2013-2014 season, and it has been widely assumed that he would be in the discussion for a return to the AHL next year.


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The Islanders are close to re-signing Lubomir Visnovsky – does this impact Mark Streit at all? I doubt it – it looks like the Islanders want to climb into a postseason spot, and stay there. Visnovsky has been very solid for them in 2013.

 

Update: Visnovsky has inked a two-year deal (with a no-movement clause). He will make just less than $5 million per. Solid contract for both sides - he can still run a power play and he provides a lot of experience, too.

 

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Sniping prospect Reid Boucher has joined the Albany Devils on an amateur tryout agreement – he has a ton of offensive upside, but needs some AHL seasoning before making the leap to the NHL.

Boucher, the Devils’ 2011 fourth-round draft pick, just completed his second season with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. He led the league with 62 goals – 12 more than any other player—and broke Steven Stamkos’ club record of 58. Boucher also led the league in power play goals (21) and finished fifth with 95 points.

 

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Is Cam Fowler the Benjamin Button of NHL defensemen? The numbers certanly point to “yes.”

 

I’m not really sure how the Button reference works (Fowler is getting worse offensively), but I made the comparison nonetheless.

 

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Should the Oilers trade Ales Hemsky? Will they get fair value for him? How will he play for a contending team?

 

If Hemsky is going to Boston, salary will have to come back in this direction, not just prospects and picks.


Based on past performance, Nathan Horton is a player the Oilers could use, a big, tough and somewhat skilled winger. Horton, 27, 6-feet, 2-inches, 230-pounds, gets the fifth most ice time of any Boston forward, so he’s clearly valued there. He’s got 17 points in 32 games, a similar number as Hemsky has.


I don’t see the Bruins moving Horton at the deadline – why would a Cup contender trade a top winger away? If anything, the Bruins would acquire Hemsky for futures now and worry about the salary implications once the postseason is done.

 

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Speaking of deadline targets – does Ryane Clowe make sense in Montreal?

 

A troubling note:

 

Not to draw up a narrative based on shaky evidence (allow me to proceed by doing just that) but Ryane Clowe simply hasn't been the same player since sustaining a ferocious bodycheck at the hands of Niklas Kronwall in the 2011 playoffs. Particularly in the regular season prior to that hit, Clowe was one of the most effective players along the boards in the NHL, consistently winning one-on-one puck battles to help the Sharks sustain possession and create scoring chances.


Clowe still carries trade value, but that is an interesting note (and one that I wasn’t aware of – I remember the hit, but didn’t piece together Clowe’s struggles to it).

 

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Are there NHL teams out there that waste pro contracts (teams can only have 50 of them at any time, which makes them a finite resource)?

 

The NHL is an efficiency contest and the teams that get the most bang for their buck will be the ones most likely to succeed. This applies to everywhere that teams are limited in some way. The salary cap is the most obvious place where efficiency matters, each team can only spend X dollars. But the same thinking should be applied to other aspects of the game like the distribution of contracts.


Like the salary cap, the teams that are most efficient in how they manage this aspect of the game will give themselves a better chance at success. Unfortunately for fans of the Oilers, management has not been very effective in managing how they distribute contracts.


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Jason Spezza is “borderline” to return this season, according to Bryan Murray.

 

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Should the Capitals hit the reset button?

 

The Caps can of course hold onto Ribeiro, standings-lodge themselves ahead of two or three of their Southeast brethren at season’s end, likely miss the postseason, and ensure themselves of missing out on a difference-maker in the draft. Or, they could move Ribeiro — likely for a late no. 1-plus — and position themselves to right their wayward charter in short order. Help, from overseas, but also from Plymouth, is on the way. Asset management, and a little luck with the lottery ping pong ball come June, can right a lot of roster wrongs for the Capitals in short order.


Season ticket holders of course won’t be happy with meaning-less April puck. To them I’d direct these queries: Have you seen the Blackhawks and Penguins play this winter? What exactly are your delusions of grandeur this spring for this team? Our team has auditioned Joey Crabb, Wojtek Wolski, and Marcus Johansson on the first line this season; think we have any business being in the rink against the rosters assembled by names Bowman and Shero?


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A terrible no goal call from Wednesday night:

 

 

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Dangles:

 

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Comments (4)add comment

Anthony Lancione said:

messierforlife
Ray Emery's 'first' loss FYI
Not to take anything away at all from Emery's incredible first official loss of the season, but he was super lucky not to receive a loss two weeks ago against Edmonton after getting shelled and hooked 9 minutes into the game for giving up 3 goals, only to have the Hawks scored 5 more goals in a wild 6-5 loss, to shift the decision to Crawford.
March 30, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

March 30, 2013
Votes: -1

Captain Krunch said:

Captain Krunch
... You almost feel bad for Couture...then you remember how good he is!!
March 30, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
Beaulieu vs Weber According to RDS, Beaulieu will play, and Prust probably. Weber will not.
March 30, 2013
Votes: +0
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