With seven points in his last five games, Matt Carle's numbers have shot up to a level that is fairly close to our preseason expectations. It's playoff hockey in some fantasy leagues, so this surge is timely. S/T to Ken in the comments below.

 

*

 

Love the comments, as they often inform me of things I don't catch. I didn't catch that Ray Emery started two games in a row. Will it continue? I would guess that it won't, because he hasn't been facing a lot of shots for his wins. It would seem that the Blackhawks would win if they pulled someone from the stands to tend goal. Emery has faced 101 shots in his last five starts, or 20 shots per game. Or "two periods" worth of shots for most games.

 

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Columbus has four goals in three games since acquiring Marian Gaborik. No surprise that they've lost two of those games. They are overly reliant on their new superstar, similar to the way the Rangers became overly reliant on Rick Nash when he arrived there. Let's hope, for the sake of Columbus fans, the team finds their way quickly. Best thing to do - lean on a second line just as much as the first line, no matter how silly the notion. Here are the line combos for the Jackets last night:

Prospal - Letestu - Gaborik

Calvert - Anisimov - Atkinson

Foligno - Johansen - Umberger

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Two more points for Brandon Saad. The 20-year-old rookie now has 18 in his last 16 games. I never saw him as a first liner. I certainly do now. But I figured he would top out at 70 points, and for the most part be a solid 60-point guy. I know it's a small sample size, but I'm inclined to add 10 to each of those numbers. He's been dynamite, and almost as importantly - the club loves him, therefore he'll get all the opportunity in the world.

Andrew Shaw has been a big letdown lately. Heading into last night's contest, he had just one point and four PIM in 10 games. He picked up two points and two PIM last night, so perhaps he's snapping out of it.

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Mikael Granlund picked up an assist Sunday and beatwriter Michael Russo noted on Twitter that he felt that Granlund played his best NHL game to date by far. Granlund is four games shy of losing rookie eligibility next year. If he can stay under that 25-game mark, he's my Calder favorite (again) for next year.

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The Wild have signed another solid offensive prospect in Erik Haula yesterday. Haula tallied 100 points in 80 games over his last two WCHA seasons for U. of Minnesota. Get a full fantasy profile on Haula right here. He has been assigned to the AHL.

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It looks like James Neal will be out for a little while. No idea how long, but the Pens have recalled Beau Bennett. And so we have come full circle. The hockey gods have restored the balance:

"Add Iginla and Morrow? I don't think so. I smite thee, Sidney Crosby! I smite thee, James Neal!"

I expect Bennett to make his presence felt on the scoreboard.

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Pierre-Marc Bouchard has one point in his last seven games. One thing to note about his hot streak - it never helped his ice time. It's a little alarming when a player can tally nine points in six games and not see an increase in ice time. A bit of a red flag. Anyway, without more than 13 minutes of ice time, the good PM will have trouble snapping out of this one.

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Loved how Max Reinhart was given 16 minutes of ice time. He was a minus-2 Saturday, but in fantasy hockey I like to see the prospects get a fair shake. It's annoying to see them line up with Jimmy cement-hands on the fourth line for three minutes of ice time. And since Sven Bärtschi was called up yesterday, we should see some quality ice time for him as well.

*

Craig Anderson faced only 17 shots in his return to action, but allowed two goals and took the loss.

Conacher scored his first goal as a Senator - assisted by Silfverberg and Zibanejad. That's a line I could see flying for the next five years.

*

It's interesting, and more than a little annoying, to see how insulted fans and media (or bloggers) seem to get over the term "injury prone" or "Band-Aid Boy". It's not an insulting term and in no way does it speak to the skill or style of the player. It's informative, nothing more. That's a brown shirt, and that over there is a blue shirt. Don't be insulted if I tell you that person over there is wearing a blue shirt, because he is. I don't care if it was originally a white shirt that he put on this morning, but it became blue when he accidentally knocked a can of paint on himself. I'm just telling you that the shirt is blue.

Joffrey Lupul has become a premier player in the game. Last year I found that his skills had improved tremendously and he had truly become a first-line player. This season, however, he's taken that to another level. The games that he's played, and I've seen most of them this year, he is truly a superstar. And he plays harder than I've ever seen before from him. The grit and determination have helped him establish himself as a guaranteed point-per-game guy. He's also a Band-Aid Boy.

A fluky shot off the arm, or an unlucky hit - some players are just unlucky. Maybe it's because they keep their head down for an extra microsecond on every play, or maybe it's because they position themselves a half-inch to the left of where most players would normally stand. Perhaps they pay 1% less attention to their defenseman winding up at the point. Or perhaps an earlier unlucky break makes them a little susceptible to unlucky breaks in that area of the body later. Don't try to explain it. It just is.  If a player is hurt frequently, he needs to be considered injury prone. That's just the smart way to run your hockey team - fantasy or reality. Until he plays two seasons of 78-game hockey in a row, that's how you have to do it.

So "brittle" or "fragile" - I can understand getting your panties in a bunch over those terms. Because they describe the player in an insulting manner. But "prone to injury" or "Band-Aid Boy"? That's just a truthful label that doesn't look at the reasons, just the facts.

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He's done it. Alex Ovechkin caught Steven Stamkos in goals with 25. He has 14 on the power play, which is six more than Stamkos. But look closer - Stamkos has played one fewer game, but in total ice time he has seen about 18 more minutes, which is pretty much an extra game. Ovechkin is sixth in scoring now, and will finish in the top four - mark it!

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Alex Killorn has two points in three games since Cory Conacher was traded. Tyler Johnson, zero in three. Line combos for TB Sunday:

Killorn - Lecavalier - Purcell

Pouliot - Stamkos - St. Louis

Panik - Johnston - Connolly

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The line on Nick Bjugstad in the two games he has played - about 13 minutes per game, three shots on goal, minus-1 and zero points.

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Beauty goal by Galiardi, who is eating up Ryane Clowe's ice time to the tune of three points in three games:

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Rinne stops this one, but a nice little NHL94-type one timer attempt:

 


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Comments (10)add comment

mabus said:

mabus
... So far your endorsement of someone as the top rookie in your guide has been a horrible curse.
April 08, 2013
Votes: +2

mounD said:

mounD
Re: Emery I think the bigger factor with Emery getting a second start against NSH on Sunday was that he had a shutout in te previous game on Saturday. Reports seemed to indicate that Crawford was slated to start; however, Dmery's shutout warranted a "hot hand" type of situation for the second of a home-and-home b/w the two clubs. I think it's safe to say that Emery's 3 GA yesterday don't exactly qualify him as "sizzling" so I would also expect Crow to get back between the pipes and take the bulk (70% +) of the starts in Chitown.

Cheers.
April 08, 2013
Votes: +0

bballplyr321 said:

bballplyr321
Galiardi Again, hate to point it out but you are once again misrepresenting Galiardi. The 4 games leading up to the Clowe trade (TOI)
17:06, 15:22, 15:07, 15:04 - Avg: Approx 15:41
The 3 games (and a Clowe scratch) since the trade
17:46(Clowe scratched before the trade) 15:49, 14:01, 16:31 - Avg: Approx 16:04

Small sample size but it looks like his overall ice time has really not increased. A 23 second increase is really not statistically relevant. What HAS increased is his PP time as this is the first time he has received over 1:00 of PP time in three consecutive games.

What has helped (and what would probably be helpful to your readers in explaining his increase in production) is that he has been playing with Pavelski on the third line lately. Earlier in the season, he was playing with Burish, Handzus and Sheppard so the better linemate has probably opened the ice up for him considerably.
April 08, 2013
Votes: +0

aleco83 said:

aleco83
... On Emery, as a goalie myself, I take nothing away from Emery for only facing 20 shots. For me its actually harder to stay focused and make saves on quick plays when you dont see action for large chunks of time...

On Gaborik, this kind of reminds me of TO and Kessel. For the love of god play him with Johansen and let talented players play together. Letestu is a third liner who can sometimes fill in on the second line. I realize Dubinsky is out but I see him more as a second liner.

On band-aid boy I agree with Ken and Stupid... that sounds funny... It is insulting if you directed it at a person but as a category it becomes purely informative. Context is key.
April 08, 2013
Votes: +0

One Man Wolf Pack said:

One Man Wolf Pack
... What really annoys me is the use of the brand name of Band Aid, if clearly ignores the other makers of adhesive bandages like Curad, Nexcare, and First Aid. Can't we just make it "Adhesive Bandage Boys" to be fair? smilies/grin.gif
April 08, 2013
Votes: +4

Ken Shultz said:

kshultz
Band-Aid Boy You guys remember that fantasy hockey is supposed to be fun, right?

The use of "band-aid boy" is precisely that--it's fun. There was always a kid around, when I was in grade school, who always seemed to find ways to get himself hurt. Hell, I was a band-aid boy, myself!

"Band-aid Boy in Training" is even more fun, too. Dobber being so great at prognosticating this stuff--and making it fun to read, too--is what makes this site so awesome. Everybody knows somebody that takes their pool so seriously, it can sometimes drain the fun out of playing.

I know this is the time of year when eight out of twelve players in my H2H leagues get eliminated, and that can make people cranky. ...but a lot of us play for the fun, and some of the rest us could probably learn to try a little not to ruin it for the rest of us by making somethin' out of nothin'.

Sheesh.
April 08, 2013
Votes: +2

Stupidcyrus said:

Stupidcyrus
... I have no problem with injury prone... Because that really IS informative.

But I disagree with band-aid boy... The term, as a whole, serves to minimize the injuries these players face and in turn the players themselves. The use of band-aid makes it sound like its a minor injury... Something they should just put a band-aid on and walk off... and the use of boy insinuates that they are less than a man and that a man would be able to play through it.

Injury prone is calling it like it is... Band-aid boy is a bit of alliteration you use to push a list of players poolies should steer clear of.

All that being said... I love this site and I am always very weary of acquiring players on your band-aid boy list... But you just can not be offended or even surprised when people don't like that term... It isn't informative it is slang used to describe an often injured player.
April 08, 2013
Votes: +0

Yanos said:

Yanos
Panik Now don't panic just yet, but I see 2 Richards on TB's third line.
April 08, 2013
Votes: +0

Ken Shultz said:

kshultz
Matt Carle, Emery Looks like Matt Carle (with all those minutes) is finally showing up just in time for H2H playoffs to begin--or is that just an optical illusion?

Does Ray Emery getting back to back starts mean we're likely to see a lot more of him over the next couple of weeks?
April 08, 2013
Votes: +0

Dr.Smurf said:

Dr.Smurf
Keep Calm and Chiasson 2 Goals for Chiasson tonight playing on the top line with Benn. How does he project in the NHL?
April 08, 2013
Votes: +0
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