The new forum is in place but there are still some bugs to be worked out. Head here if you have any issues logging in as many of your answers will be found there. You can post any problems you have there as well.

 

The biggest issue has been with people being able to log in on the main page but it not being recognized in the forum. To solve this you’ll need to log out, delete your cookies and then log back in. That should resolve the problem. If not, follow that link I posted above.

 

The changes in the new forum are pretty dramatic but give it some time. I remember the forum underwent a similarly drastic change three or four years ago but it was ultimately for the better. Like a slumping player, you just need have patience.

 

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What got into Nazem Kadri last night? He took a minor penalty for running over Niklas Backstrom in the first period and then received a match penalty for a hit to the head on Mikael Granlund. You can argue the gray area of intent when it happens once but when it happens twice? Looks to me like he was head-hunting. Surely a fine will follow at the very least as that hit knocked Backstrom out of the game.

 

That was Backstrom’s first start since October 28th. Harding came in for the victory, further entrenching his position as the Wild starter.

 

Back to Kadri. He added an assist to end a three-game scoreless drought but it was his ornery play that warrants further mentioning as it was further proof of Kadri’s sneaky multi-category production.

 

Mason Raymond’s goal was his first since October.

 

Some cold streaks in Toronto to mention:

 

David Clarkson is scoreless in four and has just one point on the season.

 

James van Riemsdyk is scoreless in four and is clearly struggling with the move to center.

 

Cody Franson has just one point in his last six games.

 

Dion Phaneuf is scoreless in his last five. An even more troubling trend with Phaneuf is that he simply isn’t firing the puck this season. His shooting fell off a bit last season but now it is way down. He has just 24 shots in 18 games, which is a huge detriment to his multi-category presence.

 

Nikolai Kulemin hasn’t scored in the four games since his return to the lineup, not that that’s very surprising now that he’s so thoroughly entrenched as a third-liner.

 

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On the other side of the ice, the Wild top line remains hot as Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle combined to produce the Wild’s lone goal.

 

I swear Ryan Suter has the lung capacity of an elite cyclist. He skated 36 minutes on the nose last night and continues to blow the rest of the league out of the water in terms of ice time. At some point the Wild are going to have ease up on the reins as they are riding him into the dirt. They could get away with it last year because of the nature of the shortened season. This year is like the total opposite.

 

With the Olympics in play Suter is going to play something like 90 games BEFORE we even get to the playoffs. I realize that the Western Conference is a war zone this year and literally every point is going to count but really, how much is it going to count for when your team is too worn out to win a first round series?

 

As a poolie you will reap the benefits of all these minutes Suter is playing up until the point when he gets hurt. Then you’ll be left with an empty roster spot asking yourself if it was all worth it. Maybe he’s just a machine but I have my doubts.

 

Don’t look now but the Flyers have won three straight including last night’s 2-1 victory over the rival Penguins.

 

Brayden Schenn has points in all three of those games including both goals last night. He is still just a second line, second power play unit guy so you can’t rely on this production to continue but it’s nice to see it when it comes.

 

Here are the Flyers’ lines from last night courtesy of FrozenPool:

 

24.71%

EV

14 COUTURIER,SEAN - 9 DOWNIE,STEVE - 24 READ,MATT

18.15%

EV

28 GIROUX,CLAUDE - 19 HARTNELL,SCOTT - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB

16.6%

EV

40 LECAVALIER,VINCENT - 10 SCHENN,BRAYDEN - 17 SIMMONDS,WAYN

Note Steve Downie skating on the third line. He is seeing minutes on the second power play unit but as I hypothesized when Downie was initially acquired, he has a lot of guys to leap frog for minutes and the Flyers are probably too deep for him to be a regular scorer.

 

Downie does have points in both games since returning from what I assume was a concussion so maybe he forces his way up the depth chart.

 

You know who else is starting to heat up? Jakub Voracek. He has points in three straight. Ultimately he will be reliant on Claude Giroux turning things around but maybe Giroux and the rest of the Flyers are starting to wake up.

 

Since we are on the subject, check out Justin Bourne’s great take on Slumps, the Stages of Denial and Claude Giroux:


The only known antidote for the slump sickness, of course, is to work so hard Patrice Bergeron looks lazy. That’s not a fun reality, but hey, here we are.

It takes a couple games of driving the net, hovering around the goalie and generally playing violently in the crease before a shot from the point redirects off the bridge of your nose and goes in for you to get back to normal. And once that monkey’s off your shoulder pads it’s amazing how they start to go in.

 

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Ray Emery had to be very sharp as the Penguins pumped quite a bit of rubber his way but he only allowed the lone power play marker in the win.

 

The Penguins struggled to score despite having the band back together again. The top power play unit of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, James Neal and Kris Letang was finally all together.

Neal has just one point in two games since returning but it isn’t time to be concerned just yet.

 

More concerning is that Letang has just four points in nine games since returning and all of those have come on the power play. He also has just one assist so far after scoring nearly an assist per game last year.

 

To no one’s surprise, Matt Niskanen has just three points since Letang’s return.

 

More concerns for the Penguins, Pascal Dupuis has just two points and no goals over his last ten games. Dupuis has never seen much in the way of power play time but this season he is seeing next to none so what little freebies he was getting are gone now.

 

Dupuis is kind of the Penguins’ five-on-five barometer. When they are going well he is almost surely scoring but when things go south his production dries up. Over the past couple of weeks the Penguins have struggled at five-on-five but that is probably due to turn around soon.

 

The Penguins have been among the best teams in the league at five-on-five (and otherwise) over the past few years and there is little reason to suspect they won’t be again this season.

 

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If you want to know how to create a terrible hockey game, you simply take two of the league’s worst teams on the power play and have the officials call a bunch of penalties both ways, turning it into a special-teams contest that both teams appear to be actively trying to lose.

 

That’s exactly what happened in Edmonton last night as the Oilers (20th) and Stars (26th) combined to go 0/11 with the man-advantage, including a few extended five-on-three situations.

Don’t get me wrong, both teams got excellent chances but that’s to be expected when you get power play opportunities. The problem is that there isn’t much back-and-forth flow to the game when there are so many whistles.

 

The bigger problem might have been that neither of these teams is all that good at scoring in any situation. The Stars came out with a 3-0 victory that makes the game seem much more lopsided than it was. The reality is they held a 1-0 advantage until they scored two empty-netters in the final minute, a classic stat-padding manoeuver, not that us poolies are complaining.

 

Antoine Roussel was the big winner netting a freebie to go along with an assist on Rich Peverley’s legitimate opening goal. Those points were his second and third of the season, which is a gift to anyone who owns him because he only really valuable in rotisserie leagues for his PIM and Hits production. But you can’t turn your nose up at unexpected points all the same.

 

Peverley, by the way, has been the main benefactor of Ray Whitney’s injury. He is back on the top power play unit, skating over 6 minutes with the man-advantage last night. Obviously that didn’t lead to points in the most recent contest but you figure he gets a short-term boost all the same.

 

Rookie forward Alex Chiasson hasn’t scored a goal in nine games. He is still seeing big minutes on the second line and top power play unit so he will come around but he was always going to hit a wall at some point. These are just the ebbs and flows of non-elite players.

 

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Oilers fans have a lot to complain about but they couldn’t complain about Devan Dubnyk last night as he allowed only one goal, just the second time all season he’s allowed fewer than three in a contest. Ilya Bryzgalov to the rescue, right?

 

Not so fast. Copper & Blue takes a look at what to expect from Bryzgalov when he makes his way up to the big club. The conclusion was terrifying and rhymes with “grabby boobin.”

 

So no, you don’t want to grab Bryzgalov unless, like me, you want to embrace his team-name-generating genius.

 

*

 

Corey Potter made his season debut last night getting eased in with just 9:35 of ice time last night. I’m still not sure how he’s an NHL defenseman.

 

Philip Larsen continues to skate big minutes on the Oilers’ top power play unit while Justin Schultz is on the mend. Expect his ice time to dry up once Schultz returns but he’s still a good short-term option with the minutes he is seeing.

 

The Oilers did do some experimentation with a five-forward power play unit that was ultimately unsuccessful. They were just way too cute, trying to set up the perfect play. They are missing two things:

 

1. Someone who will do the dirty work in front of the net.

 

2. A willingness to take smart shots that may not go in but will generate the possibility for deflections and rebounds that every team needs to score.

 

Kari Lehtonen saw every shot that was fired at him. You aren’t going to beat a quality NHL goalie often that way.

 

But, there are about 137 (give or take a couple) other problems plaguing the Oilers this season so why pick on just that one?

 

What’s really funny is that even going with five forwards the Oilers still couldn’t get Nail Yakupov on the top power play unit.

 

Adam Gretz of SB Nation compares Yakupov’s 65-game start to that of other forwards taken #1 overall:

 

Yakupov is far from a finished product at this point and there are still areas of his game that needed to be cleaned up, that much is obvious. But that is also normal for any player who just turned 20 and has yet to play even 70 games in the league. Whether or not he ever develops into the superstar the Oilers hoped he would be when they selected him in 2012 remains to be seen.

But it's entirely too soon to be overly concerned about his production when it's not that far off from what any other recent top pick has done in the early part of their career. As hard as it may be, a little patience is required.

I could rant and rave for days about how Yakupov is the perfect example of why tanking doesn’t work in the NHL but I will keep it to fantasy hockey. You simply cannot give up on Yakupov at this point. He has elite skill and will find his way eventually. He is far from a perfect NHL player but all you have to worry about is scoring. Many young players struggle to score early in their career. Yakupov isn’t any different, which only means he isn’t Sidney Crosby good. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a top scorer in this league for a long time.

 

So buy low, hold fast and all that other good stuff.

 

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Milan Hejduk is set to retire. He was a beauty in his time and a real fantasy asset for several years there. He only had one season of superstar production but he was no Jonathan Cheechoo. Hejduk was a consistent and valuable producer for much of his 14-year career. Here’s hoping he finds as much success in his post-playing career.

 

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Check out Craig Button’s latest 2014 NHL Draft Rankings.

 

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The Canucks have recalled David Booth sending Darren Archibald back to the minors. I expect to see Booth start on the third line so not much fantasy relevance and of course the countdown to his next injury begins. The over/under has to be 2.5 weeks.

 

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Silver Seven Sens takes a look at the Senators’ history of goaltending controversies. There wouldn’t be much controversy if the Senators would just accept that Robin Lehner isn’t just their future but also their present. They may not accept that until Craig Anderson is gone but at some point in the next couple of years all the controversy will come to a close because Lehner is the real deal.

 

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The Kings called up Martin Jones and Tanner Pearson to replace the injured Jonathan Quick and Dwight King.

 

Ben Scrivens will probably get the starts in the interim but if he struggles Jones is more than capable of running with the starting job while Quick is out.

 

Meanwhile, Pearson probably doesn’t get much of a chance to be a scorer filling in for King but it’s still a chance for us to see how he fares at the NHL level as he does have long-term upside.

 

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Sean McIndoe looks at the odds for some future Hall-of-Famers.

 

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Kadri getting to net a bit too forcefully:

 

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You can follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.


Write comment
Comments (8)add comment

pittshamblyuins said:

pittshamblyuins
... Kadri needs to be suspended. Two hits to the head in one game...unacceptable. But I fear, as with Kessel's continuing to be allowed to swing his stick at guys like a baseball bat...Leaf players will be protected by the league. If Matt Cooke had a game like Kadri...he would get 5 or 6 games. Brutal!
November 14, 2013
Votes: +1

Mr_Sausage said:

Mr_Sausage
Grabby Boobin Just saying that comment made me laugh and terrified me at the same time being an Oiler fan.
November 14, 2013
Votes: +0

letnry said:

letnry
... Antoine Roussel points yesterday where actually his 4th and 5th.
November 14, 2013
Votes: +0

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
Posting FYI, if you attempted the clearing cookies solution and you are still having issues with posting in the forum try it one more time. Hopefully, that will solve the problem.
November 14, 2013
Votes: +0

DarthVain said:

DarthVain
Suter's ice time The great thing about Suter's ice time, is that he brings Brodin along for the ride... Saw this end of last years and took a chance.

Last three games he is +29min, not bad for a 20 year old in his 2nd year of NHL hockey. That screams confidence.
November 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Backdoor? Oh... now I just found a backdoor into a "post possible" page.
Made my way there via "Messages" and "Notifications Preview" and then in the forums thread, I could post.
Strange?
November 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Posting in Forums Yesterday morning, I couldn't post. No text box, no button.
Yesterday afternoon, I could post. Text box there, Post button there.
This morning, I can not post. No text box, no Post button.

Sorry to throw this in the rambling comments, but obviously I can not type anything in the forums.

What's the deal?
November 14, 2013
Votes: +0

RP__ said:

RP__
... With Nash coming back, I'm going to have to drop someone. Who would you drop out of Turris, Voracek, Plekanec, Iginla or Justin Williams (G, A, PTS, PPP, PIM, SOG, HIT)?
November 14, 2013
Votes: +0
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