Matt Duchene will be out for about a week with an oblique injury. I'll be interested to see how Nathan MacKinnon responds to the added ice time (assuming he gets some). That's three games, and look for Duchene to return Wednesday the 27th.

*

Tobias Enstrom had six points in five games to kick off the year but has two in 17 games since. He's an excellent buy low opportunity because he's still king when it comes ot ice time and PP time - he's seen 29 minutes of ice time in two of the last four games and he saw over five minutes of PP time Friday.

*

In thinking about the Peter Holland trade, I got to thinking about how he'll be press box or Marlies bound if and when Tyler Bozak returns (which would be after Nazem Kadri returns). Unless he's absolutely lights out - and he was pretty good Saturday, but not lights out - he won't get a fair shake in the long term. If he has, say, six points in 10 games then back he goes. And this would be an example of what I call "politics" and how it affects fantasy hockey. Had Holland been acquired for Dion Phaneuf (extreme example to show a point, nothing more) then he could go 20 games without a point and still get played by the Leafs game in and game out. But he was acquired for what amounts to a bucket of pucks so the Leafs have very little invested in him and if push comes to shove they will go with the player with whom they have something invested. This can be a big contract, or a high draft pick or, as I noted already, a heavy price on the trade market.

This also explains David Desharnais still getting chances. The Habs have him signed to a big contract and desperately need a return on that investment.

*

Danny DeKeyser is showing some offense. We never put too much stock in that part of his game, as he was touted as a defensive stud. But he has eight points in his last 10 games. In one of my keeper leagues we are allowed to sign one unowned player each year provided that he is over the age of 24 and it is done before the trade deadline. I had already grabbed Mark Arcobello last month, but I can acquire someone else's free agent pick. So I was looking at DeKeyser. But he's 23 and his 24th birthday is March 7. And the NHL trade deadline? It's March 5. So close.

*

What we're seeing Marek Mazanec do for Nashville right now is what I figured/thought/hoped that Magnus Hellberg would do. The problem is, Hellberg had camp wiped out with an injury. And there is one of the forks in the road when it comes to his career. No injury = gets this chance and this success. Injury = Mazenec gets all that. It remains to be seen whether Mazenec swaps spots with Hellberg on the depth chart permanently. Mazenec hasn't been amazing, but he's been much better than Hutton.

Hellberg, after a great AHL start a week ago, followed it up with a win. And in three games prior to Sunday he stopped 87 of 93 shots. So his weak start to the AHL season is coming around.

*

Alexander Semin left the game Saturday with what looks to be a concussion here:

*

I didn't see the game, but checking Frozen Pool I was able to select Eric Staal and "Third Period" of "Latest Regular Season Game" and voila - here were his linemates in the third:

23.33%

EV

21 BOWMAN,DRAYSON - 12 STAAL,ERIC - 58 TERRY,CHRIS

10%

SH

39 DWYER,PATRICK - 12 STAAL,ERIC

10%

PP

20 NASH,RILEY - 15 RUUTU,TUOMO - 12 STAAL,ERIC - 19 TLUSTY,JIRI

10%

EV

22 MALHOTRA,MANNY - 12 STAAL,ERIC - 19 TLUSTY,JIRI

10%

EV

12 STAAL,ERIC - 58 TERRY,CHRIS - 19 TLUSTY,JIRI

6.67%

EV

20 NASH,RILEY - 12 STAAL,ERIC - 19 TLUSTY,JIRI

3.33%

EV

21 BOWMAN,DRAYSON - 22 MALHOTRA,MANNY - 12 STAAL,ERIC

It looks like the tried Chris Terry on that line with Tlusty and at some point he was with both Terry and Drayson Bowman. An excellent opportunity for Terry, who has nothing in the way of my aforementioned "politics" going for him. He was drafted late and has a cheap two-way contract.

*

With Kevin Poulin already muscling in on the top job on the Island, Evgeni Nabokov is out for possibly four weeks. I'd sneak Anders Nilsson onto my bench if I had the room and was truly desperate. I doubt Kevin Poulin will stumble, but…careers have been launched on smaller odds.

*

Patrik Berglund's  UBI put him on the shelf day to day Magnus Paajarvi back in. On a pretty good line, too. But he had to share his spot with Brendan Morrow:

19.22%

EV

42 BACKES,DAVID - 74 OSHIE,T.J. - 20 STEEN,ALEXANDER

17.08%

EV

9 SCHWARTZ,JADEN - 17 SOBOTKA,VLADIMIR - 91 TARASENKO,VLADIMIR

8.19%

EV

40 LAPIERRE,MAXIM - 56 PAAJARVI,MAGNUS - 75 REAVES,RYAN

6.05%

EV

56 PAAJARVI,MAGNUS - 12 ROY,DEREK - 25 STEWART,CHRIS

6.05%

EV

10 MORROW,BRENDEN - 12 ROY,DEREK - 25 STEWART,CHRIS

If you are new to the site - you can get all the line combo info you need, simply click the link on the menu along the top.

In the game that saw Jaroslav Halak get chased (six shots, three goals allowed), sophomore Vladimir Tarasenko wired six shots on net, a season high. Even more impressive - his linemate Vladimir Sobotka took nine shots on net, scoring on one of them. So the line had 16 shots on net (Schwartz had one). Sobotka is actually second on the Blues in shots on goal behind their new superstar.

Sobotka's ice time is rising, but that may not be a good thing. In the six games in which he saw just 15:02 TOI or less - he has five points. In the 13 games he's seen above 15:02 he has four points. More ice time usually means better linemates and a line that gets opposition focus, so there's apparently some growing pains.

*

By shutting down Alex Steen, the Caps allowed Alex Ovechkin to tie him in goals for the NHL lead (17).

*

After terrible luck early in his NHL career with injuries, Dustin Jeffrey could never work his way off a checking line in Pittsburgh. He also struggled as a winger, which is where they could have used him the most (three years ago). The Pens put him on waivers and Dallas picked him up, though he did not get into the game Sunday. But I wonder if Dallas is preparing to move Vernon Fiddler, leaving that third-line spot available for Jeffrey.

*

Valeri Nichushkin has seven points in his last seven games and is plus-9 in that span.

*

The Hawks called up Antti Raanta to backup Corey Crawford. His AHL debut season has been so-so, but that's not really a knock. He needed at least two years down there anyway. And if he were to get a taste of NHL action this year that would only help. I like his long-term outlook as a goalie who could steal an NHL goalie job, be it backup or starter, by 2016.

*

Speaking of goalies, Bryzgalov got ripped in his first AHL game Friday (five goals, 24 shots), but then stopped 25 of 26 Saturday. He has been recalled and I wouldn't be surprised to see him start for the Oilers on Tuesday. Yes, he's very much worth a pickup. I can see a couple of solid early games before he comes back down to earth. But that's if you're desperate in net (and who isn't?)

*

With two points Sunday, Brandon Pirri is on a four-game points streak and has five in that span. With 11 points in 16 games he's proving he belongs, as many of figured before we were shocked at his training camp demotion. Glad he's settling in.

Antti Niemi has given up four or more goals in four of his last five games, bringing his overall numbers back to Earth. The inevitable Sharks slowdown is in full force (3-2-4 in last nine).

*

Josh Harding is leading the NHL in GAA and Saves and he's third in wins with 12. Alex Steen is leading the NHL in points and goals. This is at the quarter pole. Impressive! But what do those two have in common? That's right, injuries. I could be wrong and this could be the one year that one or both remain healthy, but I would stick to the odds and history on this one and "sell high". But I would not settle, I would make sure I get what I want for them.

*

I'm more than a little worried about Mikael Granlund. Since he took that big Kadri hit, he's been held off the scoresheet. Just two-plus games, but still…doesn't stop the worry. That itch in the back of my brain.

*

Ben Scrivens earned his league-leading third shutout. He's played six full games and has three shutouts.

*

I don't know what more I can say about Tyler Toffoli. I seriously think that the Kings are better with Toffoli in the lineup than with Jeff Carter. He should be owned in all league formats because I don't believe he'll be sent down.

*

As you are no doubt aware, Mark Arcobello was only sent down to the AHL Friday on paper and not in reality. He didn’t play for OKC on Friday or Saturday, but he'll be back in the lineup as soon as the Edmonton salary cap issues and roster needs allow for it.

*

Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. The Rangers scored a combined, uh, one goal in those two games. So that bodes well for MDZ. We'll see if he can come back from this setback.

*

Mark Borowiecki took out Jared Boll here and James Wisniewski went after him. Wisniewski has had high PIM in the past and it's because every once in awhile he loses it on someone:

So Wiz would go a bunch of games with minimal PIM and then suddenly pick up 17, as he did Sunday.

FORUM UPDATE: As you know, we upgraded the forum last week and not without a crapload of bugs. We're ironing them out bit by bit (including the home page widget that leads to an error page). If you have trouble posting, there are instructions in the forum (two 'notices' at the top) how to fix that. And you can follow along as I provide updates on forum bugs and fixes right here.


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Comments (9)add comment

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... I mostly agree regarding Grabovski's ice time, but Johansson is a better player.
November 18, 2013
Votes: +0

canucker16 said:

canucker16
Grabovski Rant Seeing as I can't get to the forums - I'll do this here.

As a Grabovski owner, I am getting really frustrated with his lack of ice time and PP time. Take a look at the WAS stats page. 3rd in scoring (behind Ovy and Backstrom), 3rd in assists (behind Backstrom and Johannsen), and 3rd in goals (behind Ovy and Ward). Oh and just for fun, he's top amongst forwards for plus minus. This guy may be a Russian/Belarusian nincompoop that doesn't celebrate with his teammates after he scores a goal (really bugs me), but THE STATS DON'T LIE!!

Not even 14 minutes yeterday... are you kidding me!?!?

Please Oats, get your head out of Johanssen, Laichs and Brouwers asses, and get Grabovski some more ice time!! He's curretnly 7th amongst forwards, and that's just pathetic.

PS. Holtby is a roto stud.

Out!
November 18, 2013
Votes: +0

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... I can see Holland back in the AHL as soon as Bozak returns. He's the type of player who needs ice time to produce. He would be better off in Florida or some other team that can throw him out there in all situations to improve his development.
November 18, 2013
Votes: +0

Sheepdogged said:

Sheepdogged
... I wouldn't worry about Granlund so much. He still looks great on the ice and is still putting himself in position to score. He is starting to skate circles around the other teams and I like that he can, someone can, skate the puck into the O-zone with confidence, speed and skill. Something Koivu still can't do. And since him and Pominville lit it up the last couple weeks teams have been clamping down on that second line. Hence, Koivu had two goals on the first line agains the Jets last night. Do the Wild really have two top lines now? Hard to believe but it seems to be working.
November 18, 2013
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... Borowiecki could get a few games for that. The NHL really needs to re think whats legal and whats safe, because they dont always coincide. The quest shouldnt be for whats entertaining- or fair- but whats safe. Semin got rocked, yes he had his head down in an inopportune spot on the ice, but with Pietrangelo's size and speed this was bound to be a big hit, nothing the NHL can do about that- but maybe looking at the equipment (pads/helmets/mouthguards) might help. The Borowiecki hit, I doubt he was 'targetting the head' but was looking for a big hit on a big body, its the preying on an unsuspecting player (and ignoring the puck) and the launching of himself into the hit I dont like, He went a good 6 inches off the ice, the body slam takedown couldve also been dangerous, kudos to Wiz for stepping in.
November 18, 2013
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... Borowiecki could get a few games for that. The NHL really needs to re think whats legal and whats safe, because they dont always coincide. The quest shouldnt be for whats entertaining- or fair- but whats safe. Semin got rocked, yes he had his head down in an inopportune spot on the ice, but with Pietrangelo's size and speed this was bound to be a big hit, nothing the NHL can do about that- but maybe looking at the equipment (pads/helmets/mouthguards) might help. The Borowiecki hit, I doubt he was 'targetting the head' but was looking for a big hit on a big body, its the preying on an unsuspecting player (and ignoring the puck) and the launching of himself into the hit I dont like, He went a good 6 inches off the ice, the body slam takedown couldve also been dangerous, kudos to Wiz for stepping in.
November 18, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... 2 things. First on the comment below. Umm what? Did you watch the highlights of the fight? Once the players hit the ice it is the refs job to break up the fight, as players trying to get back up in situations like that is extremely dangerous (both are off balance, see George Parros for the effects of an off balance swing) and it was a pretty emphatic takedown. There should be no problem with the refs breaking it up at that point, they started coming in when the Ottawa player was squarely on top of Wiz and before Wiz started scrambling out.

Second. Fully agree on Toffoli but you don't think the best option is Carter-Richards-Toffoli? That's how it should have been to start the year.
November 18, 2013
Votes: +0

number54 said:

number54
Fighting I don't usually use this as a spot to vent on "what's wrong with the NHL nowadays", but seeing the refs break up that Wizniewski fight is what's wrong with fighting in the game. If the Jackets had waited a shift, then could've sent out a goon (but not Boll!) to wail on a Canes' goon who had nothing to do with the actual hit on Boll and the refs would have let them go the distance. But, when Wiz legitimately wants to stand up for a team mate by getting back at the guy who actually clocked Boll, that apparently is where the refs draw the line. It's bologna. BOLOGNA!!!
November 18, 2013
Votes: +1

number54 said:

number54
Fighting I don't usually use this as a spot to vent on "what's wrong with the NHL nowadays", but seeing the refs break up that Wizniewski fight is what's wrong with fighting in the game. If the Jackets had waited a shift, then could've sent out a goon (but not Boll!) to wail on a Canes' goon who had nothing to do with the actual hit on Boll and the refs would have let them go the distance. But, when Wiz legitimately wants to stand up for a team mate by getting back at the guy who actually clocked Boll, that apparently is where the refs draw the line. It's bologna. BOLOGNA!!!
November 18, 2013
Votes: +2
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