Who says the East is least? Out of the five cross-conference games last night four were won by the Eastern squad and it wasn’t like these were Eastern powers beating up on Western cupcakes. For one thing, there are no Eastern powers. For another, the only cupcakes in the West reside in Alberta and neither of those teams were involved.

 

The reality is that in each contest the Western team went into the game with a higher point total, except the Leafs-Stars matchup where the Stars went in with one fewer point. These were, at the very least, even matchups and for one night the East reigned supreme.

 

*

 

Speaking of those Leafs, where would they be without their stellar goaltending?

Jonathan Bernier stopped 48 of 50 shots in last night’s overtime victory over the Dallas Stars. The Leafs managed just 24 shots. Sometimes it takes a stellar goaltending performance to break a team out of a slump but it has to be disconcerting that your only wins in the past two weeks have come when your goaltender stopped at least 48 of 50 shots (Reimer stopped 49 of 50 against Washington, recently.)

 

As I’m sure you know, this business of getting outshot by extreme amounts has been an on-going theme for the Leafs this year. It’s all summed up pretty well in this post from SB Nation’s Adam Gretz.

 

While we are on the subject, the Pension Plan Puppets plan on celebrating Deathcember, this year.

 

Great comeback game for Nazem Kadri after missing the previous contest with a death in the family scoring the Leafs’ first two goals last night.

 

 

With Tyler Bozak out yet again, Kadri was bumped back onto the top line with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. The coaching staff has been hesitant to stick with that line preferring to spread the offense across multiple lines but this group has been the most productive for Kadri so far this season so for Kadri owners you have to hope he sticks.

 

Trevor Smith was bumped up to the second line and scored the overtime winner. He might be worth a short-term pickup if he keeps seeing solid minutes.

 

Jerry D’Amigo got called up and skated in his first NHL game last night. He skated 4:02, which seems ridiculous to me but I’m sure D’Amigo was happy just to skate in warm ups and get his first shift under his belt.

 

In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts he mentioned that some scouts thought that Jake Gardiner could have success as a forward. I don’t doubt that he could but my only question would be; can he play center?

 

Gardiner has been skating some huge minutes for the Leafs lately but without much power play time. He did manage an assist last night but it’s hard to show much enthusiasm for his short-term potential when the Leafs don’t give him those valuable power play minutes.

 

I touched on some Olympic bets yesterday but one highly intriguing bet that Bodog was offering earlier this week was Toronto +160 to miss the playoffs or something like that.

 

How fun would this bet be? As a disgruntled Oilers fan I’ve got nothing better to do. Why not spread the misery? I didn’t end up laying the bet because I could go out today and egg on any of my Leaf fan friends and end up with better odds than what Bodog was offering and get better rewards too because I wouldn’t have to just bet money…

 

That’s it. I’m doing this. I’ll update you next week with all the bets I contrive with my friends all built around this silly prop.

 

*

 

Since the Stars managed 50 shots last night, you have to figure some of their players finished with gaudy shot totals and did they ever. Jamie Benn was held scoreless but led the way with eight shots on goal. Tyler Seguin was also scoreless in his return to the lineup but showed little rust firing seven shots. Hell, even the greybeards Ray Whitney and Sergei Gonchar got in with six apiece.

 

Gonchar, by the way, notched his fifth assist of the season. They have all been power play markers, which is an indictment of his even-strength play. That said, Gonchar is still getting big power play minutes and his usage is up overall since October. It’s finally starting to bear fruit as he has been shooting more over the past couple of weeks.

 

I’m still not ruling out a productive second-half of the season for Gonchar, just with modest expectations. If he scored a point every three games from now to the end of the year (as he has for the past 12 games) that would get you 18 points, which isn’t much I know but in deeper leagues there might be value there.

 

Watch out, Erik Cole has goals in back-to-back games.

 

*

 

Tyler Ennis scored the lone goal for Buffalo in the Sabres loss to the Rangers last night.

 

It’s been a long season for everyone involved in the Buffalo situation but Ennis has been one of those hit hardest. Aside from a brief stretch of productivity in mid-November Ennis has been ice cold. His goal was his first score in six games giving him 10 points in 29 games this year.

 

This woulda/coulda/shoulda been Ennis’ breakout fourth season in the league. After averaging about a 52-point pace over his first three seasons it was easy to envision Ennis taking another step especially with some of the Sabres’ other offensive talents headed elsewhere. But obviously Ennis just isn’t ready for a leading role.

 

That’s why I’m not sure I can even advise a buy low here. The stench off the Sabres’ third jersey is enough to scare me off, let alone what’s rotten with the rest of the roster.

 

Matt D’Agostini is scoreless in three games with the Sabres but he has been seeing minutes, including 2:06 on the second power play unit last night, which I’d normally say would be enough to get him some modest fantasy value but if Ennis can’t even be modestly productive as a top unit guy then how is D’Agostini pulling that off with second unit duties?

 

*

 

Mats Zuccarelo is burning up for the Rangers right now with another two-point contest last night. He has eight points in his last seven games and is a must own now that the Rangers are healthy and playing (relatively) good hockey. Zuccarelo has bounced around the lineup a bit but last night he was on a line with Brad Richards, who also had two points, and Ryan Callahan, which is good company. He was also on the top power play unit last night.

 

You can argue the semantics of what constitutes the “top power play unit” though seeing as both Derek Stepan and Rick Nash skated on the “second unit” but the points is Zuccarelo’s unit skated the most minutes and was productive to boot.

Nash and Stepan also managed a point each despite the reduced minutes.

 

Look at Ryan McDonagh putting together quite the season. He wasn’t the top gun on the power play last night, that role went to Dan Girardi, but McDonagh managed two assists anyhow and has points in five straight games. Breakout season for sure even if he slows down and finishes with just 40 points, which I’d actually expect him to do.

 

That brings up something I’ve been meaning to tackle for a while now. Recently Dobber commented that Jason Garrison is a Windex Wonder because of his recent hot streak. Should we be saying the same about Ryan McDonagh now that he has taken the next step and become a fantasy worthy defenseman?

 

The reality is that 40-points is a huge benchmark for defensemen in fantasy and otherwise but 40-point defensemen go scoreless in at least 42 games a season so unless you are PK Subban or Erik Karlsson, if you are a defenseman you are probably a Windex Wonder. Dobber isn’t technically wrong, but I’d reserve that label for forwards.

 

Michael Del Zotto, was, is and forever shall be pointless.

 

*

 

The Montreal Canadiens vaulted into first place in the Atlantic Division with their narrow victory over the Boston Bruins last night.

 

They have been on fire recently winning eight of their last 10. Ever since Max Pacioretty found his groove this team has looked like trouble. Pacioretty scored his 11th goal last night, nine of which have come in the last nine games.

 

Raphael Diaz is only a second unit power play guy but he’s got assists in two straight, which might mean he’s picking it up a bit and could be worth a short-term run.

 

*

 

Is Tuukka Rask starting to slow down? It certainly doesn’t look like it going off his performance of late but if you read into some of his quotes it definitely seems like he is being affected by the heavy workload:


Obviously, I’m not as fresh as at the start of the year. But (it’s) not too bad. We’ve got a couple of days of rest here coming up. I feel pretty good. I try to take my rest anywhere I can. Eat a lot, drink a lot. Water. Your body takes a beating over the course of the year. You can feel tired. But you just try and manage it the best you can.

No one has ever criticized Rask’s talent. Whatever questions there have been have all been about durability and whether or not he could transition into a workhorse goalie. Keep in mind, Rask still has not started more than 39 games in a season. That didn’t matter so much with last year’s shortened season but now he’s got to hold up for what will likely be near 70 starts plus the Olympics on top of that.

 

I’m not saying Rask will break down but I wouldn’t rule it out either. Once he hits start #40 he is into uncharted territory.

 

*

 

Pittsburgh pimp-slapped San Jose last night in the battle of conference-leading heavyweights despite missing the streaking Evgeni Malkin after a morning-skate mishap.

 

Pascal Dupuis opened the scoring deflecting a shot early in the second period. He left shortly thereafter and did not return, which is a shame considering his goal ended a six-game drought.

 

Given the injuries, the Penguins experimented with a stacked top line for brief stretches putting James Neal on the top unit with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby. It’s hard to argue with the results as they each had multi-point games.

 

With Malkin out Jussi Jokinen was moved over to center and Jayson Megna was bumped up to the second line wing spot. Megna scored a goal in 13 minutes of ice time but I wouldn’t be jumping to grab him as he saw no power play time.

 

Malkin’s injury also cleared the way for Matt Niskanen to jump back onto the top power play unit but he was held off the score sheet for the fifth straight game.

 

*

 

If you are interested in the X’s and O’s you’ll probably appreciate this Pension Plan Puppets post on the Sharks and how they apply great backside pressure. It’s too bad they demonstrated little success with this last night.

 

The Sharks’ top line of Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns did combine for the lone goal to continue their torrid and completely unsustainable pace so not all was lost.

 

Here’s an interesting question; is Logan Couture breaking out as a superstar and we’re all missing it?

 

Couture has been a very dependable but not otherworldly scorer since entering the league full-time three seasons ago. This is now his fourth season so the timetable fits for a breakout. Through 28 games Couture has 28 points and nothing about what he is doing seems all that unsustainable.

 

We know he has great skills. He has excellent pedigree as a top-10 pick, he’s a multiple-time 30-goal-scorer and he clearly passes the eye test.

 

For context, this question was brought about by a forum query asking if the member should “sell low” on Eric Staal and offered up Couture as one of the many options. I’m almost always against selling low but what if selling Staal for Couture isn’t selling low?

 

Couture could be making the leap to point-per-game player and we are still sleeping on it. No one slept on it when Giroux made the leap, that’s for sure. So even though I own Couture in zero pools, I’m starting the bandwagon. Couture is making the leap.

 

Here’s why I think his point-per-game pace is completely sustainable:

 

He skates on the “second line” with Patrick Marleau and either Tommy Wingels or Tyler Kennedy, which is reasonable company. He also skates on the Sharks’ top power play unit, which is dynamite. The Sharks as a whole have enough offensive talent to prop Couture up even when he struggles and enough two-way talent that he doesn’t have to shoulder the entire defensive burden like some top centermen do.

 

And the underlying stats are on Couture’s side as well. He is actually shooting below his career average at just 9.7% (he’s a career 12.5% shooter) and unlike some of his teammates *cough* Burns *cough* his on-ice shooting percentage at 5-on-5 is a perfectly reasonable 8.53%.

 

What’s changed is Couture is shooting the puck more this year. He has 103 shots on goal so far, which makes for 3.68 shots/game about a half a shot more per game than in previous seasons. A half shot isn’t worth anything in a single game but over the course of a full season that makes for 40 extra shots and scoring chances. That obviously doesn’t make up the difference between a 60-point guy and an 80-point one but the subtle changes like consistent top unit power play time do.

 

In previous years Couture has been tasked with jobs like carrying the second power play unit or dragging along flotsam like Dany Heatley’s corpse, Marty Havlat, Ryane Clowe and his extra vowel baggage, Ben Ferrerio and a pre-breakout Tommy Wingels. Of course, he had some good linemates like Joe Pavelski and Marleau and even Thornton over that span but never anything this good, this consistently.

 

Once you add it all up, you’ve got Couture making the leap. Take notice.

 

*

 

As for Staal, he’s okay too. In fact, he’s got 13 points in his last 11 games as he begins his usual second half march.

 

I’m not normally a believer in split stats but for Staal there’s a sizeable sample of games indicating that he just stinks in November where he has scored just 0.75 points per game over 120 games. Over the other months he scores 0.93 points per game. That difference amounts to about a two-point decrease in scoring for the month of November each year compared to the other months.

 

Obviously he doesn’t slump every year so it’s only when he really slumps that we notice but if nothing else that should give you confidence going forward but it’s important to note that Staal has historically been closer to a 70-point player annually than an 80-point guy. In fact, he hasn’t scored 80 in six years.

 

Would you bet on Couture making the leap and Staal being just a 70-point guy? I think it has some merit.

 

And thus ends my divergence back into Cage Match mode.

 

*

 

Staal, by the way, had an assist last night but it was really Jeff Skinner and his hattrick that were worth talking about.

 

Skinner has six points over the past two games and is scalding hot now that he and Staal are skating together on the top line. I’ve noted that these two haven’t always had chemistry together in the past but for at least this short span they have been killing it, which is terrible news for Jiri Tlusty owners still clinging to hope. Trust me, give up.

 

Alex Semin owners may not be so pleased with this either. Not that Skinner necessarily blocks a reunion but if the Hurricanes want to spread out the offense then Semin could certainly be given his own line to toy with much as Skinner has in the past. Or maybe Skinner gets sent back to second line duties when everyone gets healthy. I hope you aren’t counting on me for a conclusion here.

 

One thing I will be decisive on is my never-ending love for Justin Faulk. He was only on the second power play unit last night as he has been for a while but so what he still skated over 26 minutes including 3:01 with the man-advantage and he scored a goal while adding two assists.

 

Faulk’s current hot-streak (eight points in six games) has brought him up to 14 points in 29 games on the year, which is damn near a 40-point pace.

 

#truebeliever

 

Andrej Sekera and Ryan Murphy, the two defensemen on the Hurricanes’ top power play unit, each managed an assist last night and for Sekera he now has seven points over his last six games and looks legit. I remember a couple of years ago thinking he was underutilized in Buffalo. He’s proving that to be correct.

 

Justin Peters was merely okay in the victory but didn’t really need to be stellar. Either way, it was his second straight start and win, which begs the question; do the Hurricanes need Anton Khudobin. I could see Khudobin dealt when he returns. I even read some rumour about the Islanders being interested so there’s possible value ahead for Khudobin.

 

*

 

Nashville was the team that suffered Carolina’s vengeance last night. Marek Mazanec got chased after two periods in his first stinker since taking over as starter. I wouldn’t be too shaken by it. These things happen to even the best goaltenders. Plus, Shea Weber is due back in practice today – WITH A VISOR – so all should be well.

 

*

 

Damn, Robin Lehner is missing out on a golden opportunity right now with Craig Anderson playing so poorly (granted he did beat the Panthers on Tuesday). Lehner has now put up back-to-back clunkers, which damages some of the good will he’d generated playing so well earlier in the season. These two clunkers were both 19 save, 22 shot appearances so it’s entirely possible that Lehner is just one of those goalies who does better when facing a ton of rubber.

 

The Senators didn’t just limit shots last night, they also fired a ton, which is great news for a team struggling with possession this season. It’s too bad they lost but I’m considering this a positive nonetheless.

 

Patrick Wiercioch led the Senators in power play time last night and scored his first goal of the season. His performance has been uneven this season and that’s led to some benchings but he’s scoring a point every second game, which isn’t terrible production for a defenseman. Maybe this will be a jumping-off point.

 

*

 

Check out Tampa Bay’s lines from last night courtesy of FrozenPool:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

21.4%

EV

9 JOHNSON,TYLER - 18 PALAT,ONDREJ - 26 ST. LOUIS,MARTIN

18.93%

EV

51 FILPPULA,VALTTERI - 17 KILLORN,ALEX - 56 KUCHEROV,NIKITA

16.46%

EV

23 BROWN,J.T. - 16 PURCELL,EDWARD - 44 THOMPSON,NATE

7%

EV

19 CROMBEEN,BRANDON - 44 THOMPSON,NATE - 42 TYRELL,DANA

 

Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat have hit the linemate lottery! Not only did they skate with Martin St. Louis at even strength but they also joined him for an extended stretch on the power play. And when St. Louis scored two goals last night Palat and Johnson notched points. Perhaps they have some short-term value here.

 

Teddy Purcell has been banished to the third line but did see over three minutes of power play time. No points though.

 

Ben Bishop continues to prove himself as a legitimate starter. With Steven Stamkos out the Lightning have struggled to score and that’s led to some losses but Bishop hasn’t skipped a beat. I wonder about fatigue issues with him though. He’s never been a starter for a full season.

 

*

 

Arctic Ice Hockey asks if Ondrej Pavelec is turning the corner. With a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of the Thunder Cats, I’m apt to say no. Pavelec has never struck me as all that good of a goaltender. He has talent for sure but he’s much too inconsistent and that inconsistency has shown in his numbers over the years. His best season as a pro was 2010-11 when he had a 0.914 save percentage. That’s a mediocre year.

 

0.914 is also his current save percentage after last night’s shellacking. So if the best Pavelec has to offer is mediocre then consider me unsatisfied. I’m not above goaltenders turning a corner and at 26 Pavelec still has time but I’m not a fan and cannot advise owning him in a pool.

 

A big thank you goes out to Dustin Byfuglien for granting me a solid minus-four last night. It’s much appreciated, Dusty!

 

Tobias Enstrom shouldn’t snicker. He was no better going minus-three. Enstrom is now scoreless in six straight and was scoreless in a number of games before that one. His game log features more donuts that a Tim Horton’s commercial.

 

*

 

The Panthers’ are seeing a pretty solid return on their Kris Versteeg trade. Last night both Dylan Olsen and Jimmy Hayes scored.

 

Hayes hasn’t actually done much since arriving in Florida with three points in nine games but Olsen has done some damage. His two points last night give him three in five games so far. I don’t suspect that will continue considering Olsen is not normally an offensive threat but it’s notable all the same.

 

Recent Geek of the Week, Scottie Upshall, notched another two points. He’s scored in five straight and nine of the last 11. Pick him up!

 

*

 

St. Louis completely eviscerated the Islanders last night because that’s what good teams do.

 

They even got some balanced scoring for once as David Backes, Alexander Steen and TJ Oshie only combined for four points. I kid, of course.  

 

The Blues have actually been getting some solid depth scoring of late particularly from the likes of Jaden Schwartz who was scoreless last night snapping a seven-game streak.

 

Derek Roy, Jay Bouwmeester and Kevin Shattenkirk each put up two points last night. Roy has eight points in his last eight games and is teetering on some serious fantasy value right now.

 

Bouwmeester and Shattenkirk, meanwhile, are both on pace to clear 60 points this season, which is unheard of for two defensemen on the same team. Alex Pietrangelo’s five-game scoreless streak has dropped him to a pace of 54-points, which is even more ridiculous still for three defensemen on one squad.

 

You’d have to go back to 2008-09 when Nik Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Niklas Kronwall all cleared 50 for Detroit for the last time any team has sniffed this kind of blueline dominance.

 

*

 

It’s probably not fair to judge Anders Nilsson off three losses in starts against the Capitals, Penguins and Blues but I’m doing it anyway. He’s not the answer here. I smell a trade.

 

Kyle Okposo is trending upward again with points in three straight games.

 

Andrew MacDonald also has points in three straight as he takes advantage of Lubomir Visnovsky’s injury.

 

Whatever voodoo magic Michael Grabner rubbed on himself to start the year has clearly worn off. He hasn’t scored a single point in 19 straight games. 19! How does this guy still have a regular shift?

 

Frans Nielsen ended a six-game scoreless drought and hopefully will start to get things going again. He’s still a member of the top power play unit so you should definitely stick with him.

 

*

 

The downside of Corsi tried to rear its ugly head in the Chicago-Minnesota Central Division death match as the teams combined for just 42 shots. No matter as shot quality was apparently on high as the teams also combined for seven goals.

 

Charlie Coyle got booted from the top power play unit in favour of Dany Heatley’s corpse. Apparently Mike Yeo is sad that The Walking Dead is now on its mid-season hiatus or something. The change benefitted everyone involved though as Heatley’s corpse notched a power play assist. Coyle got an assist of his own centering the second line.

 

Ryan Suter continues to skate huge minutes for Minnesota but he hasn’t scored in six straight games and hasn’t even gotten a shot on net in three straight. I wouldn’t get concerned the only real worry is that the all these miles lead to an injury.

 

Jason Pominville has been promoted to the top line and has points in three straight games.

 

Jonas Brodin scored his fifth goal of the season and is shooting an unruly 23.8%. It wouldn’t shock me if this was his last goal of the season, although I swear I said that the last time he scored.

 

*

 

Chicago’s lines are currently in flux because of their recent injuries as well as the demotion of Brandon Pirri. Here were their lines from last night courtesy of FrozenPool:

 

25.52%

EV

81 HOSSA,MARIAN - 10 SHARP,PATRICK - 19 TOEWS,JONATHAN

18.75%

EV

88 KANE,PATRICK - 20 SAAD,BRANDON - 23 VERSTEEG,KRIS

13.54%

EV

52 BOLLIG,BRANDON - 16 KRUGER,MARCUS - 28 SMITH,BEN

4.17%

EV

11 MORIN,JEREMY - 42 NORDSTROM,JOAKIM

3.65%

EV

88 KANE,PATRICK - 11 MORIN,JEREMY - 42 NORDSTROM,JOAKIM

 

You can’t see it but they were actually going with defenseman Sheldon Brookbank as a forward on that fourth unit, as they have frequently this season but when that grew worrisome they double-shifted Patrick Kane on that line.

 

As they get healthy and Bryan Bickell, Andrew Shaw and Michal Handzus return that whole fourth line could be out of a job but until then the Blackhawks are running a little thin on their usually great depth.

 

If you haven’t taken notice yet, Cory Crawford is highly mediocre. Outside of a very solid run during last year’s shortened season where he made just 30 appearances Crawford has been at best a mediocre goalie. He’s back to mediocrity again this season, not that that matters much skating behind this Blackhawks team. Crawford does lead the league in wins this season but if your league counts any stats beyond wins and shutouts he has not been all that great for you.

 

*

 

Does Patrick Roy not remember what it was like getting left on the hook during a blowout when he clearly just didn’t have his A-game that night? How else do you explain Roy leaving Semyon Varlamov in to get ventilated by the Edmonton Oilers for eight goals on 28 shots?

 

Those are the exact sort of shenanigans are what led to Roy demanding the trade that landed him in Colorado in the first place. Was he trying to relive that experience from the other end? Or maybe he was just trying to get all the regression Varlamov’s save percentage was due out in one game to limit the damage?

 

Shout out to Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson for being the only Avalanche on the positive end of the ledger while also contributing an assist each.

 

It’s also worth mentioning that Tyson Barrie led all Avalanche defensemen in power play ice time but seeing as the power play went 0/6 that may not be a positive.

 

Jan Hejda left this one early in the first after crashing into the boards. He did not return.

 

*

 

Taylor Hall erupted in this one with a hat-trick including this beauty:

 

 

That breakout pass came from Philip Larsen who was using Sam Gagner’s stick. Fortunately, they both shoot right. This was Larsen’s first game in two weeks. He only had the one point but skated over 21 minutes with 4:32 coming on the power play and was a plus-four on the night.

 

I wouldn’t get overexcited about Larsen though, that 4:32 was good for second unit power play time only.

 

Recent callup Martin Marincin got into his first NHL game. He was held scoreless but did see some power play time, which is hardly worth mentioning considering just about everyone got on the power play in last night’s whistle-fest.

 

Despite the eight goals the Oilers scored you will not be surprised to hear that Nail Yakupov didn’t manage a single point. He hasn’t scored in six straight now. What’s Loony Tunes about last night is he skated with Hall at even strength. Your linemate goes off and you can’t get in on that? When do we start to whisper, “Alexander Daigle” or “Patrick Stefan”?

 

*

 

You can find me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.


Write comment
Comments (18)add comment

Ovi42 said:

Ovi42
... Dakkster; do you think it could be that nobody really cares as much as you do? A strong grasp on proper grammar is not common knowledge or a naturally developed skill. It's a learned skill. Not everyone is going to excel with it. Most folks come from a public school system who places little emphasis on developing language skills beyond basic comprehension. It requires seeking out further development of those skills in order to be a pro, much like anything else. It's just not everyone's bag.
In a community like this which focuses on ideas and encourages contributions from all kinds, most people will happily overlook poor grammar for the sake of content.
Sure, the site could have a content editor, but I'm guessing Dobber doesn't have the 40k kicking around to hire one. You could always volunteer your services though, no?
December 06, 2013
Votes: +1

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
staal As I pointed out Staal actually really only struggles for one month typically so his "second half" begins earlier. Everything doesn't have to be black and white.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +0

Dakkster said:

Dakkster
... So... Eric Staal plays games 19 to 29 and that's him beginning "his usual second half march"? Riiiiight... I was under the impression that the second half starts at game 42 which happens to be 13 games away, but I might be wrong...

Also, it's time to declare that this site has an epidemic. Hyphens are used way too often by pretty much every writer now. Dobber should either send his writers to a seminar on hyphen use or hire a proper editor. It happens in every single text on the site at this point. Sloppy.

And yeah yeah, I'm an ass and grammar nazi. I know. But do keep telling me about it. It's always a riot to read the white knight comments defending mediocrity. I especially loved the guy who recently claimed that I shouldn't complain because I'm not writing for a fantasy hockey site. Riiiiiiiight... Oh well, see you next episode. Same bat time, same bat channel.
December 06, 2013
Votes: -2

jsuites said:

jsuites
Great article "Michael Del Zotto, was, is and forever shall be pointless."

I laughed.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +1

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
... Aleco - I got pretty gushy on Price last week. I can't touch on everyone every night.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +0

swazzy said:

swazzy
... I don't seem to recall Roy's infamous last game with the Habs being down 4-2 going into the 3rd and 5-2 with under 5 minutes left. 3 late goals is hardly "exact sort of shenanigans are what led to Roy demanding the trade"
December 06, 2013
Votes: +1

aleco83 said:

aleco83
... On Enstrom, this guy must be playing injured...what else can explain such a serious drop off... he refused to play for Sweden, or at least said he wouldn't try out. Why not unless he knows something is wrong. Just a gut fealing that he's playing hurt.

No love for Price outdueling Rask last night in marqui matchup? I know, I know, we'll see when the calendar turns 2014 but he's been lights out.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +0

Username said:

Username
... Love Laidlaw's monster ramblings. smilies/grin.gif

Thanks.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +1

davidgoodburn said:

davidgoodburn
... @ shoeless - I hope Varly storms off and demands a trade for the indignity of being left in for all 8 goals. smilies/grin.gif
December 06, 2013
Votes: +0

27Blue said:

27Blue
... Great ramblings Steve. But… I will say that Nilsson has been very good for the Isles in his starts this year. Very good.
The issue with this team is not goaltending, though it isn't winning them games either.
But, honestly, you could put Rask on this team right now and they would still lose.
They need a new coach who understands the game and plays players to their strengths…

The Isles have one line going offensively - one line and they have been as bad as everyone else in their defensive game.
The bottom 9 players have combined for 12 points over the last 18 games (read that again!)
The coach has lost the team - a bunch of floaters have have disappeared for large stretches at a time with no consequences.
They are just to cheap to do anything about it.


On another note, the Sekera trade was unreal for Carolina.
I remember some people thinking the Canes gave up to much in McBain…
but Sekara is the real deal.
And Skinner will produce with whoever he plays with. Easily the best Cane's forward this year (when playing).
He looks like he did his rookie year out there.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +0

dougi said:

dougi
... Ahhhh man, was hoping for a skinner conclusion. Would you still swap skinner for burns?
December 06, 2013
Votes: +0

Excelsior said:

Excelsior
... Excellent ramblings full of fantasy relevance. Thanks.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +2

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
non-profit spy You just get me, man. Thank you!
December 06, 2013
Votes: +3

non-profit spy said:

non-profit spy
To rataylor22 I think the Daigle and or Stefan comment was hyperbole because absolutely nothing has got Yakupov going.

While Couture is definitely a stud, I took Laidlaw's meaning to be that he doesn't hold that "name power" yet. And if that's the case, then I definitely agree.
Despite being a 70 pt player, Staal's name carries more and people tend to see him as better than that. I could say the same thing about Cam Ward and Ryan Miller - both mediocre but they each had one good season and that has given them a "big name."

I love these ramblings, haha.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +2

donpaulo said:

December 06, 2013
Votes: +2

Axeman33 said:

Axeman33
... Nothing better then a page full of ramblings to read as i sip my coffee first thing in the morning at work.

Thanks MD26!
December 06, 2013
Votes: +2

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... RNH only had 1 point on 8 goals, so let's call him Daigle and Yakupov Stefan. Really Laidlaw? Come on dude, you're better than that.

Who's sleeping on Couture? Everyone knows he's a stud. Also, Couture was on the top PP line all year last year. And I'm pretty sure most of the year before that. And he's been playing with Marleau since Burns got moved to forward last year. He's a 70-80 point player, not an 80+.

I'm a big believer in Faulk too. Dobber is not. We will see what happens, but the part I like about him is he's so good defensively, that even when Carolina has a bad game his +/- doesn't kill you and he contributes in shots and hits modestly and is above average in blocks. Basically, he finds ways to contribute even when he isn't getting you points
December 06, 2013
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
Roy leaving Varly in Might make a difference that they were on the front end of a B2B - getting blown out anyway might as well save Giggy for the Flames game.
December 06, 2013
Votes: +1
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