Michael Raffl had my attention prior to Sunday given his run of four points in five games. But Sunday's three-point effort makes it official - get on this guy. Not a future star or anything, but certainly capable of the mini hot and cold streaks that teammate Matt Read gave us when he was a rookie. Still no PP time as of yet, so ride the streak while you can. But definitely expect more streaks later in the year.

Since his four-point game on December 4, Sean Couturier has been a minus player each game, minus-8 in five games altogether. And just two points in that span. So much for my pushing him as a top wire pickup while Lecavalier was out.

Claude Giroux had seven points and was minus-11 after 15 games. He has 18 points and is plus-6 in 18 games since then.

Steve Mason still has his save percentage up at 0.924. That's an NHL career best. After starting the season 1-5-0 … he is 10-4-4.

*

Mikhail Grabovski missed Sunday's contest with the flu. That's a shame because the guy had points in six of his last seven games. Momentum has been lost - not necessarily bad, but certainly can't be good.

*

Penguins injury update - nothing official to report, just the dribbles of out of context information from the Penguins Twitter account and from beatwriters. But from what I can guess at based on this, Malkin doesn't have anything broken, it looked like a hamstring injury, and frankly I would guess 2-3 weeks. Just Dr. Dobber saying this. Dr. Dobber also figures Letang will miss at least this week, I wouldn't dress him if you have options.

*

 

Brendan Ross chiming in here. Just posted an in-depth prospect ramblings over at Dobber Prospects so be sure to head over there after reading these great thoughts. Information on the 2014 World Junior Championships, Evgeny Kuznetsov and direct access to some great prospect resources that all of you should be following.

 

*

Tomas Jurco played his first career NHL game Sunday. I'll be honest with you, I didn't see that happening this year and I don't see him as a regular with this team this year or next. That being said, he's progressing far more quickly than I thought and if you don't mind sitting on a prospect for two years (hell, you've sat on Nyquist for three!) this is a great one to sit on. He has 27 points in 26 AHL games to lead Grand Rapids. I'm impressed to see Mike Babcock stick him on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and play nearly 17 minutes.

Petr Mrazek snuck in a start yesterday and played well for the Red Wings. But he gave up two goals in the third and lost 3-0 (TB added an empty netter). Jonas Gustavsson hasn't won in regulation in his last three starts, but I'm sure he'll be back in next game.

Gustav Nyquist has three points in eight games as the adrenalin has worn off - though the reality is that as his NHL career begins, he could sure use a Zetterberg on his line. Here were Detroit's line combos:

 

21.94%

EV

11 ALFREDSSON,DANIEL - 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 26 JURCO,TOMAS

16.88%

EV

18 ANDERSSON,JOAKIM - 20 MILLER,ANDREW - 21 TATAR,TOMAS

13.5%

EV

71 CLEARY,DANIEL - 17 EAVES,PATRICK - 41 GLENDENING,LUKE

10.55%

EV

44 BERTUZZI,TODD - 93 FRANZEN,JOHAN - 14 NYQUIST,GUSTAV

 

Jurco was called up to replace Justin Abdelkader, who is out with a suspected concussion. But the injuries continue for the Wings - take a look at this hit on Johan Franzen. Franzen left the game and will not play Tuesday:

 

 

*

Since that brief little surge, David Desharnais has one point in his last six games. What a tease. He had me going there for a minute, making think maybe he could his numbers back up.

*

I've been asked a lot about Florida rearguard Dylan Olsen, who was a 28th overall pick in 2009 and has seven points in 10 games since joining the Panthers. No it's not sustainable. He's a defensive guy. But we could maybe see what we saw with Kyle Quincey when he went to the Kings a few years ago. A nice one-year blip. He was pointless yesterday and saw zero PP time, but still worth a short-term pickup if you need a d-man until he slows down.

*

Dylan McIlrath, who is a good future fantasy guy for hits and PIM, was in his second NHL game yesterday after a weak first game that saw him go minus-1 despite just eight minutes of ice time. He showed more spunk this time, picking a fight with Brian McGrattan and later picking up a penalty for high-sticking, and earning a hit with just five minutes of ice time. Here is his fight:

*

I know I'm really reaching here, but at least it's something - Michael Del Zotto has two points and is plus-2 in his last four games, to go along with 12 shots on goal. Is he getting the new system now? Here's hoping.

*

Since his return from injury, Mark Giordano has four points and is plus-5 in seven games.

*

I'm getting the impression that Martin Jones is getting set up to succeed. The Kings know they have something in the guy and he's signed for next year at nearly the NHL minimum. Meanwhile, Ben Scrivens is an unrestricted free agent and the Kings won't pay him, especially if he waltzes into the summer with a 15-3-0 record or something like that. So they put Jones in and let him ride a hot streak, and then when the Kings play the best team in the league - Chicago - they throw Ben Scrivens in. They threw him into the bullring wearing a red suit and he was peppered with 40 shots and took the loss. Now they can play Jones against the Oilers. I'll be interested to see who plays against the Sharks on Thursday, because that's no softie.

Moral of the story - I actually think this will be Jones' show now, until Quick returns.

*

Patrick Sharp has been outstanding this year. He's up to 11th in league scoring and third in shots on goal. He started with five points in 11 games but has 28 in 25 since then. Kudos to you if you acquired him in late October for cheap.

Brent Seabrook has nine points in his last nine games.

*

Ales Hemsky missed the Oilers game Sunday with a rib injury.

Mathieu Perreault returned to the Anaheim lineup and earned an assist and had four shots. Here were the Ducks line combos with him back in:

 

24.37%

EV

15 GETZLAF,RYAN - 17 PENNER,DUSTIN - 10 PERRY,COREY

21.43%

EV

7 COGLIANO,ANDREW - 11 KOIVU,SAKU - 34 WINNIK,DANIEL

18.07%

EV

39 BELESKEY,MATT - 22 PERREAULT,MATHIEU - 8 SELANNE,TEEMU

11.34%

EV

13 BONINO,NICK - 62 MAROON,PATRICK - 21 PALMIERI,KYLE

 

Beleskey just doesn't cut it when it comes to replacing Silfverberg on that line. But kudos to Selanne for scoring his first goal since October 20 and first point since October 27.

*

Touched upon in Drance's ramblings, but here is the clip. Marchand kisses the Stanley Cup in front of the Vancouver bench. I love how he seems to be scared - hesitant - to do it 'obviously', but at the same time keeping it subtle didn't work at all (otherwise it wouldn't be all over the Internet):

If this was Sean Avery, he would do a meaningful, obvious Cup raise and bring it clearly down to his mouth for a big smooch. And then he would smile and nod mockingly at the bench on his way by. Why half-ass it? If you're gonna do it - do it! I miss Avery, Marchand just doesn't cut it.

*

The future of Valeri Nichushkin, who is looking every bit the Ilya Kovalchuk:

 

 

 


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Comments (8)add comment

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
27Blue You haven't been watching any Dallas games then. Nichushkin is a dynamic player with game breaking talent and he already knows how to use his size. He's only going to get better and has definitely earned a spot on the top PP. Chaisson has done nothing and doesn't have great hands around the net, Whitney at least still possesses elite vision. Chaisson honestly just isn't a great player.
December 16, 2013
Votes: +0

27Blue said:

27Blue
... The guy you take of the stars PP is Whitney, not Chiasson. Not sure you want Nichushkin to be the guy replacing him though….
December 16, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Also, from the Boston-Vancouver game, if you saw a picture of Iginla's hand after his fight with Kesler, the fact that he came back to the game is ridiculous. Such a beast.
December 16, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... @baumer I'm pretty sure Dobber outlined it correctly. They have no interest in keeping Scrivens next year, and have more time invested in Jones. They aren't going to throw Jones out there to get lit up by the (probable) best team in the league. And Helene Elliot is right, it's not Sutter's job to coddle Scrivens, it is his job to coddle Jones. FYI, Jones' first start came in the second game of a back to back (pretty standard procedure) and he posted a shutout, If you aren't riding your #1, then you're riding the hot hand and that is what Sutter did. Sounds like maybe a bit of bitterness as a Scrivens owner and nothing more.

Nichu's goal against the Jets was an incredible play. Beat Winnipeg with speed and then incredible hands in closed. I watched the game live and had to rewind the game more than once to watch it again. Benn-Seguin-Nichu could be a real deadly line for a long time. Benn and Seguin are already signed long term and Nichu is an RFA for a long time. Could get scary fast. Sunday's production aside, the Stars PP has been absolutely anaemic this season. I think it's time the try Nichu on the top unit. He has success with Benn-Seguin at even strength, he deserves some top PP time. Right now they are rolling out Benn-Seguin-Chaisson-Whitney-Goligoski/Gonchar and it just isn't working. I'd probably replace Chaisson since Nichu would be better suited taking his net-front spot than Whitney's point/halfwall spot
December 16, 2013
Votes: +1

baumer said:

baumer
... I know something is up with LA. They give Jones 5 starts in a row including one over Toronto, Scrivens former team, then they say Scrivens is good enough to play the defending cup champs and he loses. I commented on twitter that Sutter is a idiot for doing that and one of the writers who covers the Kings, Helene Elliott @helenenothelen, told me that it is not Sutter's job to coddle Scrivens. But it doesn't make sense because Scrivens was playing lights out hockey, didn't have a bad game and then all of a sudden this Jones guy starts? Something doesn't smell right.
December 16, 2013
Votes: +0

agentzero said:

agentzero
marchand I'm guessing Neal's knee wasn't hard enough to knock some sense into that guy... Next time maybe. What a punk...losing 4-1 and pulling that.
December 16, 2013
Votes: +0

hawkdog said:

hawkdog
Marchand I am guessing if Boston wasn't losing so bad he may have put more effort in the gesture.
The crowd booed him every time he touched the puck which is probably what sparked his response.


excellent ramblings this morning.
December 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
Malkin I'm guessing knee/ankle as opposed to hammy.

Based on entirely nothing.
December 16, 2013
Votes: +0
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