The midseason guide is available and don’t miss out on the opportunity to grab an advantage on your competition!

 

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The Calgary Flames exploded offensively on Monday night for a 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. And yes, two goals is an outburst for a team that had been shut out five times in its last eight contests.

 

Karri Ramo picked up his first-career NHL shutout and the Flames’ goaltending has showed a bit of improvement from the way they started this season. Of course, they’ve had to be better when the offense decides to go MIA for long stretches.

 

Mikael Backlund scored in his second straight game and he could be a decent buy-low candidate because he is still receiving big minutes. He’s been close to 22 in the last two contests and may have more value now with Mike Cammalleri sidelined with a concussion.

 

Sean Monahan scored the other goal and he has really cooled since his tremendous start. He played so well at the beginning of the year that the Flames had no choice but to keep him with the big club, however, if they could go back in time I wonder if they would make the same decision.

 

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The Hurricanes have now been shut out in two straight themselves.

 

Nathan Gerbe led the way with four shots, which he has now done in back-to-back games.

 

Justin Faulk has been disappointing of late, recording no more than one shot per game in four of five outings. He can go quiet as far as shots go though as he had a stretch earlier this season of five straight games without one.

 

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The Blue Jackets beat the Lightning 3-2 and again Sergei Bobrovsky was solid. He can’t go on another late season run like last year, can he?

 

Ryan Johansen’s goal gives him points in two straight. He’s starting to show some signs of life again after four games without a point.

 

Mark Letestu deserves a strong look right now if he’s available in your league. He’s got four points, three of them goals, in his last three outings and is getting solid power play time. He played just 13 minutes against Tampa, but nearly three of those came on the man advantage.

 

Jack Johnson had his first multi-point night since the first game of the season. See, aren’t you glad you held onto him?

 

Nathan Horton’s 200th NHL goal.

 

 

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Thomas Drance’s favorite player, Radko Gudas, had himself quite the night. He notched an assist to go along with four PIM and three hits. Gudas really is valuable if you have those rough and tumble categories in your pool.

 

Alex Killorn’s goal gave him five points in four games. He’s been clicking well with Purcell and Filppula, which means that line should still stay together even when Steven Stamkos comes back. So Killorn might be a good one to hang on to.

 

Nikita Kucherov has now gone pointless in three but he still got over three minutes with the man advantage. So don’t give up on him yet.

 

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Paul Maurice’s debut behind the Winnipeg bench was a successful one as the Jets were victorious over the Coyotes 5-1.

 

Winnipeg spread the offense around as no one had more than a single point, except Dustin Byfuglien who had a pair of assists.

 

Crazy stat of the night: Tobias Enstrom played almost 10 minutes on the power play because Phoenix took so many penalties. He only cashed in with one point though in what could have been a massive night for poolies.

 

Al Montoya would be a smart add right now as I’m not sure how much longer Ondrej Pavelec can hold onto the starting job. He got the win on Monday but only faced 19 shots, and the goal he gave up he was swimming all over the crease. Montoya’s numbers have been far superior this year and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Maurice give him some more starts.

 

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Phoenix didn’t do much on the scoreboard against Winnipeg, but they did throw their weight around. They had six guys who had at least three hits and Martin Hanzal led the way with five.

 

Mike Smith had another rough outing and hasn’t posted a save percentage of .900 in four straight. Ever since he was named to the Canadian Olympic team he’s been dreadful.

 

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Vancouver fell to Los Angeles 1-0 in a penalty-filled affair. There were 109 PIM in all, including a couple of nasty incidents.

 

Tom Sestito had a grand total of one second of ice-time before attacking Jordan Nolan and getting ejected. Nolan appeared to get too close to one of the Sedins which seemed to anger Sestito for some unknown reason. Meanwhile, Dale Weise had a slewfoot on Drew Doughty and even Ryan Kesler and Dustin Brown dropped the gloves at one point. Nothing spoils a good hockey game like goals and skill, so thankfully these moronic incidents were there to prevent us from seeing something stupid. Unreal.

 

Jonathan Quick picked up a 28 save shutout in some of the only actually hockey that was being played. He’s been great since his return from injury so it looks like Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones’ 15 minutes of fame are over.

 

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Ben Bishop will reportedly return to the Tampa Bay net on Tuesday after missing time with a sprained wrist. Just be aware of Tampa’s schedule coming up as it’s difficult. They’ve got two of the league’s hottest teams in the Rangers and Islanders followed by a matchup with the Sharks. Not exactly the best way to ease back into action for Bishop.

 

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It will be interesting to see what the Ducks do with Jonas Hiller as far as a contract goes. He’s an unrestricted free-agent after this year and given Anaheim’s depth between the pipes, they could be inclined to turn the goaltending duties over to Frederik Andersen and John Gibson at some point. However, the Ducks sit atop the NHL standings and a large part of that is thanks to Hiller, who has been sensational this season. He’s won 14 straight starts and posted a save percentage below .900 just four times over that span. It’s going to be tough to justify not holding onto him when he and the team are playing this well, even if they do end up losing him to free agency in the off-season.

 

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Staying with the Ducks for a minute, as this Pro Hockey Talk piece points out, it’s time to start taking Nick Bonino seriously. He’s easily on pace for over 50 points and already has accumulated 15 power play points. He’s seeing nearly three minutes a night with the man advantage and much of that time is obviously with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

 

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Paul Stastny’s leg injury he suffered on Saturday isn’t serious and he should be good to go on Tuesday, according to the Denver Post. Stastny has been rolling of late, notching seven points in his last five contests.

 

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Anatoliy Metter of The Hockey Writers checks in with four forwards under 20% owned.

 

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Sean McIndoe looks at the upcoming second half of the NHL season for Grantland.

 

Michael Amato is an Associate Editor for DobberHockey and a News Editor for theScore. You can follow him on Twitter at @amato_mike


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Comments (9)add comment

The Comish said:

The Comish
... Judging by the negative nellies in the comments section, there are some seriously thin-skinned Vancouver fans out there! The Canucks are just setting the tone for what is shaping up to be one heck of a playoffs in the West.

That Sestito is one tough customer and it's kinda fun when two "real" players like Kesler and D for douchebag Dustin Brown drop the mittens. I really hope that the Sedins have learned how the NHL playoff officiating works. If you get punched in a post-whistle scrum, you must punch back or skate away immediately and focus on winning the battles while play is actually going on. Just once I'd love to see a post-whistle face wash get called for what it is, Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Good thing the NHL doesn't actually use the rule book when the games are most important...wouldn't want to affect the outcome of a game...you know, by calling the RULES. Sheesh.
January 15, 2014
Votes: +1

Dana Murzyn said:

Dana Murzyn
... Surprised by the 'Nucks/Kings' blurb. Apart from your apparent allegiance to the Kings, who by the way would've swept the Golden Globes with their respective embellishments, I find it hard to believe you didn't enjoy the game for at least a minute or two. You're actually surprised by Sestito taking exception to Nolan's run at Sedin? I agree that he handled it poorly but the fact that you can't even say; "Nolan's an a%& and didn't deserve a beating", is shocking. The rest of the article was good.
January 14, 2014
Votes: +0

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
'nucks/kings game Maybe it needs to be pointed out...Amato was being facetious.
January 14, 2014
Votes: -1

mth said:

mth
... Wake up Amato, it sounds like you didn't even watch the kings Canucks game.
January 14, 2014
Votes: +2

mth said:

mth
... I garantee that Amato was already asleep and in dreamy land when the the Kings Canucks game was on. The game was great unlike Amato's dumb opinion. Wakey wakey!
January 14, 2014
Votes: +3

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
Hiller I don't see how the Ducks can hold on to him. Fasth and Andersen are both signed to one -way deals next season, and Anaheim isn't exactly a cap+ team.
January 14, 2014
Votes: +1

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
what game were you watching? Vancouver vs LA was a fantastic game! one of the best of the year, had a distinct playoff feel to it, and yet you bash it?
I had no problem with the opening call on Kassian, but when they let Nolan take a run (again) at Henrik (shouldve been a charge) and then he turtles like the POS he is, the Canucks played with emotion- something missing most nights. The Canucks didnt do anything the Kings,Sharks,Hawks and Bruins havent done to them countless times. Unfortunately the refs lost control early and the Canucks paid dearly, almost 11 minutes shorthanded in the 1st period! including a short 5 on 3, and they shutdown the Kings, and had a few chances themselves. Both goalies played great, the Canucks PK was fantastic, and despite the lack of goals, I saw plenty of skill, plenty of excitement, lots of emotion.
Nothing spoils a good rambling like a moronic recap of a great game. Unreal.


January 14, 2014
Votes: +6

SharkMeat said:

SharkMeat
posfted articles Michael...thanks for posting the other material you find of interest. I enjoy reading them...
January 14, 2014
Votes: -1

xtrain said:

xtrain
Really ... ? Sedins getting run (yet again). Luongo run over and injured last game. No calls.

I guess the Canucks should have just sat back and done nothing, ala getting punched in the head 6 times and then having the call go against them.

Give your head a shake.
January 14, 2014
Votes: +6
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