First - thank you everyone for supporting the site and picking up my Midseason Guide! The seventh edition was released Sunday and I really like the added features in this one, and I feel good about this year's crop of NCAA free agents piece - I think myself and Austin Wallace nailed a lot of the key ones. The lockout - still feeling it, as sales are down. But if you notice someone in your league suddenly making a bunch of waiver moves and firing out a bunch of trade offers - you know that he or she bought this Guide and will beat you unless you do the same. See what I did there? I played on your competitive instincts in hopes of eking out more sales.

I know it seems suspicious because nothing in life is free, but there really is no hidden string attached to this Draft Street deal I have in the shop - if you deposit $10 into Draft Street, you play a couple of $5 games, maybe turn your $10 into $50… and Draft Street gives you a coupon code for $10 off my Midseason Guide. That's the string and it's not hidden - you either lose the $10 you were spending anyway, or you get a free Guide and extra cash, withdraw it and walk away clean. New sign-ups only. I couldn't talk them out of that part. I tried. Hard.

*

So the Leafs won. On the road. In regulation. Against a top team in the East. So I go on Twitter to look for the Leafs bloggers and media to tell me how 92% of their 4-3 wins are followed by losses, or how they're 1-30-4 in games after they are outshot 41-26. I didn't see anything negative. Sorry, the naysayers may be right (and they are) but it just gets to be too much. Overkill. So this is just a little rant on that. /rant.

No.1 center Tyler Bozak tallied three points. It gives him 11 points in eight games since returning from injury. Just one game without a point in that span. If he wasn't so fragile, I think he can be a 70-point guy, call me crazy. But he's here long-term and so is Kessel - and they'll be playing together throughout. You saw Crosby turn Kunitz into a 90-point guy. Well, Kessel will turn Bozak into a 70-point guy (if healthy).

Nazem Kadri had 13 points in his first 14 games, but just 13 in the next 30. James van Riemsdyk has five points in three games - and 19 shots on goal in those games.

Interesting to see Ryan Spooner on the first PP unit with Krejci, Iginla and Lucic. He was still held without a point and has just one in five games. Here were Boston's line combos:

 

27.78%

EV

12 IGINLA,JAROME - 46 KREJCI,DAVID - 17 LUCIC,MILAN

21.11%

EV

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 18 SMITH,REILLY

8.15%

EV

21 ERIKSSON,LOUI - 34 SODERBERG,CARL - 51 SPOONER,RYAN

7.78%

EV

11 CAMPBELL,GREGORY - 20 PAILLE,DANIEL - 22 THORNTON,SHAWN

*

Despite having just one shot on goal over the last seven games, Radko Gudas has been gold lately. Seven games, four assists, plus-6, 14 PIM.

Ben Bishop hasn't lost in regulation since December 3. His numbers are incredible: 23-5-3, 1.83, 0.937.

*

Another assist last night (and four shots) for Jason Demers, giving him 10 points in his last 12 games.

Marleau has just one point in his last five games as his point totals make a market correction.

Take a look at this battle - Volpatti vs. Brown. Epic. Ten seconds long, but still. Quite the 10 seconds:

*

Matt Read was back in the Philly lineup (they were 3-3-0 without him). He picked up an assist. Here were the line combos:

17.78%

EV

19 HARTNELL,SCOTT - 10 SCHENN,BRAYDEN - 17 SIMMONDS,WAYNE

17.33%

EV

28 GIROUX,CLAUDE - 12 RAFFL,MICHAEL - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB

11.56%

EV

14 COUTURIER,SEAN - 40 LECAVALIER,VINCENT - 24 READ,MATT

7.56%

PP

28 GIROUX,CLAUDE - 19 HARTNELL,SCOTT - 17 SIMMONDS,WAYNE - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB

4.89%

EV

28 GIROUX,CLAUDE - 40 LECAVALIER,VINCENT - 93 VORACEK,JAKUB

4.44%

EV

18 HALL,ADAM - 12 RAFFL,MICHAEL - 76 VANDEVELDE,CHRIS

Steve Mason is winning a ton of hockey games, but he's not playing well at all - 9-2-1 in the last 12. But he's giving up 12 goals on the last 85 shots faced.

*

With Cody Hodgson back in the lineup, it's Matt D'Agostini taking advantage. Two points last night playing with Hodgson and Ott and if you need short-term help on the wing he's almost guaranteed to be on the wire.

*

Down Goes Brown is at it again. One of his best, he posts a hockey dictionary. Here are some samples:

Blowout (n.) — a game in which one team has amassed a lead so insurmountable that a comeback by the other team is essentially impossible. In today’s NHL, that’s usually two goals (Toronto Maple Leafs excepted).

Composite Stick (n.) — the modern replacement for the old-fashioned wooden stick, preferred by NHL players because they’re lighter, more flexible, and can somehow sense the exact moment to disintegrate in your hand, right before the other team scores.

Concussion-Like Symptoms (n.) — a concussion.

Corsi (n.) — arguably the most commonly cited advanced statistic, it measures the number of shots directed at each net at even strength. If you say “Corsi” into a mirror three times, an old sportswriter will appear behind you holding piano wire.

*

I couldn't help it. I came up with a few of my own:

Flu-like Symptoms (n.) - The flu.

Gilbert Bruled (v.) - The act of rushing a talented prospect into the league as a teenager, allowing him to be injured playing against men and subsequently destroying his development. Ex. "The Phoenix Coyotes almost Gilbert Bruled Kyle Turris". Also see Gilbert Brule-ing. Ex. "The Minnesota Wild were Gilbert Brule-ing Matt Dumba this year."

Hockey Politics (n.) - The single most important factor in determining why a player of lesser talent sees premium ice time over a player who deserves it more. Could have one or several of the following influences - contract amount, draft position, size, assets used to acquire via a trade, or veteran status.

Lower-Body Injury (n.) - An injury to an area of the player's body located somewhere between (and/or including) his head and his toes.

Pulling a Prospal (v.) - When a player follows up a great season with a poor one, and then another great season followed by a poor one. If he does this four times he's "Pulled a Prospal". Four is acceptable, because it's impossible to mimic the 10 times that Vinny Prospal did it.

Successful Surgery (v.) - Surgery.

Upper-Body Injury (n.) - An injury to an area of the player's body located somewhere between (and/or including) his head and his toes.

*

Ryane Clowe is on a five-game points streak and has seven points in that span. Just one of those points was a goal and I'm not sold on him suddenly finding him mojo. What I'm sold on is the power of contract (see Hockey Politics, above). The Devils can't look dumb, so he'll get all the ice time and PP time in the world. I haven't seen a Devils game since his return, so my lack of faith is strictly based on the numbers of the past couple of years and the games I've seen earlier.

Martin Brodeur's numbers…

2012-13: 13-9-7, 2.22, 0.901

2013-14: 13-9-4, 2.33, 0.905

Marginally better, but an NHL starter in this day and age.

*

Calvin de Haan is still rolling - points in five straight now. If you haven't claimed him off waivers by now and he's still here, come on. He's still not getting the PP time (MacDonald and Donovan) and unless that changes, the hot streak won't last long. But he's red hot now, and showing a little something of what he can do in the future. Let's hope his injury troubles are behind him.

*

Erik Johnson left last night's game early - and Tyson Barrie came in and scored two goals. Barrie has 10 points in his last 12 games. EJ is day to day with a back injury.

I picked up Barrie two weeks ago, and put a claim in on de Haan (stopping in midsentence typing this to do so).

*

Jay Bouwmeester - I remember this clearly - when he was with Florida getting around 40 points a season, he always seemed to get 30 of them in the first half and 10 in the second. Looks like that Jay Bouwmeester is back. Just two points in his last eight games, and I just have a hunch on the big slowdown (and said so in the Midseason Guide).

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Jiri Hudler's career high is 57 points. He needs 19 in 35 games to beat it. Barring injury, looks like a done deal even if he does have that slowdown we all predict. Two points last night and four in his last three.

*

Kyle Turris, with two points last night has seven in his last seven. He's been seeing three or four more minutes of ice time per game than Jason Spezza lately. And why not? He's been the better player. Not ready to consider him No.1 yet, but it's starting to look inevitable.

*

You have Ryan Garbutt for the penalty minutes, but he's giving the points. Three more last night. He had two points in the first 17 games and 25 PIM. So if you needed PIM help, you picked him up. But since then in 22 games he has 15 points and 28 PIM

*

James Neal will not be in the lineup against the Capitals, due to an undisclosed injury. Taylor Pyatt will probably fill in on the Malkin line.

Neal cracked my Top 20 Multi-Category players of 2013-14. Here are players 20 through 11 (via The Hockey News). Neal is not in that article (implying that he is in the Top 10).

*

"There's not a chance in hell I'm moving Jonas Hiller". So says Anaheim GM Bob Murray. So there you have it - Hiller is getting traded!

*

Enroth robs Giroux:

 


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Comments (13)add comment

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
sorry Pgh radio reported right before I posted that Neal was playing tonight. They also said he participated in the morning skate. I don't know if their announcement was based on a statement or just based on the morning skate.

Really hope I didn't screw anybody over.
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Corey Pronman speculated on twitter that the idea of wrecking prospects is a falsely manufactured, and more often than not even if a player does fail it's by his own doing and not much blame can be placed on the team. I'm inclined to agree with that, even in the case of Brule.
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
neal duex According to pgh radio, neal is in tonight.
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

mschulz said:

mschulz
... I really enjoy you're guides. I was kind of surprised you changed the whole format/layout of the teams? It's kind of confusing. I preferred the old style. But I suppose I will get used to it.... smilies/smiley.gif
January 15, 2014
Votes: +1

Rodgort said:

Rodgort
Bishop Remember his numbers are good, but NOT team USA good
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

Dikoi said:

Dikoi
"Brule" in french means "burned"! Just thought you guys would like to know smilies/wink.gif
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Mojave - that's a great example. Dumba was a terrible example on my part, but at 1am my brain was on empty. Ah well.

Regarding Strome - great call. The Isles left him in junior for two years, and the AHL for half a year. I guarantee you if they rushed him, they would have wrecked him. He just screams "be careful" as a prospect, and it's looking like they did it right.
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
guide Btw, i'll pick up the guide tonight. Looking forward to it.
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
neal The pg article says Neal has not been ruled out of playing tonight, which is what I've heard on radio here for two days now. Is there a source for saying he's out tonight?
January 15, 2014
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... brave44 - I'm still getting sales through, so it's not widespread. Can you try a different browser? I know it declines Amex and prepaid credit cards
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

brave44 said:

brave44
Guide Got error @Gateway error. Transaction has been declined@ Any ideas what is wrong?
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0

The Comish said:

The Comish
... Enjoyed the ramblings Dobber, especially the definitions!
January 15, 2014
Votes: +1

mojavedesert said:

mojavedesert
Gilbert Bruled So many players are Gilbert Bruled. How many teams have Bruled a player as much as Grigorenko is being Bruled? I would like to find stats on this. That way, we, as fantasy hockey players can decide between prospects who are close in terms of potential. If a prospect has been drafted by a team which has a tendency to Gilbert Brule its players we could make a wiser decision. The Islanders Gilbert Bruled Josh Bailey and maybe Nino Niederreiter but maybe they smartened up by not Gilbert Bruleing Ryan Strome - at least not yet they haven't. - side note, both Nino and Strome are on my keeper team (dammit!)
January 15, 2014
Votes: +0
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