The Buffalo Sabres remembered they were the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. After a big 5-2 win on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Sabres were shutout 3-0 by the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

 

Ryan Miller had a strong night and at least gave them a fighting chance, but with no goal support it was not to be. Does he get dealt before the deadline? And if so, where? Looking at the teams in the playoff hunt, it's hard to find too many that are in the market for a No. 1 goalie. Minnesota perhaps? Philadelphia? Hard to imagine Miller leaving unless it's to a spot that's in a much better place going forward than the Sabres.

 

Matt Moulson isn't exactly helping his trade value at the moment. He has now gone four games without a point. 

 

Zemgus Girgensons has come back down to earth a bit after a nice run at the end of December. Actually, he's crashed back down to it. He's now gone 13 straight without a point and hasn't managed a shot in two games. Girgensons ice-time has dropped significantly and he has been getting around 15 minutes over the last couple weeks. Although he had six hits against the Pens, so that's something. Small victories.

 

*

 

Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his fourth shutout of the year Monday. His career high is only five. I still say he should have been the third goalie for Team Canada, but sadly his play in last year's post-season will haunt him for the rest of his career.

 

Water is wet, and Chris Kunitz scored again for the Pens.

 

Matt Niskanen has now gone two straight without a point, after scoring nine points in his last six. His three shots in two games are concerning, but not as much as the fact he played just 18 seconds on the power play against Buffalo.

 


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The Staals combined for three third period goals to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

 

Eric had a pair and now has nine points in his last six, including three multi-point contests. He's quietly putting together a tremendous season that has seen him have just two games without a shot on net. That's some consistency. Staal is really starting to click with Jiri Tlusty, as 14 of his 44 points on the year have come while playing with Tlusty. 

 

Anton Khudobin allowed two goals before the three-minute mark, but settled down to finish with 22 stops. He's 11-3 now, winning four straight starts.

 

Andrej Sekera saw his three-game point streak come to a close, but he did have four blocked shots. He can help your team in a lot of different ways.

 

*

 

The Blue Jackets didn't have a single power play in this game, which is hard luck for fantasy owners of Columbus players.

 

Cam Atkinson is now four-straight games without a point after a great start to the month. He had a few games during that run where he exceeded 16 minutes, but he's back down to around 14 now. You shouldn't expect much more than that from him.

 

Nick Foligno's assist on Monday puts him up to 28 points on the year to go along with 64 PIM. Combine that with his plus-2 rating and that's some solid value. 

 

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The Bruins beat the Islanders 6-3 and I’m not convinced Brad Marchand isn’t actually Pavel Bure in disguise. Marchand had a goal and three assists against New York to give him 12 points in six games. There’s no way he can keep this pace up, but enjoy it while it lasts.

 

Putting Reilly Smith with Marchand has clicked for whatever reason and with two points against the Isles, Smith has a six-game point streak himself.

 

With Marchand’s line scoring all the points, David Krejci has resorted to other ways of chipping in. Like his six blocked shots from Monday. That’s an anomaly that likely won’t be duplicated in the near future.

 

Carl Soderberg scored a goal and it was his first in six outings. He’s been a disappointment as of late and it likely has to do with Smith departing his line. He has been skating with Smith for much of the campaign but his recent move looks to have hindered Soderberg.

 

Loui Eriksson also scored after a considerable slump and he has been skating with Soderberg over the last few contests. Let’s see if they can generate some consistency going forward after a decent night against the Islanders

 

*

 

Michael Grabner had a goal and an assist for his second multi-point game in three tries. Don’t get too excited though, he didn’t even play 12 minutes and saw squat with the man advantage. He continues to be well down the pecking order in that Long Island forward group.

 

Kyle Okposo managed three points when John Tavares and Thomas Vanek were shutout. Maybe Okposo deserves some more credit for his impressive season and it’s something more than just collecting points thanks to the aforementioned two.

 

Lubomir Visnovsky returned from a concussion that forced him to miss 46 games. The Islanders wasted little time in playing him over seven minutes on the power play.

 

*

 

The Avs beat the Stars 4-3 but the bigger news was P.A. Parenteau being scratched for some reason. Some rumors said he was potentially on the move in a deal with the Canadiens, while others think it was just a coach’s decision. He has just one point with a single shot in three games since a return from injury, so a healthy scratch is a possibility.

 

Semyon Varlamov made an impressive 41 stops. He’s a legit No. 1 goalie now, no question about it.

 

Erik Johnson has failed to score a point since January 8th and went minus-2 against Dallas. He also has four games during that span where he hasn’t recorded a shot on goal. Brutal.

 

Alex Tanguay has points in two straight games since returning from injury. With the way that forward group is playing in Colorado, grab him while you can.

 

*

 

Tyler Seguin had a three-point night to give him six points in three games. Interesting note about his ice-time as he fell just short of a season-high. Seguin’s minutes were down a bit over the last week, although the Stars were coming off of three lopsided victories. So they could have just been resting him in those contests.

 

Ray Whitney played just under 11 minutes with no power play time. He actually notched points in three of four coming though, so his ice-time seemed a little low. Although he hasn’t been seeing much more than 14 minutes lately, and he is 41.

 

Alex Goligoski has seven points in four games after his two assists on Monday. He’s up to eight power play points on the campaign now too.

 

*

 

The Oilers turned in a good effort to top the Canucks 4-2. David Perron had a hat-trick and has a shot at a 35-goal season. That’s something he probably wouldn’t have been able to do in St. Louis.

 

Nail Yakupov’s two assists give him three points in two games. Better yet is he’s had five shots and gone plus-3 over that span. Those are the things that are going to keep him in the lineup.

 

Ilya Bryzgalov was good tonight and the Oilers need quality goaltending to bail them out all too often. Their defensive game isn’t good enough to survive a bad night of netminding.

 

*

 

Jordan Schroeder played in his first game since October 19 because of an injury and had been in the AHL on a conditioning stint. He scored both goals for the Canucks, who are in desperate need of some offense right now. Other than a five-goal explosion on Sunday against Phoenix, the Canucks have been hurting for goals this month.

 

Alex Burrows hasn’t posted a point since November 17th. Granted, he missed some significant time with an injury, but that still works out to 13 straight minus a point. This season is quickly looking like it’s going to be a write off for him.

 

Alex Edler is now a minus-16 on the year with 11 points. What a nightmare.

 

*

 

The Los Angeles Kings are another team struggling to find the back of the net these days. However, a 23-save shutout from Jonathan Quick earned them a 1-0 win over the Sharks.

 

Save of the year?

 

 

Dustin Brown’s ice-time has been dropping lately and he’s pointless in seven games. He did play nearly four minutes on the power play, where the Kings went 0-for-5. I wonder if Los Angeles is considering declining penalties.

 

*

 

Anze Kopitar’s goal ended Sharks goalie Alex Stalock’s franchise record shutout streak at 178:55. Not too shabby for a backup.


*

 

I mentioned Florida Panthers defenseman Tom Gilbert recently as someone to consider if you need help on the blue line, and I just scooped him up yesterday. Gilbert has two assists in each of his past three games and is seeing heavy power play time. He’s skating almost exclusively with Brian Campbell, so you know that means big minutes overall. He’s owned in just 2% of YAHOO! Leagues and is actually only a minus-1, which is fairly good for a Panthers defenseman.

 

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Washington Capitals forward Mikhail Grabovski is likely to miss his second straight game on Tuesday due to a foot injury, so adjust your lineups accordingly. The Caps had been struggling to generate offense with Alex Ovechkin out of the lineup but that changed when he returned on Saturday night. Losing some secondary scoring in Grabovski isn’t exactly going to help them stay on track. Keep an eye who replaces him as the second center if the injury is significant. Brooks Laich could be a candidate, although he hasn’t done much offensively as of late.

 

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Bryan Bickell’s season has been a disaster thus far and it just goes to show the dangers of signing a player to a lucrative deal after one strong playoff run. You know things are going bad when you are a healthy scratch in favor of Mike Kostka who is naturally a defenseman, which is what happened to Bickell on Sunday. The Hawks recalled Brandon Pirri from Rockford on Monday and that could be an ominous sign for Bickell going forward.

 

*

Here’s Martin Brodeur commenting on the ice from Sunday’s outdoor game via ESPN and he didn’t have many good things to say about it. The spectacles in these big stadiums are fun to watch but it’s easy to forget the quality of game is never great and the contests are actually critical to the standings. Just interesting to see a different perspective.

 

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 (6)add comment

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
@letnry Thanks letnry for the clarification on the attendance. Notwithstanding my inaccurate attendance claims (for two of the three games), everything else I said is still true. Basically, outdoor games create considerable revenue for the NHL, partially because of the fact that more tickets can be sold for an outdoor game than an indoor game.
January 28, 2014
Votes: +0

letnry said:

letnry
... Bickell has ulcerative colitis too?

@SeaDawg I agree with outdoor games continuing, but the attendance at LA was just under 55,000, not 100,000. In NY it was just over 50,000 and not a sell out. However, the Winter Classic in Detroit did see over 100,000.
January 28, 2014
Votes: +0

Rodgort said:

Rodgort
... I liked the dig at Philly needing a #1 goalie to start the ramblings! Haha, signing Mason....

Anyway, Brodeur with a slap to the face of the guy who keeps putting these great ice surfaces together. I am sure the ice was fine, the problem was that Brodeur is awful now and should only be used once every... time Schnieder is too tired to go because he has played 20 straight games.
January 28, 2014
Votes: +0

agentzero said:

agentzero
Agree with outdoor games, players: just play
I agree with SeaDawg. Outdoor games are profitable and great for the sport. They are entertaining and frankly create a lot of buzz. I can't stand it when players and/or coaches complain about league initiatives and rules. They are paid to play. End of story. Fans and owners "own" the game because they are the ones that make it possible. Get over yourselves and lace 'em up. You get paid to play a game every day that most pay to play in their spare time, if they have any. Shootouts? Just win'em! Stop complaining. Outdoor game conditions? So what? Both teams have to manage them. Just win the game.. Brodeur was crabby because he got lit up. Had he won, he would have said: "Oh the ice was tough out there but we managed the two points and that's what matters... It's great for the fans, a little tough on us because it's so hard to play on, but we came out hard and played as best we could and got the two points...". Geez, can it, Brodeur...
January 28, 2014
Votes: +0

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
Outdoor Games Despite poor ice conditions and issues such as snow and sun glare, outdoor games are here to stay, even if the odd player like Brodeur speaks out against the games. Outdoor games provide HUGE revenue for the league. At least for now, while they are still a relative novelty, the outdoor games sell out and the number of tickets sold equals 5 indoor games. When you take into the equation TV revenue, parking, concession sales, and merchandising, outdoor games are incredibly profitable for the league. Not to mention that with all the hype surrounding the outdoor games, the NHL gets some much needed exposure to fans who might not otherwise pay much attention to the NHL. Selling out a 100,000 seat stadium to host an outdoor game in Los Angeles is something the NHL could only dream about 15 years ago. I don’t love the quality of hockey in outdoor games, but from a purely business perspective, I suspect they will be around for a while longer.
January 28, 2014
Votes: +0

Axeman33 said:

Axeman33
... Bickell has Fernando Pisani disease. Glad I didn't buy into the playoff hype and chase that rainbow.
January 28, 2014
Votes: +0
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