In case you missed it - Steven Stamkos will not be participating in the Olympics. I get the impression that if he just had two more weeks, he'd make it. Just a crushing blow for Stamkos, who worked harder than anyone in his position could have.

As for Canada, we'll be fine. Stamkos to Giroux or Stamkos to St. Louis is not a devastating downgrade.

*

Great feedback in the forum the other day, and the comments below on Monday, about seeing more of me - both in terms of updates later in the day as well as columns on the site. I'll work harder on bringing you updates in the ramblings later in the day. And to follow up my column last week, I posted another one yesterday here.

I can't believe the Rangers are trading Ryan Callahan. I'm not buying it. Not when the team is winning like crazy right now. But Callahan sure is selling himself. Another three points last night to go with six shots on goal. He also had seven hits. The Rangers have him, Hagelin and Richards going, as well as the Brassard - Zuccarello line really rolling while everyone focuses on Rick Nash. I'd be shocked if they rock the boat by trading their captain. Rangers fans, what say you?

The line of Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn was a combined minus-15. They were on the ice for all five Rangers goals. And you can see that Patrick Roy caught this and held their ice time down, which is something that I don't see a lot of coaches do to that extreme. But O'Reilly saw just 12:37, Duchene 14:34.

*

If it's not one line it's another for the Bruins. The red-hot line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith have cooled off, combining for one point in four games. Whereas the line of Lucic, Krejci and Iginla have 16 points in that span. The lines have been taking turns getting hot for Boston all season long. It's like Nashville on steroids. And fantasy owners are anxiously awaiting for their player's turn.

*

The first thing I check on a given night is the box score involving the recently traded player. Assuming I don't get to watch that particular game, that is. And that was the case with the Canucks/Bruins. While Alex Edler saw 2:55 in PP time, Raphael Diaz saw his share as well (2:33). Diaz scored the only goal and had a season high four shots on goal. The pairings:

 

27.24%

EV

24 DIAZ,RAPHAEL - 18 STANTON,RYAN

26.52%

EV

23 EDLER,ALEXANDER - 5 GARRISON,JASON

21.15%

EV

26 CORRADO,FRANK - 47 SAUVE,YANN

*

It was interesting to see Jordan Schroeder get 19:08 of ice time. That's just the second time in his eight games this year that he's had more than 15 minutes. The Canucks aren't winning. Nor are they scoring. This week they've had Henrik Sedin and Coach John Tortorella return. Last week, Schroeder came back. So understandably, they are mixing and matching the lines a lot. Take a look:

 

12.19%

EV

7 BOOTH,DAVID - 36 HANSEN,JANNIK - 17 KESLER,RYAN

11.11%

EV

14 BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

10.39%

EV

17 KESLER,RYAN - 22 SEDIN,DANIEL - 33 SEDIN,HENRIK

9.32%

EV

9 KASSIAN,ZACK - 44 PELLETIER,PASCAL - 45 SCHROEDER,JORDAN

6.45%

EV

21 DALPE,ZAC - 54 LAIN,KELLAN - 29 SESTITO,TOMMY

3.94%

EV

9 KASSIAN,ZACK - 45 SCHROEDER,JORDAN - 29 SESTITO,TOMMY

3.94%

EV

7 BOOTH,DAVID - 36 HANSEN,JANNIK - 45 SCHROEDER,JORDAN

2.87%

EV

7 BOOTH,DAVID - 9 KASSIAN,ZACK - 17 KESLER,RYAN

2.87%

EV

7 BOOTH,DAVID - 21 DALPE,ZAC - 36 HANSEN,JANNIK

2.15%

EV

7 BOOTH,DAVID - 9 KASSIAN,ZACK - 45 SCHROEDER,JORDAN

1.79%

EV

14 BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - 44 PELLETIER,PASCAL - 45 SCHROEDER,JORDAN

 

It's not often I see that kind of variety.

Henrik and Daniel are serious buy-low players right now. There will be a market correction here, even if the Canucks don't find their winning ways. The twins will not fall below 65 points. No way.

Schroeder, I should note, had four blocked shots. I looked it up - he only has seven on the year, so that's probably a one-off.

*

Matt Moulson, who will be out until after Sochi, will still get a ton of ice time wherever he ends up. And he'll sign a pretty good contract (and if his agent is smart, it will be for at least four years). But his big production days I suspect are over. A lot of things about his situation and production are reminding me of Rob Brown, but on a lesser scale. Remember him? Look him up. Anyway whatever happens, good or bad, right or wrong, I don't want him on my team.

*

Three more shots for Michael Frolik. I'm telling ya, as I noted Monday, he has upped the shot attempts in a huge way and putting up points as a result.

I really like what I see in Anton Khudobin. Someone has to give him the starting job next year somewhere. Of his five losses this year, in three of them he allowed two goals and in the other two he gave up three goals. Winnable games for his team, each and every one. Carolina is not a great team, yet Khudobin is 12-5-0.

*

Dale Weise's Montreal debut was nothing exciting - three hits, zero penalty minutes in 12:45 of ice time.

Lars Eller's assist last night was his first assist since before Christmas. His five points in the first two games of the season are such a distant memory now. I'm surprised that he hasn't been able to build on that. He needs to find a comfort zone, be it at center or on the wing, with Player X or Player Y. Find it, and fast, or risk being another Taylor Pyatt. Eller will be 25 in May, so I'll reserve judgment after 2014-15.

*

Poor David Clarkson. He returns to the Leafs lineup and they lose again. The team is 16-17-4 with him, 14-5-2 without him. This, even though he scored their only goal and had seven hits.

The Panthers may have shut down the white-hot Phil Kessel, but Nazem Kadri is still rolling. He has points in nine of his last 10 (15 in that span).

*

John Tavares - four games without a point.

So Tavares and Alex Ovechkin combined for about 16 minutes of power-play time last night. The result? Zero goals, zero assists. I'll just punch that into the calculator…ah, okay - zero points.

Calvin de Haan with another six hits last night. He's really making his mark in that category, with 75  in 32 games (54 blocked shots, too). No wonder he gets hurt so much..

*

With three points last night, Jason Spezza has 10 points in his last eight. Kyle Turris hasn’t cooled down any either, with six in that span. So if both pivots are rolling, Ottawa fans have a lot to look forward to. Now if only Bobby Ryan could catch a piece of that magic…

Robin Lehner faced 50 shots and earned - earned that win. But the fact remains that it was the fourth time in five starts that he has given up four goals or more. In his defense a lot of that is the team in front of him, as well as the fact that he keeps coming in cold, since Craig Anderson gets the bulk of the workload.

Look at this by TJ Oshie - the arena was silent. They didn't know…

*

Jared Spurgeon got into his first game in over a month and posted two points.

Apparently, rookie Erik Haula played "one of his best games", per the coach Mike Yeo. Haula, a star in the NCAA, has four points this season for the Wild in 24 games, and 17 in 23 AHL contests. Check out Haula's fantasy hockey profile here.

*

Calgary prospect goaltender Joni Ortio is having a fantastic season for Abbottsford. He has really come along over the past year, actually starting in the ECHL. But he has since stolen the AHL top job in this his first year in the NHL. Justin Goldman and I were of the belief that he didn't have it in him to be a potential NHL starter. A backup, maybe. But he has definitely put himself in the mix. I doubt you'd see anything for a couple of years, while the Flames sort out Ramo vs. Berra. Each have had their moments - Berra was good early on, but Ramo was picking things up of late. Ramo is sidelined until after Sochi and Ortio has been called up - and is expected to get a start and probably sooner rather than later. Very interested in seeing how that goes.

*

Sami Vatanen has six points in six AHL contests. His numbers with Anaheim are adequate for a promising rookie defenseman. To me, he's on the right track and you should not lose patience. I think he's going to be a quality fantasy own in about two years.

*

If you need a good PIM guy, consider picking up Adam Burish. He hasn't played a game yet this season, but apparently is getting very close to a return to the Sharks lineup.

Apparently Jason Demers, who has missed two games with a groin pull, is also ready to return.

*

Michel Therrien was tripped in practice by Ryan White:

 


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Comments (10)add comment

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... Regarding Callahan we will soon see who is right smilies/smiley.gif

Spec7ral, Stepan is an interesting situation. I think his holdout really had an adverse affect upon him (no duh) Then the Brad Stuart concussion hit on Nash really set that line back another step. They are starting to fire on all cylinders now tho...

He sometimes seemed lost out there, cursing on the bench and obviously angry at himself between plays.

However coach has him between NY's top 2 wingers IMO so I am sure things will work themselves out. He has been pretty hot and cold so far this season but if that patterns holds true look for him to put up some points over the next game or two.
February 06, 2014
Votes: +0

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
@baumer I completely agree with you. Callahan "wants" that kind of money, but there is no way he gets that from any team, including the Rangers who simply can't afford that. I think this is why Sather allowed Callahan's agent to talk to other teams. That was a smart move, imo. Callahan's agent will learn that no team will meet his client's demands, and then they can go back to negotiating a reasonable contract with the Rangers. He will re-sign with the Rangers, but it won't be for such an absurd amount of money.
February 05, 2014
Votes: +0

baumer said:

baumer
... Callahan wants 7 mill a year? He has 25 points this year? Lol. Yea ok. Good luck dumb ass.
February 05, 2014
Votes: +1

Rodgort said:

Rodgort
... I agree with hank mooney, what does Minny have in Kuemper? I have him in a couple keepers. Can he be a #1?
February 05, 2014
Votes: +1

Spec7ral said:

Spec7ral
... DonP what's your take on Stepan? Does he put it back together for a full season next year? He's so hot and cold and I expected a bit more from him this season.

Thanks for any input.
February 05, 2014
Votes: +0

jacques ouef said:

hammer2003
... No chance Callahan gets traded. 0%, It would be a disaster for the Rangers to trade their captain and then do poorly in the playoffs, or even worse not make them. No way does Sather take that chance.
February 05, 2014
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
Rangers Look at this way. The Rangers are in "Buy" mode. So they will go to another team and give up a pick and a prospect to get a veteran on an expiring contract. Right? Happens all the time, and the Rangers have done it before. So why not, instead of buying an expiring contract...they give up absolutely nothing and just keep Callahan? Either way, they lose the player in the summer for nothing. But this way they don't give up picks/prospects to get him in the first place.

In a weak East, the NYR are looking like they could go deep. I can't see them selling.
February 05, 2014
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... My how the season has altered things. Out of the gate the Rangers were HORRIBLE and now they are 14-5-1 over their last 20.

Callahan will be traded because NY cannot afford to let him walk away for "nothing" at the end of the season. The team isn't so deep that this won't turn into a cap/asset management issue.

For those doubters remember that Sather traded Brian Fricking Leetch !

He can trade Callahan.

Guy is nails but the contract demands price him off the team. Perhaps ranger fans can blame Slats for paying Richards to come to town yeh ?

Captain Cally will take his lunchpail and earn big bucks next season playing for a team in need of fire. Buffalo anyone ? How about Florida.

As far as rentals go the Oilers could use his kind of fire. I bet Tortarella feels in need of a spark not to mention the Kings, Habs and Caps
February 05, 2014
Votes: -1

hank mooney said:

hank mooney
... Kuemper?
Another win...is this smoke and mirrors? Do you think Minny trades for a more established goalie in the off season, or do they roll with Kuemper?
February 05, 2014
Votes: +1

austeane said:

austeane
... A couple of Canuck notes:
Schroeder has been praised in the past by Torts for his willingness to block shots. Now that his ankle/foot injuries are cleared up I expect him to post decent block-totals.
Also, four defensemen playing for the Canucks tonight weren't supposed to be on the opening day roster. Don't read too much into these pairings and minutes. Tanev, Bieksa and Hamhuis will bump down three of those players.
February 04, 2014
Votes: +1
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