I thought Dobber was out of his mind when he wrote in his guide before the season started, that he considered Yann Danis a better goalie than Joey MacDonald and would steal the latter’s job. Over his last five games, Danis only has three wins, but his ancillary numbers have been spicy hot, sporting a sweet 0.968 save percentage, a 1.00 goals-against-average and two shutouts.
What’s happening right now with the Islanders is predictable and happens every year around this time. Teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention often experience a brief surge, mainly due to the lack of pressure. The players are all loosey-goosey. Should you ride the stellar play of Danis, hell yeah, but be aware that he could come crashing down faster than your stock portfolio (sorry, mine too).
I’m not too excited about Danis’ fantasy future either. He’s a 27-year-old career minor leaguer stuck behind a number one goalie that has a lifetime contract with a team that currently stands alone at the bottom of the standings.
As for the Isles offence, what can you say? No Weight, no Comrie, no Guerin, no Hunter and yet they are still coming up with key goals. The catalyst is the Swiss Mister, Mark Streit. After recording an unlikely 62 points last season with Montreal, no one thought (me included) that he could repeat the feat with the lowly Isles. Surprise, surprise, Streit is on place for 59 points this year, even though he has missed five games. Amazing.
Other Islanders that have been picking up the scoring slack include veteran Jon Sim, who has seven points over his last six games and former first round pick (2002) Sean Bergenheim with seven points in his last nine games. The coach has to like Bergenheim’s plus-seven rating over that period.
Meanwhile, rookie Josh Bailey’s scoring touch has really dried up of late. The ninth overall selection in the 2008 entry draft has recorded one measly assist over his last dozen games. He’s still getting pretty good ice time though, averaging about 16 and a half minutes per game over those 12 games. One reason is that he’s not hurting the team too badly; he’s only a minus-3 over that period.
There’s trouble brewing in Bean town. Boston has only won three of their last 11 games, although they also had three overtime losses. In their previous 13 games, they recorded ten wins, one loss and two overtime losses. New Jersey has closed to within six points of the Bruins.
Yawn, Marty Brodeur is back. After a 50 game absence, you would think that a 36-year-old goalie might show a little rust, but Brodeur has stepped right in and not missed a beat. He’s won all four games since returning from his injury, recording two shutouts and a 1.00 goals-against-average. New Jersey is playing like they are the team to beat in the East right now.
Ilya Kovalchuk is on an incredible run right now. He has scored goals in ten of his last 11 games, recording 14 goals and eight assists for 22 points.
After scoring only nine points in 27 games with Nashville, (I’m gonna be) Rich Peverley now has 21 points in 21 games with the Thrashers. Todd White had a seven game, 11 point streak broken Tuesday night.
Mike Fisher has a point in four straight, while Chris Campoli has four points in five games since coming over from Long Island.
Alex Semin has a goal in each of his last four games and seven points over that stretch.
Chris Kunitz has five points in his three games as a Penguin and seven points in his last five games.
Simon Gagne has ten points in his last nine games and is on pace for 77 points and more importantly 79 games played.
Michael Frolik is showing early signs of being a streaky player and is coming off of back-to-back two point games. Stephen Weiss has one upped the rookie with back-to-back three point efforts.
Finally, welcome back to the NHL Sean Avery and a much discussed encore in Broadway Blue. On 30 March at Madison Square Garden, Fatso eagerly awaits your return. Make no mistake; Avery should still be his usual trash-talking self ON the ice. The problem area has been OFF the ice for Avery. He really needs to be on his best behaviour in the dressing room and would do well to try and ignore the media hordes, but I seriously doubt that will be possible.
At the very least, it is going to be very interesting to watch the Avery-Tortorella science experiment. It could turn out to be Red Bull and Vodka or Mentos and Coke. If it ends up being the latter, will it be Glen Sather’s head on a platter?