|Rolston's Devils Rolling||Tweet|
|Written by Russ Miller|
|Thursday, 27 January 2011 17:52|
Heading into last night's match (which of course they lost), the New Jersey Devils were 6-0-1. They look like they have turned it around, but considering how poorly they performed over the first 40 games, the playoffs are only theoretically possible. The Devils obviously had some issues (a mild understatement!) adjusting to a new coach and system. Now that Lemaire is back, the turnaround shouldn't have come as a complete surprise.
For a guy who was placed on waivers at the end of December, Brian Rolston has seemingly turned his year around. Overall on the season he has averaged 17:00 minutes of ice time per game. Over his last seven contests, he received over 19 minutes per game and recorded 10 points during that stretch. Can the 37-year-old maintain this pace you ask? It was a long three years ago that he recorded a third consecutive 30 goal season. No he won't continue at his current pace, but he won't be as bad as he was earlier in the year either.
Other Devils excelling at the moment include Patrik Elias, who has nine points in seven games and Andy Greene with seven points in his last nine games. Greene had 11 points in his first 39 games, so put him back on your radar.
The numbers listed below are based on the calendar month prior to last night's games:
The fact that Keith Yandle outscored the league's leading point-getter, Steve Stamkos speaks volumes about Yandle's offensive ability. Seeing Ruutu's name at the top of the list was a surprise as well.
Mild surprise with rookie Jeff Skinner recording one less goal than Stamkos. Multi-cat studs Hartnell and Backes are a welcome sight in this category. Patrice Bergeron is also a surprise here. Brad Marchand is now playing over 85 per cent of his even strength shifts with Bergeron and Mark Recchi. I didn't see Marchand as a scorer at the NHL level, but he did have 153 points in 116 games over his last two major junior seasons, a 108 point pace.
Yandle blew away the competition over the last month. Anytime Tuomo Ruutu can record as many assists in a month as Henrik Sedin, you know he's overachieving. Joe Corvo with 12 assists will qualify as a mild surprise for many fantasy owners. I'm not sure why though, as his coach has always given him prime power play opportunities and plenty of ice time. Seeing Brad Boyes in this category is definitely surprising.
This is where the defensemen shine. Ten power play points for Joe Corvo is nice for his owners.
Kessel leading the pack by 10 shots is a small surprise to me, but Big Buff being second is even bigger. Seeing big Zdeno Chara get more shots on goal has to be encouraging for his owners. Brian Boyle has five points in his last seven games and should continue to put up points if he keeps putting the puck on net.
The usual suspects litter the penalty minutes category. Guys like Steve Ott and Steve Downie are money in leagues that count penalty minutes. Unless you are in a deep league, no one owns Brad Staubitz or Tim Gleason. Who the heck are Kyle Clifford and Adam McQuaid? Don't rush out to pick up these one category wonders. Good to see Mister Personality (Dion Phaneuf) help out his owners with some penalty minutes.
There's that Marchand name again. Kevin Bieksa was a plus-15 over the last month? What the...apparently I traded him a month too soon.
In honour of Wayne Great Gretzky's birthday yesterday, name the Great One's wingers in his first NHL season.
Again, those simply googling the answer please refrain from replying right away. Give those who think they can answer without looking it up a chance to get it right.
Russ Miller said:
Jocular Hockey Manager said:
|Last Updated on Friday, 28 January 2011 13:02|