Mikhail Grabovski will miss the next two weeks with an LBI. Clarke MacArthur's UBI the Leafs are eerily silent. Could be a week or a year. Shhhh...

 

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Ilya Kovalchuk will be back in the Devils lineup tonight. Naturally, since I sat him for this week. Man, two weeks of missing my guesses like crazy.

 

Goalie Post now offers a one-week free trial membership. Now you will see what I’ve been preaching to you – that if you’re in a fantasy league with daily transactions, this is a must-see. It’s the same login/ password as you use for this site.

 

Andrei Loktionov will play on the wing alongside Mike Richards and Dustin Brown. Not a bad spot for the NHL-ready, future top-sixer.

 

In the Experts League I slipped from second to fifth on the strength of two bad decisions for this week - dressing Peter Mueller and Cam Barker (more on Barker below). But Dave Bolland was hurting me (and now he's hurt) more than he was helping me and I thought Mueller would get into a couple of games. Not so. And Barker, well, I had nobody else. That was solved this week as I secured Jared Spurgeon, who has points in his last two games. I also activated Nino Niederreiter. I made a strong, unnecessary bid on Jhonas Enroth in an effort to screw the competition, but Marty Kwiaton outbid my $17 with $20. The plan was for me to then use Enroth or Khabibulin (also rotting on my bench) to land a player who will help in shots and power-play points.

 

I also won Justin Braun. But haven't decided if I will use him. It would mean dropping Travis Hamonic or Andrej Sekera. And even though Hamonic has been sucky, his PIM potential is too much to make available for others.

 

Bollan, by the way, could play tonight.

 

Cam Barker is out for a month with a shoulder injury. He actually looked good in his last two games, so naturally – just when you could possibly consider warming up to him again – bam. TSN also reports that Ryan Whitney is out for another 10 days, give or take. Corey Potter, c’mon down!

 

Andrei Markov was back in practice yesterday, although he is not taking contact. There is no scheduled date for his return to the knee surgeon game action.

 

Roberto Luongo is day-to-day with a UBI. TSN hints at a possible head injury, so be wary of that.

 

Brad Marchand upped his points streak to six games. He has 18 shots and is plus-9 in that span. He had 22 shots in his first 10 games, so he’s picking up the pace. Last year he did not average two shots per contest – 149 in 77.

 

Are you into fantasy baseball? I’m holding a contest here to try to find the next great fantasy baseball writer. The winner will get to write the ramblings for a day and land a writing gig!

 

Take away that first game in which Phoenix allowed a ton of shots, resulting in many goals – and Mike Smith would be a Top 5 goaltender right now in every category. As things stand, he ranks around seventh. Health is the only thing that stands between him and elite fantasy value.

 

Both Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur left the game with injuries. MacArthur has a LBI and Grabovski it is unknown.

 

Typical Matt Moulson. Another streak. This time a hot one – four games and counting with a point now. That’s how he rolls.

 

Two games in a row now, the GAS line was shut out (Gaborik, Anisimov, Stepan).

 

Sean Avery has two goals, is plus-3 with five shots and seven PIM in his last two games. That’s the Avery we know.

 

Ryan McDonagh is a point away from matching last year’s total. He has eight points already and is plus-9 to boot.

 

I know that Evgeni Nabokov is still a decent goaltender, but you can’t ignore his 1-5-0 record. I know the Isles want to showcase him, but eventually they will need to try to win games. Al Montoya is winning games. Well, two of them, but in fewer starts than Nabokov.

 

Nino Niederreiter played 11:17 in his season debut and saw nearly three minutes on the power play. Kyle Okposo was a healthy scratch – as he should be, with just three points and a minus-7 rating.

 

If Travis Hamonic wants to excel the way he did last year, he needs the sandpaper back. Just two PIM in his last five games.

 

Interesting one to keep on your radar in deep leagues – Jeff Woywitka has two points in his last two games and is plus-3 for the Rangers. The ice time is still very minimal, so I wouldn’t make a move until that changes. Then again, beggars can’t be choosers and I’m in one league that has 90 active defensemen between us and another 20 or 25 on the bench and goodness knows how many in the minors. So yeah, with one or two injuries and I’m taking a hard look at the Woywitkas of the league. Sad as that is.

 

Pittsburgh is dominating. I’m not sure if I’d rush Crosby back either. Hell, they may mess up the chemistry. With Sid out, Jordan Staal is playing like a 75-point player. With him in, I’m not sure if he could do 65.

 

And James Neal is some kind of superstar. That’s seven straight games with a point and 11 overall in that span. He leads the league in shots and power-play goals, and is second in goals. And to think that we were all targeting him because he might play with Crosby. Uh, that hasn’t happened yet and he’s doing better than the best-case-scenario-with-Crosby that we had going on in our head.

 

Steve Sullivan has only eight points this year, but five of them have come in the last five games.

 

Carlo Colaiacovo saw more ice time and PP time than Kris Russell last night. Those two are battling for the same rung on the ladder and neither wants to get knocked down one.

 

Brian Elliott got the win and allowed just one goal, but I believe he needed a shutout in order to get the next start, if I’m to understand Ken Hitchcock’s “shutout and you’re in” policy correctly.

 

Mike Commodore saw just 6:40 of ice time, leading me to believe that Brendan Smith will take his spot next game.

 

The Fleischmann, Versteeg and Weiss show – do they have a nickname yet? – anyway, that show continued last night. They combined for eight points.

 

Scott Clemmensen gets the win and the shutout. Wowzers, this goaltending situation in Florida just got extremely interesting. It was his first start of the season.

 

Kari Lehtonen got torched for six goals. He’s lost two straight.

 

Bobby Boucher, er, Butler, scored his first two goals of the season last night. Still saw just eight minutes of ice time, but scoring is the first step. We’ll see if he can build on that.

 

Milan Michalek has just three points in his last nine games. His point total is still impressive, so I would use that to get a good return for him.

 

Dustin Jeffrey was recalled, but both he and Tangradi sat in the press box last night.

 

Man I really feel for Steve Mason. His team plays the period of a lifetime, staking him to a 2-0 lead and outshooting the other team 18-6 after one period. And they lose 4-2 despite outshooting them 45-24. The win was on a silver platter for him and getting it would help his confidence. Instead, it somehow got worse.

 

Is Ryan Miller concussed? I didn’t see him hit his head on anything, did you? I wonder if something is going on behind the scenes. Let the conspiracy theories begin! You have a goaltender who has lost focus for one reason or another, and another one who has a career record of like a thousand wins and three losses. Could they just have said to Miller “hey man, go get your affairs in order, take two weeks off, we’ll just say that you got concussed with that hit”? Bah, I’m just rambling. It’s nothing – I know they’re saying “whiplash” and “headaches”. And he definitely whipped his head back quickly on the play. But I wonder if stuff like my little ramble ever happens. If so, we would never know about it.

 

Funny that Jhonas Enroth gets knocked over so soon after Ryan Miller’s incident. Erik Cole is the culprit, but I haven’t heard a word about anything possibly happening to him suspension-wise. Not that there should be, I’m just saying that I haven’t heard. Here it is:

 

 

Chris Stewart is probably facing suspension for this one:

 

 


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Comments (9)add comment

Draft Dodger said:

steve_oshp
Filatov Interesting sound bite from Murray on the radio today 'We still think Filatov can become an NHL player...we've asked him to put in more work...pay more attention to defense'. Funny he didn't even say a good player, just an NHL player. Apparently Murray also mentioned Filatov is unhappy being in the AHL, and a KHL team is showing interest. I think all those on this site who lay the blame solely at Columbus' feet for Filatov's lack of success should maybe re-think that.
November 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Man not Puck said:

Man_not_Puck
Mason / CBJ Watching many of Columbus' games this season - I guess I'm a sadistsmilies/wink.gif

From what I've seen, both the goalie & the defence have trouble covering the puck down-low. Seems to be their achille's heel - playing behind their own net. Pretty sure that many of the goals scored on them have resulted from play going on behind the net. Mason's fault or the defence? I think a little bit of both.
November 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Leftwall said:

Leftwall
@rightwall You are right that Crosby has had crap wingers to play with in his career other than Hossa - who he didn't really elevate. But as I look at the wingers he has played with fairly consistently over his career - none has done anything with him that they haven't basically done on other teams in other situations. Dupuis is on pace for a career year without Crosby. I will stick to my belief that he has not - YET - truly elevated a winger he has played with.

In spurts, he has had great success with 'made' players, but until now I see it as Crosby and the Pylons for the most part. The guy does it on his own in so many ways. I guess my point was less about Crosby and more about Neal in the context of Dobber's comment about what Neal would do with Crosby in the line-up if he is doing so much now in the absence of Crosby. I was also thinking about the Sykora, Ponikarovsky, Fedentenko, Geurin experiments.

From my view, nothing tells me that moving Neal with Crosby would end up as a positive for Neal. But it could be a positive for Crosby.
November 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Maximus said:

Mr Zizzla
Pens vs Aves/Stewart Pens
Wow, what a team performance last night. All the team leaders/big names scored: Staal, Neal, Malkin, Letang, Orpik and Dupuis (he's playing out of his mind). They gave up 3, 1st period goals and it seemed like they were going to get creamed as the Aves were really buzzing. They came out strong the rest of the game and there was no turning back. A couple lucky bounce goals and the flood gates opened.

I am starting to think that the Crosby debut is getting pushed back due to the strong play of the team and until they lose 2/3 or the offense dries up, he is sitting as the chemistry on this team is through the roof right now. I haven't seen all the lines clicking like this since the Stanley Cup run! Sure this is just a conspiracy theory but every day seems to be 'the game' and 1 day before, after a practice with Crosby playing with a mish-mash of wingers , Bylsma says he is not playing. This time, Pens beat report Rob Rossi is speculating that he could come back against TB or FLA as the media attention will be slightly less. Unless they get slaughtered by the 1-3-1 and they lose 5-0, i don't see him coming back and at this point, Crosby would take the 3rd line wingers as i can't see the top 6 being broken up, even for him.

Neal-Malkin-Sullivan
Kunitz-Staal-Dupuis
Cooke-Crosby-Kennedy
Asham/Tangradi-Vitale/Park-Adams/Jeffrey

I strongly recommend to everyone that you watch the highligts for this game as both the Pens and Aves scored highlight reel goals. Duchene, Malkin and Letang especially.

@Leftwall
Malkin and Neal will stick. Their chemistry is insane, watch Malkin's goal from Neal's no look backhand pass for the proof of that.
At one of their last practices they had Neal-Malkin-Crosby playing on one line which further proves they won't get split. If only Malkin didn't suck on the draw, as Crosby and Staal are both much better than he is and Bylsma will have a hard time putting together Kunitz-Crosby-Staal line because of that.


Stewart has been useless this season fantasy wise aside from the games where he gets game-misconducts and loads up on PIMs. I haven't seen much STL this year but what the hell is happening with this guy? I was really high on him during the offseason considering his post-trade production in STL and didn't want to move him despite many inquiries but he hasn't done anything.
Something has to be off inside his head because a smart hockey player wouldn't hit someone from behind like that. Terrible play. What a dummy.
November 16, 2011
Votes: +2

Rightwall said:

speakerdamage
Crosby Wow, did you really just say that about Crosby failing to elevate wingers? Do you realize the best winger he has played with for more than 30 games is Kunitz? I would say he got the best out of Dupuis and Armstrong. He has elevated 4th liners to 3rd liners and 3rds to 2nds, if that's what you mean. He had undeniable chemistry with Hossa but that didn't last long.

Do your homework next time.
November 16, 2011
Votes: -5

shaun b said:

shingy
Ramblings Lots of info, thanks.
November 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Leftwall said:

Leftwall
Nabbie, Michalek, Neal I guess if I was showcasing a goalie, I would play him against good teams like they have been - Nabbie has acquitted himself well given the fact that he plays on a team that doesn't exactly scream 'contenda' - give him some of the easy money games and the wins will come I think.

Michalek will have another hot streak shortly - move him then. Interestingly he is averaging 3 SOG a game and blocking a fair number of shots so he isn't completely useless in the leagues that count those.

How many fowards has Crosby failed to elevate to another level so far? I wonder if Neal just becomes another victim. Crosby with Malkin and Neal with Staal makes a lot of sense to me.
November 16, 2011
Votes: +2

praba said:

praba
... it's funny how smith could go from not being an nhl-worthy goalie in tampa to an elite fantasy hockey goalie in phoenix.
November 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Dylan said:

mounD
re: Versteeg/Weiss/Fleischmann ... could we just call them VFW, and steal the Veterans of Foreign Wars acronym? Seems reasonable enough, Flash and Steeg are sorta veterans of "foreign wars" a.k.a. other cities...
November 15, 2011
Votes: +0
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