The Province writing contest is wrapping up this weekend. My latest - Cody Hodgson and failing successfully. Give it a read and a thumbs up!
The Kings are going to have one of those "good problems" with Slava Voynov, once everyone gets healthy. Voynov is filling in for the injured Alec Martinez. In his second game back in LA (last night), he had two points in just under 19 minutes of ice time. He isn't huge for an NHL defenseman, but he plays a physical game and is a great skater and puck mover.
I dropped MA Vlasic yesterday in a deep one-year league (he had four points to date, I was using him more for his plus-minus though). He matched his season point total with a goal and three helpers against Detroit last night.
Gagne and Kopitar had two points each. Kopitar in particular looked fantastic - so close to taking that next step to superstardom.
Mike Richards had two goals and now has five in his last five games.
Rough night for both Khabibulin (three GA on seven shots) and Dubnyk (two GA on nine shots) against Ottawa.
Brian Lee continues to play most games over David Rundblad. Lee has zero offensive upside, but has played adequately defensively. Perhaps the Sens are trying to showcase him for a trade?
Milan Michalek scored another goal and is now on pace for 49 this season. He's injury prone and I'd be looking to sell high (friendly reminder, make sure you are actually selling high and getting above market value).
A great read on the Crosby situation from Mike Colligan right here.
“What we do know about Crosby is he’s a once-in-a-generation talent with the intense work ethic of a circa ’72 Schwarzenegger. Crosby is obsessive about hockey and probably took the same approach to his recovery, tirelessly researching treatments and reaching out to friends who have been down the same road.
Pittsburgh’s Tyler Kennedy, who returned to the lineup this week after missing 11 games with a concussion, said he went to Crosby for advice on his own recovery and was impressed with how much Crosby knew.
“Sid’s like a doctor when it comes to concussions right now,” Kennedy said. “It’s nice to talk to him, open up to him. He’s got some great insight.”
Ken Hitchcock now has the best record in St. Louis history for a coach in his first five games.
Mike Green missed the game with a strained groin, while Mathieu Perreault was a healthy scratch. I hope some team gives Perreault a look as a legit NHL center next year. He’s had trouble sustaining his hot starts, but he’s proven he can produce at this level.
Really interesting story yesterday – two of Bryzgalov’s former teammates ripped into him a bit. Derek Morris and Adrian Aucoin both had choice works for their former goaltender. Bryzgalov proceeded to have a rock solid game against them. Perhaps wait until after the game to criticize the goalie you are going to be facing, fellas?
“I’m glad he’s gone because the guy we brought in has done a great job and fitted in real well, made our team even closer,” veteran defenseman Derek Morris said in an interview with Coyotes radio. “There was some animosity there with Bryzgalov sometimes. We don’t have that with (new goalie Mike Smith) so we have a good group and we’re winning games because of it.”
Mike Smith stopped 40 shots in the loss - I was way wrong on him, he seems to be fitting in very well with the Coyotoes. Big and lanky like Coyotes goalie coach Sean Burke, as well as Bryzgalov. Goldman made this point and it makes a ton of sense - easaier for players to adjust to a new goalie when he is a similar size and style to their odl one.
Evander Kane loves playing Washington – two goals and six shots last night. Last season, Kane had five goals and seven points in only four games against the Caps.
Minnesota’s two headed goaltending monster continues. Backstrom shut out the hapless Avalanche last night. He and Harding have both been spectacular this season.
The Wild have several unknown defenseman making big contributions – Nate Prosser and Jared Spurgeon both played 23 minutes or more last night.
Justin Falk wasn’t far behind at 20 minutes played. Pretty amazing what they are doing with such an unheralded defensive core.
Tyler Bozak struggled on the top line, finishing at minus-3. Kessel had a Staal-like minus-4 performance, but he did lead the Leafs with six shots on goal.
JM Liles scored the lone Toronto goal and led the team with seven shots. Matt Frattin didn’t do a whole lot in his temporary spot on the second line.
Weber and Suter had nearly identical games – Suter had a goal, both had assists, were plus-4, and finished with 25:46 and 25:44 of ice time, respective.
Sergei Kostitsyn had three helpers. I didn’t watch the game, but from the looks of it he skated with Erat and Fisher.
Dwayne Roloson is proving once again that age is just a number – spectacular game last night against Pittsburgh, stopping 33 of 34 shots.
Lecavalier seems to have a big game every five or six – two goals, four shots, and 12 faceoff wins. Rare that he has a multi-point night and St. Louis is held off the score sheet.
The struggling Steve Downie scored a goal – a glimmer of hope for poolies who own him.
Kris Russell scored again and now has two goals in three games as a Blue.
The Habs lost, but their top line was productive. Max Pacioretty is looking really good this season and he’s got to be considered as a potential future 35-40 goal scorer. Has a really strong all around game.
Those poolies who own Matt Martin for his hits (he had three last night) will be pleasantly surprised to see his other production against Montreal – two helpers, plus-2, and four shots on goal.
Nabokov got the start put was pulled after only two saves due to a groin injury (pulled... groin... get it?). DiPietro replaced him and played pretty well.
Zac Rinaldo is a very efficient PIM producer – 15 PIM last night in about five minutes of ice time.
Matt Read continues his strong start with another goal. He also had six shots, the same number as Briere and van Riemsdyk.
Jagr missed the game with a groin injury (correction, he left the game with a groin injury).
Not sure what to make of the Jeff Carter trade rumors. They came from RDS, but apparently the guy who mentioned them is credible. (Any French readers want to weigh in?)
Craig Smith may be up for the Calder award, but that doesn’t excuse him from this!