Nikita Filatov is off to the KHL. From what I read on TSN, there was no hope offered for his return next season. Dump. We've all known the Filatov risks for well over a year now, probably closer to two. I, myself, acquired him just a month ago for the lowest possible price my league would allow. I did it knowing that his odds of flourishing were less than 20%.
Hey, if he didn't break his nose three weeks ago - right after playing a great game and then getting a shot on Jason Spezza's line for all of one shift - who knows what we would be saying about him today? It's that classic "fork in the road of a career" analogy that I often use. A bounce one way and - star. A bounce another way and - has-been. No bounce at all and we'd be left waiting another year trying to decide on an outcome.
Antti Miettinen has signed a contract with Tampa. He needs to clear waivers first – and I’ve seen players get claimed that way before (Vladimir Orsagh). You know what you’re getting with him. A 40-point guy. But I think it probably pushes Ryan Shannon out of the mix.
My Puck Daddy column today can be found here.
I have a THN column out later this afternoon, but in case you missed last Thursday’s piece, it’s still relevant today: Is Crosby Another Lindros?
Sidney Crosby is NOT practicing and and his status for Tuesday is not settled yet. He is expected to speak to reporters today, but I’m guessing we’re back to the daily updates.
Anton Stralman picked up his first point of the season (on the PP). With Michael Sauer out, Stralman has been able to get into the lineup and hasn’t screwed it up so far. His ice time is up around 15 minutes and even though the sample size here is very small, I think if you’re desperate for D you pick him up and see what happens. You can always drop him again in a week or two.
Mikael Samuelsson got into his first “real” action as a Panther Sunday. He did play a couple of games ago, but saw minimal ice time. Sunday that ice time was up over 15 minutes, including 4:23 on the power play.
Derek Stepan continues to roll. His three points last night give him eight in six games.
Jose Theodore gave up all six goals and got the hook. I’m not concerned with him, as he picked up a shutout in the prior game. Generally red flags only go up when the goalie has two or three starts like that.
One goalie I am worried about – Corey Crawford. Emery started his second game in a row for the first time this season and he won it. In fact, Emery is 6-1-2 on the season.
Patrick Sharp has 19 points in his last 14 games. Meanwhile, the Patrick on the other team – Marleau – is pointless in his last seven.
Michael Frolik was down to 9:21 last night. The writing is on the wall, he’s playing his way into the press box.
Jhonas Enroth began the season 7-1 with a 1.95 GAA and .935 save percentage. In his last seven decisions, he's 1-5-1 with a 3.10 and .905.
Jaroslav Halak is 4-1-3, 1.58 GAA and 0.938 SP in his last eight games. And yet he can’t get a stranglehold on the starting job. In fact, he can’t even get the majority of the starts! This is because, even though Halak is posting numbers that would put him in the Top 5 in the league – Brian Elliott is posting THE best numbers in the league right now. Just two losses in 15 games. Four shutouts.
With Jason Williams being sent back to WBS, there is some hope that one or both of Crosby and Staal will return to the Penguins lineup.
Roman Horak picked up one assist in two games for Abbotsford of the AHL before getting recalled yesterday.
Linus Omark, as I’ve stated, is an example of timing and opportunity at a critical point in one’s career determines either greatness or anonymity. Copper and Blue agree and paint a nice picture of the effect of his broken ankle on his future.
Marty Turco – off to Austria.
Zdeno Chara will probably miss at least the next three games with his leg injury. I only own him in one league – the DobberHockey Experts League. I sat in second place this past Wednesday. Today I sit in seventh. And now will fall further. Honestly never been in a tighter roto league in my life – each day teams are rising or falling five or six points. That’s pretty rare in December, with seven teams leapfrogging each other on a daily basis from one through seven – and Russ Miller in eighth has stormed onto the scene. He was 13th just a month ago and is now in the mix.
Jeff Skinner “may” be able to return to the Carolina lineup for Tuesday. Also in this blog, it is reported that Eric Staal returned to Raleigh to be with his wife who gave birth to their second child.
Look at Cody Hodgson stumble after this hit by Foligno. Clearly a concussion and this will mean some time on the shelf for Hodgson. I had considered him a high injury risk and had little interest in owning him in any of my keeper leagues…but I admit was starting to warm up to him. Good thing I never acted on my change of heart. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery. The clip: