Jeff Skinner does indeed have a concussion. Ditto for Milan Michalek. So in the past week we have lost the NHL's leader in points, leader in goals and reigning rookie of the year to concussions... on the heels of losing Crosby. I don't believe that concussions are anymore prevalent than they were in the past, but it's obvious that teams are being more cautious. The result of this is more time missed by more players. Joni Pitkanen is also gone with a concussion.


I have a feeling that Bobby Butler gets back onto the radar as a result of the Michalek concussion.


Ville Leino is out 2-3 weeks with a lower body injury. The celebration in Buffalo is already underway.


So far, Tomas Kaberle has three points in two games with his new team. As I said in the trade breakdown, his game compliments PK Subban's and I thought that maybe it would work. I thought that he would get back up to a 40-point pace at least.


A great daily feature in our forum, check out today's Studs and Duds


Team Canada set their final roster this morning.

Mark Visentin (PHO) and Scott Wedgewood (NJ) are the netminders.

D – Mark Pysyk (BUF), Nathan Beaulieu (MTL), Jamie Oleksiak (DAL), Scott Harrington (PIT), Ryan Murray (2012), Dougie Hamilton (BOS), Brandon Gormley (PHO). Surprised to see that Pittsburgh prospect Joe Morrow was cut, as well as Ryan Murphy (CAR). Murphy actually made an NHL club (even if it was Carolina) and Morrow lasted a lot longer (and was more impressive) in training camp than Scott Harrington. What changed? Interested in Brendan Ross and Matt Bugg’s take on this.

F – Brett Connolly (TB), Quinton Howden (FLA – concussion symptoms), Jaden Schwartz (STL), Devante Smith-Pelley (ANA), Mark Scheifele (WPG), Mart Stone (OTT), Michael Bournival (MTL), Brendan Gallagher (MTL), Freddie Hamilton (SJ), Ryan Strome (NYI), Boone Jenner (CBJ), Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA), Tanner Pearson (2012). To me, the big surprise cuts include Tyler Toffoli (LA), Ty Rattie (STL) and Christian Thomas (NYR). These are elite fantasy prospects, but unfortunately fantasy often doesn’t match reality. It’s a case of “roles” and how to fill them.


New (temp) coach, same result. Or was it? The Kings put up a goose egg last night, but they fired 41 shots on net. Dustin Brown had six of them and Kopitar, Penner (?) had four each. Six other players had three shots.


First of all, with a new coach, you want to see what he does with the rookies who do not have a roster spot secured. Slava Voynov played 21:15, 5:07 on the PP. That’s his third highest this season and his highest while Drew Doughty was in the lineup. A great sign…if it wasn’t for the fact that he was minus-2 and had four penalty minutes – each are career lows. Let’s hope Stevens sticks with him.


Next up is Loktionov. His 16 minutes marked his highest in eight games. Also 3:36 on the PP. But he, too, was a minus-2. Again, I hope the coach gives these guys a few games before giving up. Some coaches don’t.


And finally, you look at the struggling players who are on the outs – Dustin Penner. He saw 3:35 on the PP and 16:04. He had four shots and was one of the few with an even plus/minus. It’s a start.


I know people aren’t high on Zach Hamill and I count myself among them, but I look at the results and I think I have to be fair. For a guy who has averaged 10 minutes of ice time in his seven career NHL games, he has done well. A point in his only game two years ago, a point in three games last year, and now two points in three games so far this year. He’s also a career plus-6. This “bust” (and again – I’m at the front of the line with giving him this label) has done better than most prospects in the first few recalls. I’m saying – instead of ruling him completely out, I’ll leave the door open a little bit. This team is too deep, but we thought that about Brad Marchand a year ago.


I love how Claude Julien sticks with his lines no matter what. I wish they all did that. You can see a line like Marchand, Bergeron and Seguin go into a slump that could last six or seven games – but they pull out of it and get hot again. You see it with Krejci, Lucic and Horton – but they also eventually get hot again. Most coaches bail after two games of no results.


As I noted in a recent THN column, Jason Pominville has a much better points-per-game average at home vs. on the road and the Sabres have played a TON of home games (18 home, 11 road). After Friday’s game, they play a crapload of games on the road over the course of a month so if you want to sell high on Pominville, now is the time to do it (or more specifically – Saturday).


In his second game back for the Sens, Peter Regin played nearly 19 minutes, scored a goal, was plus-2 and had five shots. Given his track record with hot/cold streaks, I would get on this guy now. Just a suspicion that he’ll be a good one for a couple of weeks. And if healthy, maybe longer.


Since going minus-4 on November 12, Luke Adam has played 15 minutes or more in a game exactly one time (14 games). Before that, he did it nine times in 16 games.


Cam Ward had himself a great game stopping 36 of 38 and nearly stealing it for the Hurricanes.


Eric Staal has points in seven of his last eight games.


I know he scored last night and played about 16 minutes, but at some point Alexei Ponikarovsky is going to have to show something for the new coach. He has yet to be a plus player and is minus-8 in the seven Muller-coached games.


Just like clockwork – Tim Connolly. If you asked me “Hey, what would Connolly’s numbers be after the Leafs play 30 games?” back in September, I would respond with: “Well, he would probably play about 18 of those games, and should be good for 15 or 16 points”. Bingo. If a guy is so injury prone that you can actually predict the injuries…well, that’s not so bad.


That slow skating defenseman who couldn’t get a roster spot and when he does play gets third-pairing minutes… well, he’s got eight points in 15 games now and has a four-game points streak. He’s also plus-5 in his last four games. His name is Cody Franson and just because his stride is a little lazy does not mean that his offensive instincts aren’t the best on this team. And his size and reach make him an asset defensively, too.


Richard Bachman. Was I right or was I right? Prospects Report after Prospects Report I tooted his horn and now he’s making me look good outdueling the great King Henrik last night. That’s a shutout and just one goal allowed on 72 shots in his NHL career. The Stars will keep riding him.


I warned you that it would take a week or two for Goligoski to put up any points and so far he is pointless in three. Probably looking at a couple more games yet.


Dan Cleary has five points in his last five games. He’s known to be pretty streaky. Six shots last night.


Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed three or four goals in eight of his last nine games. The win-loss record is one thing, but GAA is taking a beating slowly but surely.


Wayne Simmonds continues to roll. Give him six points and 14 shots on goal in his last five games. Also plus-4 and two PPG in that span.


Tomas Vokoun got the hook last night after giving up four goals on 21 shots. What a disaster for him. He takes a discount to play for this team and then ensures that he won’t be getting any raises any time soon. If only he or Neuvirth would get hurt so they could have an excuse to give Brayden Holtby a shot.


Sean Couturier played a career high 17:31, but managed just one shot. Actually, he played 17:45 back in mid-October, but close enough! He is trying out on the Jagr line while Giroux is sidelined.


Hey – Steve Mason came in and played a strong game! Fantastic stuff. He allowed one goal on 31 shots. But his leg cramped up and he couldn’t play the entire game. What he needs most is to do well twice in a row. I don’t think he’s done that yet this year.


Roberto Luongo is 4-0-1 in his last five and has allowed just six goals on 113 shots. So there you go.


Kurtis Foster, first game with his new team – 5:56 on the power play and 21:53 overall. He had four shots on goal, but was held without a point. Despite that, Taormina still got 2:08 of PP time.


Mike Santorelli has fallen short of 10 minutes of ice time in each of his last three games. I just had this feeling that he would be the one to suffer after the Panthers signed 50 free agent forwards in the summer.


Martin Havlat – one goal in 24 games. Holy cow! He’s played 24 games?


Just kidding. Of course I meant the goals. He has to be seriously unhappy there.


A good sign for Dan Boyle, as he has tallied three points in two games. Off to a terrible starts, perhaps this is a sign.


So how does Vlasic appear, suddenly get 50 points in a week, and then disappear again after all the poolies (myself included) scooped him up? Talk about a tease. Seven points in three games and then one point in 11 games. Huh?


Simon Despres is down to 12:35 of ice time and saw zero PP time. With Zbynek Michalek coming back in a week or two, he’ll go back to the minors with a whimper instead of a roar, unfortunately, unless something changes quickly.


Jordan Staal was back and played 21 minutes. He was minus-2 with two shots.


A once highly-touted prospect, Corey Trivino, had faded down the Prospects Rankings. The Islanders draft pick had gone through injuries, unimpressive play and alcohol-related issues that resulted in suspensions and just a bad reputation in general. Well this year he was kicking ass and finally putting the complete package together finally. Then he had to ruin it by getting drunk (again) and arrested. So that’s that. Well done, just cost yourself millions potentially.


Guillaume Latendresse returned from his concussion and scored the only goal for the Wild. He was on the top line on the power play, but played just 11 minutes overall. He was rushed back due to Matt Cullen being sick.


After being a healthy scratch for five games, Bryan Bickell will get back into the lineup for Chicago and play with Bolland and Brunette (the Killer B’s?). Ray Emery will get his third straight start.


Travis Zajac will be back in the Devils’ lineup – Friday. Adam Henrique did what he needed to do. He proved that he belongs in the top six no matter who comes back.


Pierre-Marc Bouchard left the game from this hit from Bogosian. Suspension? Bouchard left the game:



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Comments (17)add comment

James said:

Seguin what am I missing where Tyler Seguin deserves only 13:54 of ice time?
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Blackie_O said:

WJ Politics I'm not up to speed on where these guys play...but how does the roster shakedown per league and did that have anything to do the cuts?
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Peter said:

Injury update "Jeff Skinner does indeed have a concussion. Ditto for Milan Michalek. So in the past week we have lost the NHL's leader in points, leader in goals and reigning rookie of the year to concussions... on the heels of losing Crosby. I don't believe that concussions are anymore prevalent than they were in the past, but it's obvious that teams are being more cautious. The result of this is more time missed by more players. Joni Pitkanen is also gone with a concussion."

Don't steal too much thunder from the IR reportsmilies/wink.gif
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

donions said:

Hockey Canada More politics from Hockey Canada. By all accounts Oleksiak didnt even earn a selection camp invite with his play this year, let alone an actual roster spot. But since he choose to play for Canada over USA last year they must feel like they owe him something.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Dicks said:

Hodgson... played last night! Granted, he only saw 7:51 of ice time but that's quite impressive after the Foligno hit on Saturday.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Jocular Hockey Manager said:

PM Bouchard I feel for Bogo on this one.
1) Bogo is in the wrong and should get his fingers slapped
2) Bogo is doing what he's supposed to be doing, going out to get the guy and give him a shot. Was Bogo being aggressive enough in his arrival? It seems to me he took his time.
3) PM Bouchard fails to stay an appropriate distance from the boards (as per every hitting clinic instructors requests)
4) PM Bouchard tries doubling back, when there isn't opportunity, and in the process turns to face the boards (duh). He set himself up for a concussion. Considering his size & history, perhaps he should know better.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Maximus said:

Mr Zizzla
PMBouchard I read that he was hit and left the game on Twitter and then read it here too and finally watched the hit, thanks for the clip. What everyone seems to not report is that there was ONLY 1:06 LEFT IN THE 3rd! Of course he left the game, it would take that long to stop the bleeding from his nose. UPDATE: PMB is riding the bike, nose is smashed, lip cut and is a game time decision. (@Russostrib)

I don't think it's a suspension as Bouchard turned. Perhaps a $2500 fine just to say, be respectful around the boards.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Maximus said:

Mr Zizzla
Flurry passed Fleury "Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed three or four goals in eight of his last nine games. The win-loss record is one thing, but GAA is taking a beating slowly but surely."

6 of those 9 games were without Letang, Michalek and Engelland (for a few of them). When you 3 NHLers and 3 AHLers, the D does tend to get exposed.

Something that has become a trend with shooters is going high glove and nearly scoring on EVERY SHOT! back to back goals within minutes in their game against NYR, he got picked above the glove. It seems like if a shooter has any kind of time, they pick that corner and score. anywhere else on net and Fleury is usually square.

Also interesting to note would be that Crosby was playing for many of the games that Fleury has let in more goals. Not sure what that says as Crosby is a plus player but Fleury gave up 20 goals in 7 games.

Last night Malkin tried to carry the team on his shoulders but 1 man can't beat the Red Wings. It's definitely his team to take over and lead.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

CascadeFilly said:

Bouchard Kingchev, Bouchard left the game. It looked like his nose was bleeding. It was very late in the game, so it's hard to know if he would have come back or not had it been earlier; he could have just gone off to deal with the blood.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

... Jon - I wrote like 3000 words here and it was pushing 1:30am. Sometimes I just run out of time and can't fit everything in. But I added a point, it is worth mentioning.

Brendan - SORRY! I had Brendon and it didn't look right...and wrongfully changed it. A couple of Brandons on staff plus brain is mush

Kingchev - it was with one minute left in the third so him leaving the game doesn't really say much...
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Dean Youngblood said:

Dean Youngblood
Team Canada Roster It's "Brendan" Dubber smilies/wink.gif

I came online to post this roster and there are a few surprises for me as well as some not so shocking cuts.

Ryan Murphy: As most know, Murphy is returning from a concussion that sidelined him for about a month and in my camp observations (scrimmages) Murphy didn't really look like himself. We all know that he's a fantastic skater and puck mover but he didn't stand out in any of the 3 scrimmages. It's likely that Don Hay wanted only one true "offensive defenseman" on this team and IMO Nathan Beaulieu made more of an impact over the last three days than Ryan Murphy. Beaulieu looked VERY good at times. He will be the PP QB for Team Canada.

Christian Thomas: Thomas showed lots of grit and scored some hard working goals but I think that he got cut due to numbers. Hell, it's tough to include everyone. To be honest, if Quinton Howden (injured - UBI) can't go then I expect Thomas to be one of the players that will be consider. I will say that I have viewed Thomas a few times for Oshawa and he does have a tendency to disappear during games and HC scouts might have noticed that. In a short tourney like the WJC, you have to be on top of your game ALL THE TIME.

Joe Morrow vs. Scott Harrington: Let me start by saying that Joe Morrow and Cody Ceci (2012) play a similar game and that both had good selection camps. I actually would've gave the edge to the younger Ceci if we are going by training camps alone. Hockey Canada must have wanted a true shutdown defender in Scott Harrington over another two-way defenseman like Morrow. I felt that Alex Petrovic was going to get the spot over Scott Harrington but I was wrong. In the end, I think that it likely came down to one of Oleksiak (got the job), Morrow or Ceci and it looks like Canada chose to go with the converted Canadian. Oleksiak was quite impressive during selection camp especially on the PK. Coming into the SC, I did not feel that Oleksiak was on the same level as these other defenders but he REALLY stepped up his game.

Ty Rattie: To me, leaving Ty Rattie off this roster might be the biggest omission. Rattie plays a very smart game and plays with some fiestiness. The Portland Winterhawk can score and pass like the best of them on this team and he's pretty diversible too (could play on 3rd line). Some might be shocked to hear this but I would rather have Rattie on this roster than Ryan Strome who was very unimpressive during camp and the few viewings I seen of him in the OHL this game. Strome is fantastic in the shootout (which might have earned him a spot) but I find that he plays too much of a perimeter game at times. Rattie isn't afraid to take it to the net.

In saying that, Hockey Canada had some difficult decisions and in reality we could've iced two competitive teams (as usual). I felt that Bunz was going to get the back up job but I don't mind Wedgewood either. When Wedgewood is on his game he's shown that he can absolutely dominate a series and that could be great if he gets into this role. It will be interesting to see how short Visentin's leash is.

Don't be surprised to see Howden replaced as they are testing for concussion-like symptoms and I would look for Canada to go to one of Rattie, Thomas or Danault (awesome selection camp). My choice: Rattie.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +2

Jon M. said:

Camel Toe
... so... nothing about Kaberle or the Habs?
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Kingchev said:

bouchard Dobber do you know if Bouchard left the game or not?
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Jayson said:

... Thank you, Dobber! I've had Bachman stashed away in the minors for 3 1/2 years, and it finally paid off, thanks to your advice! Can't tell you how many times I thought about dropping him, wondering if he would ever get his chance. Glad I never did drop him.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

The Older Monty said:

December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

The Older Monty said:

Kings Can't Catch A Break The 21st ranked PP and lowest scoring club did indeed generate lots of chances including back-to-back posts on consecutive shots on the same second period powerplay. First Lokitov blasted one off the iron followed by Stoll. Tough break. Down 2-0 at that point one may have to figure that if one of those pucks ended up in the net it may have been a different outcome...
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Steffen said:

Thx for the ramblings. Seems like Stevens is giving Voynov a long leash (i.e. testing him). Time may be short, and/or good. Keeper material regardless, I hope.

Claude Julien's players understand him. He's nothing if not clear. If he's sticking with his lines, it's because he trusts them to fulfill. (Deeper keepers should notice Jordan Caron. I have.)

Bachman's coming out party. He's good enough to at least back up in the NHL. Thanks again Dobbs, for introducing us all to Goldman.

Your ramblings are always worthwhile reading, and so say we all.

Merry Holidays to all.
December 14, 2011
Votes: +0
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