Visnovsky returned for Anaheim last night. He logged over 24 minutes, recording one assist. He had seven shots on goal (and another four that were blocked).
Ottawa managed to get 49 shots against Boston last night. Might have something to do with Chara being out... Unfortunately Thomas was his usual dominant self, stopping 47 of the shots fired his way.
The Wings have called up Tomas Tatar, as Chris Connor is injured.
My latest for the Canucks Army - diving into the Sedin's bag of tricks.
Marian Hossa has six points in his last three games. I watched the entire game on Sunday against the Sharks, and Hossa was dominant. When he wants to be, he is the strongest forward in the league on the puck. Reminiscient of Jagr from the mid 1990's. For whatever reason, Hossa seems to get lost a bit behind Toews and Kane in Chicago. He should be a 90+ point player each season with his combination of size, strength, skill, and hockey sense.
Erik Karlsson the good (seven shots) and the bad (minus-2, some brutal turnovers) were both on display last night.
Thoughts on last night's games (as well as some other stuff) will be posted at 10:30am EST or so. Sorry for the delay. Ryan Goddard's latest Capped piece will be out then as well.
I have written this before, but I am starting to really, really like Cody Hodgson's upside again. He took a big hit against Ottawa and didn't play much on Tuesday (was healthy, Vigneault just shortened his bench), but he has that "it" factor I often talk about. His skating is getting better, but he is so strong on the puck and he makes those split second really "heady" plays that all great players make. At some point in the near future he's going to get more ice time with some really good players.
Ville Leino is out for several weeks due to a heavy wallet. All kidding aside, he’s going to miss some time with a lower body injury.
Thanks to the genius of Justin Goldman, I picked up Richard Bachman in two different leagues last week. Goldie knows his goalies, and he called Bachman’s great start before anyone else did. Thanks for the heads up! Bachman is the starter tonight for Dallas as they take on the Islanders.
HBO’s first episode of the Winter Classic series debuted last night. I haven’t watched it yet. It will be interesting to see how concussions factor in to the story, with Giroux, Pronger, Staal, and Sauer all on the shelf right now.
Tim Erixon has been recalled by the Rangers. He has 12 points in 13 AHL games.
Jeff Renaud spoke with Niagara GM Marty Williamson about Dougie Hamilton, and he’ll have the conversation in full this Saturday in his Prospect Prescription.
From Jeff R: “Great stuff about Dougie's offensive upside, PIM projections and his NHL timeline.”
The concussion issue is going to be the dominant sports story for the next decade. I’d call 2000-2010 the steroid era. The dawn of concussions is really upon us, unfortunately.
I own Crosby, Giroux, and Jeff Skinner in one of my leagues. Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about a short rebuild after the recent news.
Puck Daddy takes a look at the All-Concussion team right here. Pretty scary how many top level players at all positions and in all roles are out right now.
A good look at the recent success of the Henrique line in New Jersey (featuring slightly more notable wingers in Parise and Kovalchuk). Why are they suddenly clicking? Likely thanks to the all-too-important factor of chemistry.
“Close to 60% of all shooting attempts have been by this line when they are on the ice. That's a great way to get goals and more importantly prevent them. Initially, they would get rocked in terms of even strength attempts. This was mostly due to a lack of sustained pressure in the zone. They would get into the zone - and maybe create one or two attempts. Recently - they have been able to get into the zone - get an attempt and get to that loose puck. Another reason for the increase in attempt % is patience. They are not looking to get rid of the puck and get it to the net as quick as possible. They have been holding the puck - looking around, seeing what could develop and creating chances. Dynamic players like Parise and Kovalchuk have a natural ability to find open areas and exploit them. All together - their speed, passing ability, and high shooting percentage has produced great Corsi and Fenwick %'s and even better: Goals.
So why all of a sudden? Why now? Why not before?
Well it's actually quite simple. These guys, including Henrique who has less than 30 games of NHL experience - just needed the time to get to know each other on the ice. These aren't role players that can be thrown around like the Tedenby's and Palmieri's and Zubrus' and can just "play their game."Parise and Kovlachuk have different ways of getting to open areas - they skate and handle the puck and pass the puck at different times and areas in the zone as well. They seem to know where each other is and are going now. You can't learn this in practice - it has to be games.”
Keep an eye on Mark Stone (Sens prospect) at the World Juniors. He’s likely going to be Canada’s go-to guy on the right wing, even with Connolly and Smith-Pelley returning from NHL stints. Look for him to line up with one of Ryan Strome or Mark Scheifele.
A solid look at the team from this WHL blogger. Some notable thoughts:
“Not sure why Freddie Hamilton is there, other than his brother Dougie also making the team. A feel good story maybe? I would have rather seen a more pure offensive player like Toffoli, Rattie or Thomas in his place.”
“I once again see a weakness in the goaltending department for Canada. Tyler Bunz was the last goalie cut this season and it's believed a weak game against the CIS last night was his downfall. To me, that has the makings of a short-sighted decision. Bunz has been the top goalie out west and one of the top goalies in the entire CHL over the last year-plus, and I think he needed to be there. Visentin was a shoe-in, despite his tough end to last year's event. He deserved a second chance, but Wedgewood needs to show that this was the right decision, should Canada need to turn to him.”
What a FILTHY goal from Kane in the shootout: