My Midseason Guide was released Friday, get it here. If you want to see how great the guide is, you can pick up last year’s edition for free here.

 

FIVE games for Brad Marchand. Part 1 of my Pouliot hunch has paid off. Part 2 is him actually doing something during these five games...

 

Jordan Eberle could be out for several weeks with a knee injury. MRI today. The Oilers recalled Magnus Paajarvi and Gilbert Brule (and Ryan O'Marra). Paajarvi is suddenly a first liner, with Hopkins and Eberle out.

 

The word on Patrick Sharp - 3-4 weeks. As I said though, the guy is great for coming back early. Wouldn't shock me to see him back in 2.5 weeks (seven games missed).

 

Breaking: The Blue Jackets have fired Scott Arniel. Todd Richards in as interim coach. No, this isn't early November, when they should have done this.

 

Marc-Edourd-Vlasic may have stopped scoring after that one ‘blip’ of a player-of –the-week, but he has been gold for plus/minus lately. Plus-9 in his last nine games. I was looking at dropping him in my one league, but saw that and held off.

 

Dallas pivot Tom Wandell has banged off points in four straight games with a goal and four helpers. He’s also been a plus-5 in that span. He has nine points all year – and those are five of them right there. Worth a pick up? In dailies – yes. In weeklies…not so sure, unless you can get him immediately. I don’t know if he can keep this up for much longer, the Stars are scoring a lot of goals in general.

 

With Brad Marchand likely maybe possibly perhaps suspended, I made Benoit Pouliot active for the week. I won the bidding today in my one league and had planned on benching him for a week to see if he can keep it up. But with Marchand possibly missing games, I thought it would be a smart idea to roll the dice here.

 

Matt Read and Craig Smith must have read my comments last week. Smith scored Saturday, while Read picked up two points last night. Read has four points in his last five games. It’s a real grind for these former college players, the first two seasons of pro hockey.

 

My THN column today focuses on the Penguins and what’s ahead over the next few weeks, but two names that jump out at me are Tyler Kennedy (of course) and Jason Williams (not as obvious as Kennedy). Both will do well in the month ahead. I’m also seeing that Dustin Jeffrey is back soon, perhaps next game. I certainly like his role a lot more now.

 

Erik Karlsson is on pace for 77 points. Think he gets there? He has 15 points in his last 11 games. He’s scoring now, too. Remember when he had just one goal but a zillion assists? He’s scored four times in the last 10 games. A machine, plain and simple. Best defenseman to own in any league.

 

Karlsson was plus-5 last night.

 

Craig Anderson’s really been getting it done. Man, right after I acquired him to temporarily replace Mike Smith – now I can’t get Smith back into my lineup! Anderson has won five of his last six and is 7-1-2 in his last 10. I had slipped out of first in that particular league and faded way back (though still second), but now I’ve pulled right back up again thanks to Anderson and a rejuvenated Eric Staal.

 

Speaking of Staal, I hated that alien who took over his body and played like shit for three months. I’m glad the real Eric Staal seized back control of his body. Nine points in five games now.

 

Hmmm… four points in three games since brother Marc returned to action.

 

If you recall, I was not one of the many hockey fans to insult Bryan Murray for his recent trade. And his players are doing everything they can to make him look like a genius (if that’s possible). Karlsson is going nutty, making everyone forget about David Rundblad. And Turris has seven points in 10 games with his new team – and he’s a plus-8.

 

The NHL should say to the NHLPA – “please set up realignment for us and we’ll rubber stamp it”. Why? Because:

  1. It makes Donald Fehr and the NHLPA look like babies, and that the NHL is giving the baby his bottle. That’s PR gold – get the fans on the side of the owners AGAIN. I didn’t think that would be possible this time, but the PA just opened the door to that.
  2. The players do not want a terrible travel schedule, so they’ll do everything they can to make it work. The owners want the same thing. In the end, the players will probably choose the same setup, but just go with a different playoff format.
  3. The players will take it as a nice gesture, or they have to be perceived to be taking it as a nice gesture. Either way – win for the owners.

 

Patrick Sharp left last night’s contest with an upper body injury. The bad news is that it sounds bad. The good news – he always returns early. If it’s four weeks, he’s back in two. If it’s a week, then he’s back next game. And so forth…  Wish I could give you more. Sharp’s goal moved him into the Top 15 in scoring.

 

Henrik Zetterberg has seven points in his last four games and he’s dragging his linemates Val Filppula and Jiri Hudler along with them. Those two will have career years – Filppula’s 35 points already have him five away from his career high. Hudler is on pace to match his career high of 57, but since he’s been getting his points more or less in the last 20 games, I think he’s a pretty safe bet to beat that number as well.

 

Corey Crawford has one win his last five starts. I’ve said it a hundred times, but in case you didn’t read on those days – I just haven’t been comfortable with him since the Hawks gave Emery a tryout back in the summer.

 

Michael Frolik picked up his first point in 11 games. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut. He’s one guy I would love to see get going though, all kidding aside.

 

Making his NHL debut – Iiro Tarkki. Dan Ellis left a recent practice with an injury… and Jonas Hiller left last night’s game with an injury. Suddenly, Tarkki is in the NHL. He stopped five of seven shots, so his debut could be better… but if Hiller is out for any length of time, he could be all that they have. Of course, if Hiller’s out for any length of time, the Ducks will trade for a goaltender plain and simple.

 

With a hat trick Sunday, Corey Perry has five points in two games. Didn’t we see this act last year? The second-half Gretzky impression?

 

Yawn. Another day, another Steve Mason gets-the-hook game.

 

James Wisniewski is out, and Grant Clitsome gets two points in two games. Not a coincidence, Clitsome is fantasy relevant again.

 

Jeff Carter left last night’s contest with a separated shoulder. What a train wreck his tenure in Columbus has been.

 

Today's Studs and Duds found here. Yesterday's Studs and Duds found here.

 

The Brad Marchand hit. Suspended? Live, it looked clean.  Replays…low hit, but was he looking to get out of the way of getting hit himself?

 

 

Dorsett feeds Beleskey:

 

 


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Uproar said:

Uproar
Marchand vs Canucks Ok, so this is my take as a fan of neither team. Both of these teams play dirty. From the few games I see of the Canucks they have a few guys who do dirty sh-t every game. From the games I've seen the Bruins play they play a hard hitting game and will match the intensity that your team brings. If you play dirty, they will play dirty. If you fight, they will fight. If you wanna run and gun offense, so will they, etc. The Canucks top two lines like to play end to end, and get the other team to take penalties. Their bottom 6 forwards play chippy hockey and agitate. If you watch Marchand play a lot, you'll see that he does not play like that every game. If you piss him off he is gonna give it right back. I'm definitely not defending Marchand, or saying his play was not dirty. He definitely deserves a suspension. I personally like Sami Salo and wish him all the best. Just saying you have to look at both sides and not be biased.

Coming from a Senators fan who sees them play the Bruins a lot. Who remembers Mr. Burrows opening the door for Mr. Lapierre to hit Winchester through http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohqnseZL95Y now that is a nice dirty play. smilies/cry.gif
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

James said:

jimywho1
Marchand want to see some clean hits? watch most of Nick Kronwall's hits. There's a powerful hitter. None are low. He may leave his feet on occassion, but he often stands up to players and just shrugs them off with sheer strength and hitting ability.

P.S. I am not a Bruins fan, nor am I a Canucks or Wings fan. I am a Rangers fan.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Dave said:

Kell
Central Scrutinizer Marchand is a chickenshit.

Makes you long for the good old days ... imagine if Marchand had done something like that to Paul Coffey; Semenko would have removed Marchand like a scab off a jackrabbit's ass. THAT was hockey.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
... @ Darcy- I dont like the Raymond hit, but unfortunately the league has 1 set of rules for the regular season- 1 for the playoffs (and Shanahan wasnt incharge then). BUT the videos you posted have 1 major difference vs what Marshit did, both the Canucks had the puck! Salo hadnt played the puck,and Marshit decided last minute to ignore the puck and take out Salo at the knees. He deserves every 1 of the 5 games.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Darcy S said:

swamp_mule
... I guess my point is AV and Gillis can get off their soapboxes, since this type of hit goes on in their "own backyard", as Claude Julien put it.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

mick said:

hawkdog
... here is a video of Marchand with a low bridge on raymond from last year

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=CATs8GTkN7A
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Darcy S said:

swamp_mule
tit for tat pt.2 Here's a low-bridge by Ballard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-5L-wN7rg8

Too low to be a hip-check.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Darcy S said:

swamp_mule
tit for tat Here's a video of Raymond low-bridging Marchand last year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvecNER42dY&feature=youtu.be

Ballard hits similarly.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Nigel said:

chimp82x
... Can we please stop with the "Marchand did what Ballard does every night" excuses? Ballard throws hip checks. Did Marchand say he was throwing a hip check? No. He said he was avoiding a check. Anyone who turtles to avoid a check rather than absorb it shouldn't be in the league.
January 09, 2012
Votes: -1

Knuckles said:

10th rounder
Blue Jackets Coaching Change G&M reporting Arniel out, Richards interim coach.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... What?? Marchand's hit was dirty and he should be suspended. You dont ever pull that crap out there. He's a little POS and its only a matter of time for him. Owners, sell high on him.

Re:Fehr, they wanted an estimate of the realignment's schedule for 12/13. Someone tell Fehr that the arenas havent all been booked yet, that happens early 2012? Thats why they need the realignment NOW. Not having it might make it worse. ie, he already looks like a fool. He's just going to argue every point. I fear we will have another work stoppage.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
fzusher That's my point - give it to the PA right now, and publicly remove it from being a CBA issue, get the fan support. That's much more important a CBA piece. The NHLPA then cannot "use this" for Sochi or anything else, because the owners are saying 'bah, just take it and we'll rubber stamp your solution'.

As for your PHO suggestion, the proposed realignment would just move PHO from one conference to another. No big deal.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
NHLPA Their position isn't about travel, playoff, or realignment. It's about the CBA bargaining. Why give an upcoming trade partner a piece they want for free when you can use it as a trade chip?

As far as I am concerned, if the NHLPA ends up using this, say, to extract participation at Sochi from the owners, we're all the better for it. Besides, the NHL would have needed to reshuffle its new conferences again anyway when Phoenix is moved; with a year's postponement they can take care of both at the same time. No rush.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Jerry said:

CallMeJerry
... 2 guys going towards the boards for the puck happens all the time. Marchand is the only player I've seen pull the low bridge to send a guy head first into the boards. Marchand pulled the same move on 2 separate occasions in the Finals. Just no injury. A low-bridge to a man coming towards the boards is intent to injure. No if ands or buts.
January 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Slappywaggle said:

BleedingOilBlue
Marchand Hit Low yes, but Ballard pulls what? a hit like that a game and doesn't get called for it? Not a bruins fan, but if Marchand get's suspended for it then Ballard should be getting a 1 way ticket to the same place after the canucks next game. Intent to injure my ass, he was just getting out of the way with an unfortunate outcome at the end. If it was the other way, i bet these canuck fans would be praising the damn hit because it came against the big bad bruins.
January 09, 2012
Votes: -5

mick said:

hawkdog
... Marchand totally ignores the puck, which is what Salo is going for.
January 08, 2012
Votes: +2

mick said:

hawkdog
Marchand is a douchebag Show me a Salo hit where he hurt someone?
Just shows what a coward Marchand is for dodging a hit.
Did you notice the two shots to the back of the head Marchand gave Salo seconds before the incident?
Marchand should get 10 games for being a repeat offender. Intent to injure.
January 08, 2012
Votes: +0

Mr Sausage said:

Mr_Sausage
Marchand Dirty hit. If he's trying to avoid a hit he shouldn't be in this sport. Last second he goes low and submarines him. Salo had no chance to react to that. As for a suspension I don't know if I've ever seen a play like that that was suspended. I think the 5 minute major was the right call but I don't know if he gets suspended.
January 08, 2012
Votes: +3

Clarke West said:

CMSpiced
Marchand Hit I think that this hit is dirty, and I dont buy the Salo was going to take a run at him argument. Big reason for that is because look at the the first hit between the two, they go shoulder to shoulder. The second time he goes in, looks like he is going the same speed, but Marchand decides to do what he does... Dirty play
January 08, 2012
Votes: +3

Sam Currie said:

akacannuck
... Marchand totally deserves a penalty. 5 games, intent to injure. At the beginning of that clip you can see him and Salo going at it a bit. Then Marchand takes out his knees. Dirty hit.
January 08, 2012
Votes: +1
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