Alex Ovechkin could be facing a couple of games for his hit on Zbynek Michalek (clip below). Left his feet, targeted the head. Uh oh. Don’t forget, he’s been suspended before. I don’t believe there was intent, so perhaps it will be limited to just a game or two.
With Malkin rolling the way he is (three-point lead in the NHL scoring race), James Neal is sure cashing in. Neal is up to 46 points and has a real shot at 80 if Malkin stays healthy.
Kris Letang – I love that he’s getting the ice time that he is, considering that I own him in (alas just) one league. But on the other hand, I worry. Three games back from his concussion and he’s seen 79 minutes of ice time. Think about that – 79 minutes and 40 seconds of ice time in THREE games. It would take Jay Rosehill all season to see that! But he has four points in those three games (cha) and 10 shots on goal (ching).
Mathieu Perreault played with the big guns yesterday and put on a good show. With Ovechkin and Semin, he showed a lot of hustle and earned two assists. He was also pretty good defensively, right on top of the player at the blue line a couple of times to force the puck out of the zone. Very aggressive. But his Achilles heel has been – can he keep it up? Generally by the third or fourth game, he putters out. He needs the foot firmly on the accelerator and if he has a bad game, he needs a coach who will give him another chance the next game. Then and only then, will he progress as a fantasy asset. For now, he makes a decent one-week pickup.
Then again, if Ovechkin is suspended, perhaps that puts a damper on Perreault’s short-term outlook… But he should be okay still with Semin.
An Ovechkin suspension would mean a bump on John Carlson. Ovechkin often plays the point on the PP. Wideman on the other side.
Matt Niskanen saw just 11:52 of ice time yesterday. He saw 14 the game before and 15 the game before that. He’s either sick, injured, or in the doghouse methinks.
MA Fleury has given up 7 goals on his last 49 shots, but still got 2 Ws. Good enough.
Tim Thomas got the win, but let’s face it – he gave up five goals for the first time this season and has lost four of his last eight. That’s not very Thomas-like.
After a couple of good outings, Bryzgalov had a bad one. And that’s been his story all season. Two, maybe three good games and then the floodgates open. Then Bobrovsky comes in and plays better. But contract almost always wins in the end. Bryz will still get the starts. But what he does with them…now that’s another question.
Since Brad Marchand is back, I dropped Benoit Pouliot. But he still got an assist yesterday for me. A parting gift, if you will. But I think he’s a 30-point guy until he can fill in again on a scoring line.
With Claude Giroux matching Malkin’s three points Sunday, he remains just three back of him for the NHL scoring lead.
Jakub Voracek has one point in his last eight games. He saw 19:21 Sunday and he’s had 26 shots in that span, so something will give soon.
Wayne Simmonds has 19 points in his last 23 games. I remember getting emails from a lot of frustrated poolies about him back in early November. It’s funny how a player’s value can turn on a dime. Now it seems like he’s always on the scoreboard and I don’t even consider him a scorer.
Bobby Ryan has nine goals and 14 points in his last 13 games. Every year with this guy. Remember this next December – target him. He is a January must-own!
Peter Mueller was second on the team in ice time yesterday, playing 19:27. He had six shots on goal. He’s the topic of my THN column – look for it this afternoon at thn.com
Mark Bell played his first NHL game in four years on Sunday. He picked up five minutes in penalties and will probably need to emphasize that part of his game if he wants to stick. No longer is he promising young power forward with offensive upside. Now he’s the borderline veteran who has had to redefine himself as a player. And the definition is – penalty minutes. Not an enforcer, by any means. They’ve gone the way of the do-do. But the tough fighter who can play and contribute in other ways.
Nathan Horton left the game in the second period after taking a hit by Tim Sestito. Horton, if you recall, suffered a concussion in the postseason a few months ago. A pretty ugly one. So this news is concerning. Second concussions within a year are often costly in terms of games lost.
Ovechkin – how many games? Any?
Tavares – sweet goal in OT Saturday: