It's Valentine's Day today. Reminding any fellas out there with a wife or girlfriend to write a poem or order flowers. Don't forget! (okay, this is actually to remind ME, when I wake up in the morning ... but hopefully it helps you too)

 

It's now difficult to see Tuomo Ruutu getting traded. He's out for three weeks with an upper body injury.

 

The Devils have recalled Nick Palmieri

 

My article in the Hockey News yesterday gives an overview on goaltenders. You can check it out here.

 

And while you're in the "check out my stuff" mood, you can find my Puck Daddy column here.

 

The Blue Jackets do not need to trade Rick Nash. They do not need to trade Jeff Carter. They need to revamp their entire development system. They draft well, but then their players - all of them - fail to become NHL ready in the time given. And thus wind up as 'busts'. Easy to cite Brassard, Brule, Voracek, Filatov... but there are so many others. The problem with trading Nash or Carter is that they probably won't receive a Nash or Carter back. There are two superstars on this team (potentially, if they did what they should). You can't reduce that to two. UNLESS you get a young, surefire star back. Such as Calgary getting Jarome Iginla back in their Nieuwendyk trade, or Philadelphia getting Schenn back in their Richards trade.

 

All season long, San Jose has been the team with the fewest games under their belt. Last night they played Game 54, passing the Bruins who are still stuck at 53. Keep that in mind – the Sharks and Bruins players may be slightly undervalued as a result.

 

With four points last night, Joe Pavelski has 10 in his last seven games. I had thought that he would give Thornton a run for his money in terms of leading the Sharks in scoring, but then he went into a pretty big slump and it’s actually been Logan Couture who has been giving Thornton the run.

 

Alex Ovechkin played nearly 27 minutes and came up empty.

 

Troy Brouwer was taken off the big line, yet he still saw nearly 19 minutes and fired five shots on goal. He played with Chimera and Halpern, though he did see PP time on the top unit. I don’t like the change, and his added ice time was due to Brooks Laich leaving the game early in the third (likely tweaked his lower-body injury).

 

Braden Holtby was the surprised starter for the Caps and he got shelled for 35 shots, letting five of them by. Thomas Greiss started for the Sharks and stopped 39 of 42. Greiss will be the backup for Niemi next season – and he’s a dark horse to see a lot of action, given Niemi’s proneness to slow starts.

 

Tuomo Ruutu may have hurt his odds of being moved – he suffered an upper-body injury and had to leave the game.

 

Scott Gomez watch – he played just 7:49.

 

Jiri Tlusty has a five-game points streak and he’s plus-8 in that span. His ice time jumped up over 17 minutes thanks to the Ruutu injury.

 

Simon Despres has been assigned to WBS by the Penguins. I’m fairly certain he’ll make the jump full time next season.

 

Mike Green skated for over an hour yesterday and it sounds as though we’ll see him within 10 days. And this time I think they’ve solved the problem once and for all. He’s still a Band-Aid Boy, but things won’t be quite as bad as we’ve seen over the past 18 months or so.

 

Matt Duchene finally returned to practice in a non-contact capacity. Adrian Dater believes he will be back “real soon”.

 

Anaheim prospect Emerson Etem has scored 51 goals in 50 WHL games, a feat not reached since Pavel Brendl did it. If Selanne retires, Etem would be in the mix for making this team next year.

 

See American television execs? Hockey works beautifully on a Saturday night in Buffalo. Start showing it in northern United States, and over the course of several years work your way southward. Grow it. Saturday nights are awesome for hockey. It was the most watched program in Buffalo this past Saturday night.

 

Mikael Backlund is injured again – probably his shoulder – and he’s out for another month. His development has been slow because the Flames have had to rush him. Not to mention the injuries. But they were forced to rush him because they didn’t draft enough players like him. During the Sutter (GM) era, they must have drafted about 50 Sutter-types and one skill guy (Backlund). Now they have Bärtschi and Reinhart to look forward to, so help is eventually on the way.

 

Mike Cammalleri has shifted to center as a result of the Backlund injury.

 

I love how the media is talking about how the coming trade deadline will be a “dud”, even coining the term “Dudline Day”. What they seem to forget is that deadline days are often duds. Most if not all the moves are minor ones, or at best mid-range guys. And the quantity will be high as always. The day is still a lot of fun.

 

Zac Rinaldo received a two game suspension for this:

 

 


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Patrick Hall said:

pattywins
... Nash is unquestionably a superstar.
But set that aside for a minute. All I am saying is the fans have suffered for a long time. They made some moves and told the fans they were going to have a great year. Now they have this nightmare season and the fans are disillusioned. If they trade Nash, the fans will stop paying attention. You would be better off to keep Nash and try to contend next year cause you still have some pieces and can be competitive with a goalie. Trading Nash is telling the fans you are giving up again. It will ruin the franchise.
February 15, 2012
Votes: +0

Kraftster said:

Kraftster
Nash Couldn't agree more, Angus. In what world is Nash a superstar? Superstar skills? Maybe. But he's never put it together. Not even close. Extremely overrated and undoubtedly overpaid.

Even if there is a superstar in him waiting to break out, its not going to happen in Columbus -- that much is clear. I definitely agree that, if done right, trading Nash would be a wise move. Take advantage of a desperate team in LA and land your goalie, a couple dmen and some picks.

I actually think the Rangers would be making a collosal mistake in trading for Nash.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Trading Nash is a smart idea, if done right. Get a legit goalie to build around. Get a fresh face for a struggling franchise. Get out from (at best) and overpaid forward.

In Columbus, Nash is lazy, unmotivated, and self-interested. Unfortunately, we have so reason for that to change.

They may fold in two years with Nash - his presence will change nothing.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Patrick Hall said:

pattywins
... Trading Nash is asinine. All that does it make Columbus a loser for a few more years. If they do not trade him, they will Nial as the number 1 pick. The passer they have wanted for Nash forever. They would still have carter on the 2nd line, Johansen, Wiz on D. They would just need a goalie and better D. If they trade Nash, the team would fold in the next few years. This would be like what happened to Atlanta after Kovalchuk left.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Richard J. DAngelo said:

bullwinkle
Hockey in Buffalo Those ratings are no big deal. Buffalo ALWAYS beats every other American city in the ratings per capita. There have been many times in which they beat out one of the two teams vying for the Cup. And if not, they always come in at nr. 3.

Hockey rules in Buffalo! (now if they could only win a Cup)

February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
CBJ I sort of agree... sort of disagree on CBJ's main problem.

I think it is partially a "drafting problem" and partially a "development problem".
From what I've seen, their high draft picks are kids with incredible raw skill.
Then you put them on an NHL team and they get a few body checks that knock them off their game. So CBJ balances this by a thinking that they'll goon it up to safe-guard these players... only the goons can't play with the kids with raw-skill. So the skinny-guy and the fat-guy never are on the ice at the same time. The kids get intimidated to death & thrown off their game. The goons end up just throwing punches since they don't have any skill playing alongside them on line 4.

Personally, I think this should start as a "drafting" problem. CBJ isn't diversifying their pieces well enough.

As a cross-sport comparison, it reminds me of what Matt Millen did with the Lions. The guy kept drafting top tier WRs. Well... what good is a top WR if you don't have a QB to throw them the ball? And how do you develop a QB with confidence because you have no offensive line? (Stupid Millen)

Johansen is the first solid team-building draft pick they've made in years.
For his sake, I hope this trend continues.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Thomas Wall said:

wally1
Johansen I totally agree with your take on the Jacket's development system. But as an owner of Ryan Johansen, it makes me very worried. I expect Johansen to be a very productive player in the next couple years but it's hard to be optimistic when he's in Columbus. The way he is being scratched often, and being played on the fourth line really worries me.

Is Johansen an exception to the Jackets' poor development system? Or is he going to be the next casualty?
February 14, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Jocular Hockey Manager said:

JHM
CBJ CBJ maybe needs to concentrate on developing their minors, third and fourth line, and depth D-men. Too many fighters for the 2012 NHL (see this weeks Hockey News). A few more Langenbrunner/Arnott/Jovo types, might take them around the corner in a hurry. Provide the leadership through the stressful moments and off ice. Ever notice how some towns (Nashville, SJ, Anaheim...) always seem to be developing goaltenders? This may actually be more a reflection of team play. This might go a long way in changing the view on the goaltending in Columbus.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Tyler Randall said:

tyrandaholics
Seemed like he sort of got his shoulder into the chin... But he didn't help his case by following through with his elbow afterwards; when I saw it at full speed I thought he HIT HIM with the elbow.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... I went to look and expected to find several leg-related issues. All I found was the cyst, and an undisclosed. So you are correct, my mistake. It was "slow starts" that kept his starts down every October/November.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Jake said:

smack
Niemi He has an injury history? Other than having a cyst removed, what injuries lead to your statement of "given Niemi’s proneness to injury"? Just curious cause I couldn't find anything. Thanks.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Rob Myatt said:

robmyatt
Emerson Etem I just hope he has a better NHL career than Brendl did.
Think he'll be able to make a strong fantasy impact?
February 14, 2012
Votes: +0

Ed said:

GoHabsGo
Cammalleri I believe Cammalleri played Centre before coming to the NHL, so this might be good for Calgary and Cammalleri.
February 14, 2012
Votes: +1

Rob said:

rob2kx
... Don't see a problem with that hit.
February 14, 2012
Votes: -1
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