Wayne Gretzky scored 92 goals back in 1981-82. The LA Kings have 120 goals all season. A completely irrelevant comparison, sure, but still pretty funny.
The 2012 DobberBaseball Guide is now out - pick it up here.
Nicklas Grossman will be making his Flyer debut tonight, playing with Andrej Meszaros.
PK Subban played almost 29 minutes last night for the Habs. Gorges also saw over 20 minutes. Montreal dressed seven defensemen, something I missed on my first glance at the game review. Campoli, Diaz, and Emelin all saw similar ice time, while Kaberle and Weber (returning from an injury) saw the least.
Christian Ehrhoff was pointless and has only two points in eight February games.
Ville Leino had two helpers for the Sabres – he’s still on pace for less than 30 points, though. How many of you in one-year leagues still have him on the roster?
Theodore was phenomenal for Florida last night in their 2-1 loss, stopping 39 of 41 shots faced.
Pavel Datsyuk was extra amazing last night – his first period assist came while he was lying down on the ice, and he scored a beauty to win the game with about five seconds left in the third period, after completely embarrassing Ryan Suter.
Tomas Tatar was a healthy scratch for the Red Wings.
Justin Abdelkader led the Wings with six shots on goal – he also had five hits.
Carolina’s top power play unit – Staal centering Jerome Samson and Jiri Tlusty. The Back end featured Justin Faulk and former Leaf Tim Brent.
Tlusty is on a six game point streak and is playing really, really good hockey right now. He’s making most of the opportunity that has been handed to him.
Tlusty is in a great situation for the rest of the season – no veterans to compete for ice time with, and no pressure to produce.
Faulk also led all Carolina players in ice time with about 24 minutes played.
Will have more on the Montreal/Buffalo, Washington/Florida, and Nashville/Detroit games later this AM.
Ever since losing to Vancouver back in January, Boston is allowing an average of 3.21 goals-against per game.
The Jets were fantastic against Boston last night – their first home game of eight in a row. Blake Wheeler played arguably his best game of the season against his former club, finishing with three points.
His linemate Bryan Little had two goals – Little also won 15 faceoffs.
Erik Johnson has goals in three consecutive games.
Ryan O’Reilly had three helpers for the Avs, and Landeskog had two assists. Both young forwards are surpassing expectations in a huge way. Saw an interesting Landeskog stat – he is one of three forwards in the league to lead their team in both hits and shots on goal. Can you name the other two?
Corey Perry has six goals in his last four games. 50 goals is getting closer with each passing day…
The Devils have been on a roll since the Ponikarovsky trade (he also scored a goal last night). He’s given them some balance on their top three lines.
Dominic Moore had an assist in about 14 minutes in his debut with the Sharks.
Tommy Wingels had two points on Thursday night, but was pointless last night. He did lead the Sharks with five shots on goal, though.
Detroit has won a ridiculous 22 straight home games. I feel bad for whoever finishes 8th in the Western Conference. Pavel Datsyuk is always amazing, but he was particularly incredible last night.
Brenden Morrow’s name continues to be mentioned in trade rumors. I don’t doubt he is available. I do doubt how effective he will be, though. He’s pretty beat up and has battled some significant injuries in recent years. When healthy, he’s a solid two-way winger with some physicality and goal scoring prowess. He’s also regarded as a heart-and-soul leader.
Even with the question marks surrounding his health, you can bet there will be a few contending teams interested in his services.
From Dave Lozo, an NHL.com writer: “Since that awful showing in Calgary on Jan. 10, Martin Brodeur is 8-3-1 with a 1.80/.928.”
The Keith Ballard injury is very interesting to me. The symptoms are like a concussion, but the team isn’t calling it that (neck and whiplash have been mentioned). There isn’t a specific incident in which it occurred, either.
Unless Rick Nash teaches Antti Niemi to not do crazy things every three or four games, I don't see how he makes San Jose the favorite in the West (yes, I know Niemi won a Cup with Chicago, but he benefitted from playing behind ridiculously talented defense and forward groups).
Also, Ballard was announced as injured with 10 games to play before the trade deadline. If my CBA knowledge is correct, 10 games is the minimum amount needed for a player to be placed on the LTIR (and have his cap space freed up to use on a replacement – in Ballard’s case, $4.2 million). The Canucks are a shrewd cap team and it wouldn’t surprise me if the timing of this was more than coincidence.
The Isles have called up Kevin Poulin, and he may start tonight. Al Montoya was shelled by the Blues a few nights ago, and Nabokov is still sick (trade deadline-itis?)
The Avs have called up Cedric Desjardins – a real wild card goalie for keeper leagues – he’s good enough to be a 1A/1B goalie in the NHL, but he needs a legitimate opportunity. I’m going to be keeping my eyes on him.
Matt Duchene’s knee is getting better, and he could play as early as Sunday. Colorado really misses his creativity and speed. Stastny is a good center but a speedster he is not. Ryan O’Reilly has had a career season, but he doesn’t have close to the skill of Duchene.
Update on Jamie Benn – he’s likely to miss two games with a nasty cut on his leg. Expect him to be back next Tuesday. According to Frozen Pool, he’s played the majority of his most recent three games with Steve Ott and Tomas Vincour.
Carlo Colaiacovo is playing tonight after missing the game on Thursday with a wrist injury. He only needs one more injury to get his ‘10 injuries, one free surgery’ punch card filled out!
Rich Peverley is out for at least four weeks after suffering a sprained knee. He was hit by Hal Gill – was a knee on knee, but didn’t look like a dirty hit to me (and Gill isn’t a dirty player). Either way, a huge loss for Boston’s depth scoring, and their second power play unit. Peverley is a really, really good player.
Mike Colligan takes a look at the trade deadline options for the Penguins. David Jones is an option:
“Jones had one of the quietest 27-goal seasons in recent memory last year and has also shown the ability to play either wing. Metzer makes a good point that Jones has meshed with talented players and could slot in nicely on a scoring line with the Penguins.
The future value of Jones is intriguing to me as well. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer and Ray Shero says he hopes to have maximum cap flexibility heading into the unknowns of next season’s new CBA. But in Part I we also discussed the challenges that Shero could face with re-signing RFA James Neal at season’s end. As a budding 27-year-old goal scorer, Jones could be the perfect backup plan to use as leverage against Neal.”
Casey Cizikas, who I wrote about in my most recent 15 Prime Cuts, was recently named AHL Player of the Month. Pretty big honor for a rookie who seemed destined to be a third line checking center.
“A first-year pro from Toronto, Cizikas is tied for third among all AHL rookies in scoring with 38 points this season, totaling 14 goals and 24 assists in 44 games with Bridgeport, and leads all AHL forwards with a plus-20 rating. The 20-year-old Cizikas was a fourth-round draft choice by the New York Islanders in 2009 and is coming off four seasons of junior hockey with Mississauga St. Michael’s (OHL). “
Some more AHL stuff – here is a good read on Chicago prospect Brandon Pirri, who is having a very solid AHL season. He could be Chicago’s second line center of the future (probably two years away from being able to fill that sort of role on an NHL contender).
“I think my game has improved immensely,” said Pirri, comparing his game to a season ago. “My confidence is the biggest thing. Coming into games this year, I’m coming in to dominate the game where as last year I was a little more tentative hoping I can make a good play here and there. Where now I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a difference maker and I think my confidence is the biggest difference from last year to this year.”
Three young players are excelling this season for the Texas Stars – Matt Fraser, defenseman Brenden Dillon (who I wrote about before the season started), and winger Scott Glennie.
“Fraser leads Texas in goals scored, ranking among the top rookies in the AHL for scoring throughout the season. Dillon has been a stable on the blueline, eating up minutes and helping bolster the Texas defense. And after a slow start due to an injury, Glennie has come on strong with a point-a-game pace since late November. “
Fraser is an intriguing prospect – he’s a big body and he should score at least 30 in his rookie season in the AHL. Dillon has lots of offensive upside – his defensive game has also adjusted quickly to the AHL. Glennie is a former high first round draft pick, and also a former line mate of Brayden Schenn and Matt Calvert in the WHL. More on Dillon:
“A big advantage for 21-year-old Dillon came at the end of last season. The undrafted free agent signed with Dallas once his junior season concluded in Seattle. After posting 59 points in 72 games as one of the top scoring WHL defensemen, Dillon joined the Texas Stars for the final 10 games of the regular season. He also played in all six of the Stars’ first-round matchups against Milwaukee in the Calder Cup Playoffs, something he says helped him tremendously. “
One more AHL read for today – Islander forward Rhett Rakhshani has been very solid for Bridgeport this season. He had an impressive AHL rookie season last year, setting club records for goals, assists, and points. He didn’t make the Islanders out of training camp after suffering a concussion in early September, and then injuring his knee upon returning. He’s been on fire since returning:
“After the league’s break around the Christmas holiday, Rakhshani posted an impressive 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) and a plus-18 rating in just 15 games, leading the Sound Tigers on an improbable 10-0-0-1 run to open the 2012 calendar year. “
I am always interested in trends – Victor Hedman is headed in the right direction since returning from his concussion. Don’t believe me? Read this.
“Hedman post-concussion: 9 games, 1 goal, 6 assists, 20 shots, 21 hits, 23 blocks”
Some Claude Giroux magic from Thursday:
A ridiculous display of hands from Mike Ribeiro: