Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact. Rumblings are that he will return for Sunday's game. Is Evgeni Malkin's one-point lead over Steven Stamkos enough? Because you know the points per game will go just a little once Sid is back.


The Leafs have extended Mikhail Grabovski for five more years at $5.5 million per. Steep. He would have got that on the open market. But that's No.1 center territory and the Leafs have yet to use him as a No.1 center.


Yesterday's Studs and Duds can be found here.


My THN column yesterday was on David Desharnais.


The X-Rays on Zach Parise’s hand were negative and he will be in the lineup tonight against the Rangers.


Now that we’re in the home stretch of your fantasy league, don’t forget to check out Goalie Post daily for your starting goalie information. Accurate, and with Justin Goldman’s contacts he has on a couple of occasions received confirmed starter information before it has even been released into the media. True story, I’ve seen it myself. He had to say “probable”, or risk upsetting sources, but he knew it was “firm”.


George McPhee and Ted Leonsis – I said it was a mistake two years ago and I think you should be starting to agree with me by now. Switching your system is a mistake. It was a mistake. And it will always be a mistake. If you have Alex Ovechkin on your team, becoming a tight-checking squad is like having a keg of beer at your party and only serving lemonade. You were on the right track. You ran into ONE HOT GOALIE. Jaroslav Halak beat you and took you out of the playoffs early. Changing your entire system because of that? Nothing but failure after failure.

The Caps still got eliminated early last year.

The Caps still struggle in the regular season to the point where a postseason berth is in question.

The Caps are still a draw thanks to Alex Ovechkin’s name. But how long will that last if he keeps putting up 70 points?

Had you stayed the course, you would have gone further last year and you’d be well into the playoff picture this year. Oh, and Ovechkin would be a scoring leader again, cementing his legendary status. How do I know this? I don’t. Just like I don’t know that my party guests would prefer tapping into that keg instead of sipping on lemonade. It’s just an educated guess. ONE HOT GOALIE. There’s no defense to that. If you run into a hot goalie in the playoffs you’re probably toast, no matter what system you have. It happens sometimes. Better teams than yours have fallen victim to a hot goalie before.


So the Bruins signed Marty Turco. If they were going to give a few hundred thousand dollars to charity, I would have chosen a better cause than that.


Seriously – I would rather own Michael Hutchinson when trolling the waiver wire, than Turco. Tuukka Rask, by the way, is out 4-6 weeks. Turco is ineligible to play in the playoffs and will also have to clear waivers. Uh, consider them cleared unless there’s an insane GM out there. Oops, spoke too soon…


Linus Omark had been recalled by the Oilers but did not get into the lineup.


Here is my Puck Daddy article from yesterday.


An update on some injured Red Wings – Bertuzzi, Howard, Lidstrom will all miss Tuesday’s game. Datsyuk too, of course. Dan Cleary will play. With Lidstrom still out, I would love to see Nik Kronwall continue putting up points. Really make it clear that he’s the heir to the Lidstrom throne. Plus, I got him as a throw-in back in November.


The WHL player of the week last week was Calgary prospect Sven Bärtschi. It would be best if the Flames waited on him until 2013-14… but they may not do that, given their lack of offensive studs.


Richard Bachman will get the start for Dallas tonight versus Vancouver.


Meanwhile, the Senators have sent down Robin Lehner and called up Ben Bishop. This is Bishop’s big chance to make a real splash.


Martin Havlat will travel with the team on their four-game road trip. If I had to guess, I would say he will miss the next two games and then return to the lineup at that point.


Tyler Kennedy was back in the Penguins lineup, but Kris Letang was not. Letang has concussion symptoms again. Similar to concussion-like symptoms, concussion symptoms are less stupid to say.


Cody Hodgson is still getting solid ice time for the Sabres, but he’s still without a point. As I said (and more than a few fans/Hodgson owners called me on it) I don’t think he’ll fit any more than Tyler Ennis is fitting. They’ll get their points, but not a lot of them. Not this year. One argument that I get is “but he’ll see a lot of ice time” as if he’s entitled to it more than say a Tyler Ennis. Both are first-round picks, both are highly skilled. Ennis had 49 points as a rookie. Hodgson won’t get that. So if Ennis can’t put up big numbers, why would Hodgson be any different? There are too many players on that team in the same role so until they clear that logjam in the summer (and they will, mark it!) I don’t see the youngsters taking that next step.


Loui Eriksson…uh…wow…




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morris22 said:

Caps in 2010 Oh man spot on with your Caps breakdown. Was looking back at games played by Washington post-Olympic 2010 break and this one stood out: A 7-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Anybody remember this one? Ovechkin was suspended 2 games for a hit on Brian Campbell and Eric Fehr was still in the lineup and scored. Anyone remember Eric Fehr???
March 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Rob said:

Turco... I would love to see someone claim Turco, just to piss of the Champs!
March 06, 2012
Votes: +1

Jocular Hockey Manager said:

Grabovski The Leafs can only hope to get proper return on this investment. They can get burnt. There is no potential in this deal to get more bang for the buck, than the investment they have guaranteed the player. From a fantasy perspective, any league with a cap will refuse to touch Grabovski. He's not elite. He's not secure enough.

Grabovski, Liles, Franson, MacArthur... these are support players/half ice players... To make it to the next level the Leafs must see them step forward again. 70 point forwards, 40-50 point D-men and reasonable play in their own end. These players are getting pretty mature to change the colour of their spots. I don't know about this one Mr. Burke.
March 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Ross The Boss Palmer said:

Ross The Boss Palmer
Spice Lots of spice in the rambling today, winter getting to you too?!
March 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Username said:

Loui Eriksson Loui Eriksson is definitely one of the more underrated players in the league. What a beauty. Also, I love those Dallas announcers.smilies/grin.gif
March 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Neely8 said:

... Great ramble. Good piece on the Caps.
Tim Thomas hasn't been playing well at all and maybe Turco's presence will help, even if only at practice.
Do you think Hodgson will develop into a #1 center by next season???
March 06, 2012
Votes: +0
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