Injury updates - Crosby a no-go for tomorrow against Boston, and Toews eyeing a Tuesday return against the Blues.

 

It's Matt Hackett's time to shine in Minneosta with Backstrom and Harding both out with injuries. He's played well in spot duty before - could be a late season boost to fantasy squads lacking in goaltending categories.

 

With Lupul out, the Leafs are going to try a top line of Bozak-Connolly-Kessel against the Flyers tonight.

 

David Desharnais likely won't play tonight - I was hoping to get to see him play against the Canucks. He's been really good all season for Montreal. One of the better surprise stories of the season. He may not be the big center Montreal wants to compliment Tomas Plekanec, but he's earned the second line gig for next season. He sure plays big, too.

 

I consulted TSN, ESPN, and NHL.com to make sure there wasn’t a mistake – Jonathan Quick allowed four goals on only 15 shots against the Wings. A rare off night in what has been a truly spectacular season.

 

Zetterberg finished with three points and five shots on goal. He’s turning around what was a below-average season (by his standards).

 

Brendan Smith had an assist and saw almost three minutes of PP time. So glad I have held on to him for the last few years in my keeper – he has played his last game in the AHL. Looks so composed and so impressive right now.

 

Gustav Nyqvist played less than 13 minutes, but he found the score sheet with a single helper.

 

Filppula had three points, as well. Do the Wings try to extend his contract this summer? He has one year left on his current deal, and he’s been fantastic for them this year.

 

Filppula has 11 points in his last five games. Wow. Like David Clarkson, I was about two years early with my breakout projections.

 

Zetterberg is just as hit with 12 points in his last six games.

 

Jeff Carter had a goal and a helper for the Kings yesterday – his production has been underwhelming so far, but he can’t be wholly blamed for the anaemic LA offense.

 

I am not looking to offend any Kings fans, but is there a more regular diver in the league than Dustin Brown? Other contenders – Tootoo, Kesler, Ott, and Derek Roy.

 

Del Zotto missed the game with what is believed to be a sore hip.


Chicago’s big guns were dominant – Sharp, Hossa, and Kane all had multi-point games. Deadline acquisition Johnny Oduya had two points, including the game winner. He’s getting lots of ice time and his mobility is going to take (a bit of the) pressure off of Keith during the postseason.


The Jets chose to start Pavelec back-to-back, and he looked tired. Can’t blame him after facing almost 50 shots in Vancouver last night. He allowed five goals on 27 shots in Calgary.


Alex Tanguay had four points for the Flames, and Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla each had three points. How much is Jokinen going to cost Calgary to re-sign?


Matt Stajan played over 20 minutes, and he finished with two points and four shots on goal. A sign of things to come?


Mike Cammalleri missed the game but should be back soon.

 

Sounds like both Souray and Ott are out for Dallas tonight. This likely means more minutes for Philip Larsen, again.

 

Brenden Morrow has been activated from the IR and could replace Ott tonight. He isn’t confirmed but sounds like he should be good to go.

 

Is it worth mentioning that Wojtek Wolski has three points in his last six games? If it isn’t, I just did anyway.

 

Jarome Iginla has scored at least 28 goals in 13 straight seasons. Extremely impressive consistency.

 

The Pens have won eight straight, and may be getting Crosby back on Sunday. Boston, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia better start getting worried.

 

The fine folks at the Fan Zoo are running a free contest right now to win a flight and tickets to a Canucks game in Calgary. The company is top notch, and they were a huge help to me in my writing contest last year. They also have a ton of ridiculously awesome memorabilia for sale (and not just Canucks stuff, either). Check out the contest details here.

 

Have you checked out our inaugural Cage Match Tournament? Each week we pair players off and you get to vote on who wins until there is but one left standing, the best player in fantasy hockey. This week it’s #1 Henrik Sedin vs. #8 Joe Thornton, #2 Daniel Sedin vs. #7 Eric Staal, #3 Zach Parise vs. #6 Ilya Kovalchuk and #4 Corey Perry vs. #5 Ryan Getzlaf. Who will you vote for?

 

A very thorough look at Marc-Andre Gragnani, from a Buffalo perspective – right here. An excerpt:

 

Little went right for the defenseman this season, but it's astonishing how quickly people let his good traits slip from their memory. The same person who eventually became a dominant force in the American Hockey League, then scored an overtime goal that brushed the Carolina Hurricanes away from a playoff spot that they too were chasing and who was equally inspirational in Buffalo's short-lived postseason, was now enduring the wrath of supporters.


Nothing extinguishes one's success from the past as suddenly as their present woes. Clumsy turn-overs and futile showings haunted him in 2012, even though he prospered beyond belief only one year earlier.


Whatever happened to the patience that Buffalo preached for its prospects? Are people so quick to give up on a player because of one bad campaign? Does anyone, during the worst of times, still keep in mind that it's a process?”


What does Steve Tambellini have planned for the Oilers blueline next season? Does the team take a run at Suter? Would he sign there? Do they dangle a young forward in a trade? I won’t use this as another opportunity to criticize Tambellini’s mismanagement of the team, but his track record here speaks for itself. Assuming a top four of Whitney, Petry, Schultz, and another defenseman added is the group – is that playoff calibre? How far off are the prospects?

 

Zach Parise is my favourite player in the league. He is skilled and incredibly tenacious – a rare combination, to say the least. Hockey Wilderness takes a look at the summer ahead, one in which Parise will be highly sought after by at least 10-15 NHL clubs. My guess is Detroit, but the post I link makes a compelling case for both Tampa Bay and Minnesota.

 

More on a potential Radulov return, from Puck Daddy. Here is the important stuff:

 

All that said … he's a game-changer. He's been a premiere player in Russia, and he's always had that unique ability to create his own offense, no matter the linemates.


You know where the Predators are in the offensive rankings? Ninth, with a goals-for average of 2.79. That's very much thanks to a power play converting at a 20.9-percent clip, which is second in the League.


What happens with a mature Alex Radulov out there with something to prove? Bad things for the rest of the Western Conference, man. Bad things …”

 

Top 10 hits of the week - which is your favourite? Brendan Smith already throwing his weight around...

 

This game may be worth watching...


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Comments (11)add comment

derek said:

buck0198
HIT/RADULOV My favorite hit was the one on Ovechkin. I feel like in this league no one wants to hit him....he needs to be hit more...then maybe he will quit charging all game.

Radulov is on steroids...he cant control his temper. I dont have proof but I am guaranteeing it. He plays in the KHL, he is rocking back n forth on the bench, and his temper is terrible. Steroids...book it.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Santo,

His role on Montreal is to play on their top offensive line, but I'd consider his ability to be second line center. Potato, pot-a-to, I guess. He's a hell of a player.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Larry, I concur. Great hits.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Mr Sausage said:

Mr_Sausage
Tambellini His track record speaks for itself? His whole 3 year track record? lol. He's been the GM since 2008. He took over a god awful roster from Kevin Lowe(worst GM in NHL at the time imo). Miracles can't happen in three years. He has put together some good, albeit young pieces together. Yes he has done a poor job on the defense and the Bulin Wall signing I questioned. This is a team that has stunk for the better part of the last two decades and it finally looks like there is some light at the end of the tunnel. There are other GM's far more deserving of the hate. Like Bob Gainey for example. He has Gm'd for MTL since 2003. And still no light at the end of the tunnel for the Habs. Yet I always read about Tambellini and how he has sucked. Just saying it seems like an awful lot of hate for someone who has been on the job for such a short period. This team has been awful for 20 years(minus 2006). Now that there is hope it is not the time too run Tambellini out.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Santo aka Ross10019 said:

ross10019
Desharnais Desharnais sure has had a great season. But it's the 2nd time i have seen the ramblings portray him as the "2nd line" center. He has not earned the 2nd line center gig, he has earned the TOP LINE center gig with Pacioretty and Cole, and it's been that way for months now and no reason it will change next year with Max putting up 30 goals already, Cole almost there, and Desharnais on a 60+ point pace. I guess if you don't watch many Habs games it's easy to have the perception that $5M per year guy Plekanec is no 1 center, but he's not.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +1

Larry said:

Rollie1967
hit video 10 clean hard hits in the NHL? wow, i thought those were extinct! loved the hit by Wingels on Eager. This is what we want to keep in the NHL- lose the headshots, the knees, the gloved punches to the face and the all to common fight after a clean hit.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Derrek said:

TangerineDreamTeam
12 games on But u commented on 11 games while just mentioning Patches in passing... Im just trying to give you a hard time, but you're welcome for my awesome analysis of the Habs Oilers game the other night smilies/grin.gif
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Username said:

Username
... Apparently the writer of the Parise article thinks he's a center? Fail...

Nashville is a possibility as well, especially if they manage to keep Suter and get Radulov back. They'll be a cap team next season.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan said:

kingshockeygm
Quick Watched the game last night and the goals were not his fault. If he had any defense in front of him he would have allowed only one. Doughty isn't worth anything right now and was -3 last night. Richards wasn't much better.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Hockey Hoser said:

Hockey Hoser
Radulov mature? I'm not sure I can agree with that quote speaking of a more mature Radulov. Here's an example from this year just how mature he is if you haven't seen this video yet. You really want this cancer on your team?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLkOLptnPAI
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0

TheRook said:

TheRook
... Pavalec - more than the back to back his poor showing was because of the road game. His home record is phenominal, but his away record is horrible. I traded for him in one league and spot started him when he plays at home.
March 10, 2012
Votes: +0
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