The Montreal Gazette caught up with Don Cherry. It wasn't a very long chase.
He has some praise for P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov, who should each be highly-effective for poolies whenever this season finally gets underway. Subban’s value will generally only climb in standard league formats in the coming campaigns because of his ability to deliver statistically across the board. We still haven’t seen how good he’ll be offensively either. If – and granted, it’s a big if – Markov is truly as healthy as he says – that should only improve Subban’s point totals; particularly on the power play.
In most markets, aside from those closest to his fan base, Markov should also make for a virtual steal in the later rounds of drafts. Too many fantasy owners have been burned by his injury-prone ways in the past and that hurts the rearguard’s worth a little more each time. Eventually, guys in those positions fall to a point where their value can really only exceed their draft slot. Such should be the case in most instances with Markov this time around, although he'll really need to get his feel for the game back after missing so much time. Seems like a slow start for him in the KHL so far.
The Ottawa Sun draws some parallels between Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Alfredsson and while the comparison may not be breaking new ground in hockey circles, it’s yet another reason for fans of the Sens to remind themselves there are plenty of reasons over which to be excited post-lockout. Silfverberg touches on the benefits of staying in Sweden last season, as well as the changes to which he is adjusting on North American rinks.
The Sun notes Bingo’s first line is Mika Zibanejad - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Jakob Silfverberg.
The Vancouver Sun asserts that Kevin Connauton is and always will be an offensive defenceman, which is certainly a prime reason why both Canucks fans and poolies are anxiously awaiting his next step at the NHL level. He certainly seems to have PP QB written all over his skill-set. That said, he has been making strides in his own zone and says he’s becoming more and more confident with that side of his game.
Connauton says he has patterned his style after Duncan Keith.
"He might not be the favourite guy in this city, but as far as a player he is a guy I look up to.”
22-year-old Tomas Tatar tells Michigan Live that he’ll ‘give it a couple more years’ to try to make the Detroit Red Wings, then he may consider pursuing his interest in going to the KHL.
The item notes he’s skating on the top line in Grand Rapids with Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist.
Griffins coach Jeff Blashill has a quote which can be applied to so many good offensive asset coming up too.
“The important thing for him is to have a complete game,” Blashill said. “No question he's a top-flight offensive player. But as guys jump up to the NHL, they better be able to do the little things well. Because when you get up there, you’re not thrust onto a first line, but a third and fourth line, and you have do all the little things –digging pucks out, playing good defense, blocking shots, back checking hard.
“All those will be extremely important for him to have the best opportunity to exceed at the next level.”
It’s never too early to start looking ahead to future NHL talent and London Knights centre Bo Horvat’s game has matured, according to The Toronto Star. Instead of cheating a little bit defensively like he did while racking up big numbers as a minor midget, the feature points to his increased effort in his own end of the rink and believes he might become a first-round NHL pick.
One of the few plus sides to the lockout has been how NHL players have been able and willing to make even more of an impact in youth hockey circles. You wouldn’t be the first person to suggest it’s been a PR move by the NHLPA, but when the kids come away as the winners who really cares?
The Globe and Mail ran an Associated Press piece noting that so far, at least 75 players have visited 55 minor hockey teams since the lockout began in September. Nearly 1,000 children and teens have had an NHLPA member join their team for a practice, and the players have combined to spend more than 100 hours at rinks in the past few weeks.
Similarly, Friday’s Hockey Hearsay had something from The Boston Herald with Bruins coach Claude Julien. He recognizes that there’s a significant trickle-down effect from the local NHL team to the grass roots level in youth hockey.
If you happen to fall into the ‘Get the Coyotes the hell out of Arizona’ camp, you may have an unexpected ally on your side: the mayor of Glendale. The Arizona Republic points out the City has been cranking out various budget scenarios to show where the city would stand considering different variables, including keeping or losing the Phoenix Coyotes.
Under that plan, allegedly, no immediate budget cuts would be needed and she called on council members to rethink the Coyotes deal.
The mayor said she would rather keep popular city festivals that are in danger of being cut than pay millions to keep the Coyotes.
Ok. 14 contests on the AHL’s Saturday night slate. Down and dirty. Let’s rock and roll.
** Adirondak 4 St. John’s 3: Three Stars 1. ADK - B. Schenn (1-1-2) 2. STJ - A. Burmistrov (0-1-1 w/ 6 SOG) 3. ADK - Z. Rinaldo (1-0-1).
Schenn, BTW, has 3-2-5 in his four starts. Cannot wait to see him again for the Flyers in the bigs.
** Rochester 8 Hershey 7: Three Stars 1. RCH - M. Foligno (2-2-4, +3) 2. RCH - T. Brennan (2-1-3) 3. HER - J. DiSalvatore (1-2-3 w/ 6 SOG)
Foligno with 5-3-8 in five contests. Cody Hodgson had three helpers, giving him seven in five affairs; Brayden McNabb had a pair of assists; Mark Mancarci went 1-1-2 and Luke Adam scored. Garrett Stafford had four apples, Jeff Taffe with 1-3-4 and both Ryan Stoa (2-0-2) and Garrett Mitchell (1-1-2) had two-pointers.
** Manchester 6 Portland 4: Three Stars 1. MCH - T. Pearson (2-1-3) 2. POR - C. Conner (2-0-0) 3. MCH - L. Vey (1-1-2)
Slava Voynov (1-1-2) has three points in four games from the blueline. David Rundblad picked up another point and has three in three starts, while Oliver Ekman-Larsson now has 3-2-5 in his three outings. Not too shabby for a guy who still has so much more to give at the NHL level.
** Providence 3 Springfield 1: Three Stars 1. PRO - N. Svedberg (33/34) 2. PRO - M. Sauve (1-1-2) 3. SPR - N. Drazenovic (1-0-1)
** Toronto 5 Hamilton 0: Three Stars 1. TOR - K. Ryan (2-0-2) 2. TOR - J. Rynnas (31/31) 3. TOR - K. Aucoin (0-3-3)
Nazem Kadri had an assist, but has just 0-2-2 in four starts. Another helper for smooth-skating rearguard Jake Gardiner, who is averaging a point-per-game through four (2-2-4).
** Albany 4 Worcester 0: Three Stars 1. ALB - K. Kinkaid (30/30) 2. ALB - J. Josefson (2-0-2) 3. ALB - H. Pesonen (1-1-2)
Looks like Adam Henrique (1-0-1) and Adam Larsson (0-2-2) also earned their first points of the season in Game No. 3. Josefson, incidentally, has 2-1-3 overall.
** Syracuse 6 Binghamton 5 (OT): Three Stars 1. SYR - R. Panik (1-2-3) 2. BNG - M. Hoffman (1-1-2) 3. BNG - M. Borowiecki (1-0-1 w/ 27 PIM)
Tyler Johnson had three helpers, which brings him to 4-3-7 in four starts. He had 68 points last year. Nice night for Brett Connolly (1-1-2), who has three points in four games. Mark Stone’s pair of assists puts him at four in four outings. Both Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad had a helper and they each have two points in four tries.
** Bridgeport 3 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2: Three Stars 1. BRI - J. Sundstrom (1-1-2) 2. BRI - N. Niederreiter (1-0-1) 3. WBS - E. Tangradi (1-0-1 w/ 7 SOG)
That was Tangradi’s first goal of the season. He’ll need to pick it up if he really wants to make this the year he makes a top-six impression in Pittsburgh. Simon Despres, who has mad offensive game, earned his first helper of the year. Great investment in deeper keeper leagues. And Nino. Again. 3-2-5 in three games for the young winger, who got a brief write-up in last Sunday's Ramblings with a good showing.
** Norfolk 6 Connecticut 3: Three Stars 1. NOR - T. Bodie (1-1-2) 2. NOR - C. Wagner (1-1-2) 3. NOR - S. Vatanen (1-1-2)
Couple of points for Nate Guenin, who has three in four. Kyle Palmieri notched 1-2-3 and now has 2-4-6 in four starts. Peter Holland (0-2-2) has five points in all.
**Lake Erie 5 OKC 3: Three Stars 1. LE - T. Barrie (1-2-3) 2. OKC - J. Schultz (1-0-1) 3. LE - K. Stollery (1-0-1)
If you’re not already drooling in Colorado over Barrie, get cracking. Five points in four games and plenty of potential at the NHL level. Justin Schultz is producing mad results for Oil fans, with 4-2-6 in four affairs. Magnus Paajarvi scored his first and has 1-1-2, but both RNH and Jordan Eberle came away with nothing.
** San Antonio 1 Milwaukee 0: Three Stars 1. SA - D. Grumet-Morris (25/25) 2. SA - J. Gomes (1-0-1) 3. SA - E. Selleck (0-1-1)
**Houston 5 Texas 3: Three Stars 1. HOU - M. Granlund (2-2-4) 2. HOU - N. Palmieri (2-0-2) 3. TEX - T. Vincour (1-1-2)
Yawn. Four points for Granlund. 2-5-7 in his four games. Marco Scandella quietly has five points in four games and he’s ready to make some noise when the NHL season begins. Two helpers for Jason Zucker, who is averaging a point-per-game. Cody Eakin (1-1-2) has five points in four outings now.
**Charlotte 2 Rockford 1: Three Stars 1. CHA - D. Bowman (2-0-2) 2. CHA - D. Ellis (35/36) 3. RFD - C. Hutton (40/42)
Eight shots for Zach Boychuk. Zac Dalpe had a pair of assists, giving him three in three. Nick Leddy has three points in four games and he should be ready to build on last year’s totals for the Hawks. Carter Hutton has three losses and a shootout loss to his name in four chances this year, but has a stellar 2.24 GAA and .929 SV%. Only nine goals against in that time.
** Abbotsford 4 Chicago 1: Three Stars 1. ABB - S. Baertschi (1-1-2) 2. ABB - B. Brust (25/26) 3. ABB - C. Bancks (1-0-1)
Baertschi is up to 3-3-6 in his four starts and seriously, what's not to love about this guy? Always temper those early expectations for NHL rookies, but come on... just watching him play every night is going to be a treat for Flames fans. T.J. Brodie has four helpers in four games. Roman Horak is averaging a goal-per-game. Zack Kassian picked his third goal in five starts.
With the Winter Classic in jeopardy, Alex Ovechkin and the KHL did their parts to provide some not-quite-HBO 24/7-worthy behind-the-scenes coverage Saturday. Ovechkin, if you didn’t see, finished a check and backed into the glass along the boards. The glass shattered into many pieces, but provided the fans right there with a pretty big thrill. The video is four minutes long, but if you stick with it (or FF) you can see the cameras trail Ovi and observe as the minor cut or cuts on his hand are cleaned up.
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