With all the hype that accompanied Nicklas Backstrom prior to the season, it was surprising to see how many roto-league owners bailed on him so early in the year. Even some keeper-league owners had an itchy trigger finger.
He’s 20 years old and was hyped as a Calder Trophy candidate in the summer. He started off with nine points in 21 games and poolies figured he was stuck on the third line for the entire season.
(Originally published by The Hockey News January 25)
All it took was a new coach, but I suspect even Glen Hanlon would have come around to Backstrom’s tremendous vision. Since Nov. 22, the rookie has 31 points in 28 contests and will likely put together a 75-point campaign.
He’s primarily a setup man, as his eight assists in two games earlier this week will attest. That works out perfectly with a pair of super-snipers on the left side in Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin.
The best is obviously yet to come with this kid and while he won’t get there next season, there’s a 100-point season in his future.
His linemates will see to that…
Training camp is finally over for Nashville rearguard Shea Weber.
As is often the case when a player suffers an injury at the start of the season, Weber went through a period of adjustment when he returned. It usually takes a few games to get the timing back.
After returning from his second leg injury Jan. 15, the 22-year-old went pointless for three games before picking up three points in his past two games.
He is also a plus-4 in that span. Those of you who expected a 45- or 50-point campaign out of Weber, he’s finally started playing that way now and should be activated…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: Phoenix winger Daniel Carcillo was leading the league in penalty minutes when he sprained his knee back in December. Five weeks later and he’s still leading the league, despite not playing a game. He’ll be back in the lineup after the All-Star break, despite being sent to the American League…Florida’s Jozef Stumpel, notorious for his slow first halves and big second halves, will return from his shoulder injury early next week, after the break…
Farm Report: Washington prospect Mathieu Perreault is on a run that has seen him pick up at least a point in 17 straight games for Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec League. Last year’s QMJHL MVP is currently seventh in league scoring with 64 points in 40 games. Because of his diminutive stature, he’s likely several years away from the show, but he’s projected to be a second-line pivot for the Caps when he gets there.