Sorry for the delay on getting today's bits up, but Thursdays are my jammed pack day with classes. We'll get started and try to make this somewhat faster than usual.
BOSTON vs. PITTSBURGH:
Pittsburgh with 2 goals in the third period, held off the bruins to get the 3-2 win last night. Chris Kunitz with a PP goal, assisted by Letang & Crosby. Brandon Sutter finally getting his first goal of the season last night, assisted by Dupuis & Orpik, and Jussi Jokinen finally making himself fantasy relevant again, was able to snap a wrister past Raask for only his 6th of the year, despite seeing top minutes with Malkin. Boston's Jarome Igilna scored with 1:43 remaining in regulation to bring the game within one, and this was the definition of a barn burner. Pittsburgh led 3-1 with 9:00 minutes left to play until that goal, but just came up short and Patrice Bergeron with a goal and an assist.
TORONTO vs. CALGARY:
Toronto, despite being outshot 43-22, won 4-2 last night and now in the past 2 games have been outshot 86-47. Bernier was back in net after Reimer's 43 save SO the previous night, and looked just as good stopping a whopping 41 to only give up 2. Lupul, JVR, Mason Raymond, and Paul Ranger all with goals last night, and David Clarkson finally getting his first point of the season with 1 assist. Rookie Sean Monohan has quieted down this past week and is starting to come back to reality, with only 1 point his last 4 games.
DETROIT vs. VANCOUVER:
The Wings were looking for a win to end their 4 game skid, and found it last night by beating the Canucks 2-1. Daniel Sedin had the lone goal, with the assists from his brother Henrik, and Ryan Stanton. Daniel Alfredsson with his 3rd goal of the year last night, assisted by Brendan Smith (who was in the box every time I looked, you scrub) and Kyle Quincey. The game winner and his first of the year was from Tomas "Tater" Tatar with the assists from Kronwall and DeKeyser. I hope to see more of Tatar because of the intensity he brings every shift, he's so eager to get ice time and you can tell he wants to stay with the big club.
SAN JOSE vs. LOS ANGELES:
Kings and Sharks meeting for the first time since the Kings eliminated the Sharks in game 7 of the Western Semi-Finals last year. Kings rallied and won 4-3 in OT, despite Quick's poor outing, but Niemi didn't have the best showing either. Marc-Edward Vlasic with a goal just 13 seconds in, and Logan Couture with 1 goal and 1 assist. Justin Williams, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar all with 1 goals and 1 assists, and Mike Richards with 2 PP assists to help. In Niemi's defense, he didn't have that much help from his team, the last 2 goals the Kings had the man advantage.
David Krejci's 7 game point streak came to an end last night and that's just his second time going pointless this year. Milan Lucic & Jarome Igilna both, now on a 5 game point streak. Zdeno Chara though, not having the best of luck this year. He is now pointless the last 5 games and just 3 points total on the year. Phil Kessel's 4 game point streak also came to an end last night, but the leafs didn't need him they showed. In bigger news, Colorado Avalanche goalie, Seymon Varlamov, turned himself in to Denver authorities last night, and was charged with 2nd degree kidnapping and 3rd degree assault I believe, don't quote me. I'm not going to speculate as the details are still fuzzy, and I think it's in poor taste to slander a guy without due process so when I know more, expect a separate news article and ful
RANGERS vs. ISLANDERS:
Thomas Vanek making his debut as a New York Islander, and it wasn't as good as Moulson's was for Buffalo. Vanek with 0 points, 1 SOG, 2 hits, in just 19:49 of ice time. Now, I think fantasy owners were expecting a hat trick right off the bat, or a few points because of playing with Tavares. You can't rush this sort of thing, Vanek needs time to find his bearings and create some chemistry after leaving an organization he's been with for so long, give it time. Vanek without a doubt, came out on top in that trade. Derek Stepan with 2 assists last night, and it's good to see his production is picking up. It's not anywhere near what it was last year, but it's still there with 7 points in 11 games (all assists). Yes, the goals aren't there yet and he's struggled not having Rick Nash with him, but if you look at his 5 game span where he went pointless, I think is where the storm was at it's worst in New York. If you're a fantasy owner, I think things are about to turn the corner for him and the Rangers. Rookie Cam Talbot getting his 3rd start, and got the win stopping 22 of 24 shots. He now improves to 2-1-0 on the season with a .929 SV% and 1.96 GAA.
DALLAS vs. MONTREAL:
It's time to take Michael Bournival seriously, with 1 goal last night, he now was 7 points in 7 games (4G/3A) and a +5 rating. Tomas Plekanec is enjoying having Bournival on his line and it's done nothing but make Plekanec money for fantasy owners. With an assist last night, now has 9 points in his last 7 games with 11 total in 13 games. It's surprising to see that isn't considered the first line in Montreal. The Galchenyuk/Gallagher/Eller experiment I think is coming to an end, their production was off to way to good of a start and they're starting to hit a wall.
CHICAGO vs. OTTAWA:
This was just an ugly performance of goalies if I've ever seen one, and it blew up in my face when I decided to start Craig Anderson. People in my league wondered why I did, and I had to. Schneider was hurt and on IR, and Ryan Miller is still in Buffalo and no one in their right mind will start him with confidence if it isn't against the Panthers, and my opponent this week already had 2 goalie wins to start, had to make a play. Hawks dominated with a 6-5 comeback win, and were lead by their captain Johnathan Toews hat trick. Toews with 3 goals last night, and an assist. 9 Hawk players had points last night including, Marian Hossa with 1 goal, and 2 assists. It was shocking to see 6 goals from Chicago, and Patrick Kane with 0 points and a -1, how does that even happen? Kyle Turris with another goal and assist, which just proves my bits the other night when comparing how good and underrated he is there because of Bobby Ryan, Jason Spezza, and Milan Michalek. Michalek must have heard I called him out when comparing him and Turris because he had his first true multi-point night last night, (he had 1 other game where had 2 assists). You're welcome, Joel. Khabibulin was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 22 shots, in which Crawford came in to relieve him and backstopped his team to 2 points, stopping 14 of 15 shots.
Phil Kessel with patience and some mitts, real nice goal. Makes me beyond moist in my downstairs mix-up.
TORONTO vs. EDMONTON:
What a game in Edmonton last night, well for the Leafs but not for Oiler fans. James Reimer coming up huge for his team, with a 43 save shutout to earn the win on the road. It's interesting to see this goalie battle because it hasn't stopped yet. Most of them this season were little bouts and you've seen who has the job by now, but a lot of people thought Bernier would steal the show and his fantastic start earlier proved he possibly would, but Reimer handed him a pen and told him to watch how it was done. Phil Kessel, I was never a huge fan until these last 4 years my old roommate and good friend, Nick Athens, stated early on that this was his boy, and I can see why. He's not the biggest guy in the league, but he's fast, smart, and if you've ever watched a Toronto game, holy shit balls does he have a shot. Kessel went off last night with 2 goals and 2 assists, giving him 18 points in 13 games, (9G/9A). Nazem Kadri, proving last year was no fluke, with 1 goal and 2 assists in this game also. Kadri has quietly put together a solid start with 12 points in 13 games, and Kadri and Kessel combined last night for a whopping 7 points. UNREAL. Edmonton is struggling, even more now with Taylor Hall out and it's obvious they need a spark and some grit. Dobber over at dobberhockey said this, and I couldn't put it any better myself and this is true beyond belief:
"The Oilers need size, toughness and defense. Andrew Ference and Nick Schultz were good starts on the back end, but they need a big, grinding forward with experience. And with the emergence (albeit small sample size) ofMark Arcobello, the Oilers need to trade Sam Gagner. If there was a clone of Milan Lucic out there and this clone was available, he would be perfect for this team."
LOS ANGELES vs. PHOENIX:
Phoenix seeking revenge after being handed a 7-4 loss, just 5 days prior playing the Kings. They were able to pull out the win last night 3-1, with a strong start from Mike Smith who looked like his old form from last year, stopping 41 of 42 shots. It's interesting to see goalies in Phoenix because they play such a strong defensive system, that it helps and allows goalies to thrive. I remember seeing Bryzgalov in Phoenix and remember he was also a tank in the net, but then he signed with Philly and he became the joke of the NHL. Put into a different system that relied more on offense , he struggled and it makes you wonder if that would happen to Smith also if ever the situation were to arise? Andy Miele with 2 assists last night, Kyle Chipchura with 1goal, and 1 assist. Shane Doan who I just picked up off FA was awesome, with a PP goal with the assists from Yandle, and Ekman-Larsson.
Teemu Selanne get's a high stick to the mouth, and apparently lost some teeth. Also, take note of how his head snaps back and how his head hits the ice when he falls. Might wanna monitor it, could be worse or not. Suck it, Joel.
DALLAS vs. BUFFALO:
Lindy Ruff returned to Buffalo last night to face his former team, and was welcomed back with a standing ovation. Ruff's Stars beat the Sabres, 4-3 and it was Matt Moulson's debut as a Buffalo Sabre. Moulson wasted no time, scoring 1 of his 2 goals on the night just 3:26 into the first period. Tyler Sequin who was pointless his last 3 games, had 1 goal and 1 assist on the night, and Jamie Benn with a goal of his own.
PITTSBURGH vs. CAROLINA:
Penguins ending their 3 game skid, by beating the Hurricanes 3-1 last night. Nathan Gerbe with a PP goal, giving him 7 points in 12 games this year. Lindholm and Semin with the assists now extending Semin's point streak to 6 games. Chris Kunitz with another goal, and Sidney Crosby with 2 assits giving him 20 points in 12 games (8G/12A). Say what you will about Crosby, and believe me I hate him just as much as anyone, but the guy is good.
MONTREAL vs. NEW YORK (RANGERS):
The New York Rangers miss Callahan and Rick Nash, they only have 4 goals their last 4 games and two of which were shutouts. Stepan fantasy owners need to be frustrated, no matter what they think. Rangers with their home opener last night, and losing 2-0 to the Montreal Canadiens. Peter Budaj in net, giving Carey Price the night off. He got the win with a 27 save shutout and earned his 2nd victory of the season. Tomas Plekanec had a PP goal, and Alex Galchenyuk credited with the goal which how did this count again?
Lars Eller assisted on that goal along with Gallagher. Speaking of Eller, before last night he had gone pointless his last 4 games, but ended it with that assist, 3 SOG, 5 hits, and 2 blocked shots.
CHICAGO vs. MINNESOTA:
Chicago pummeled the Wild last night, 5-1 to earn 2 points. Bradon Saad broke out with 1 goal and an assist, as did Patrick Kane with 1 goal, and 1 assists. Corey Crawford with another solid start, turning away 30 of 31 shots faced. Jason Pominville is looking like Jeff Carter did last year where he had something ridiculous like 13 goals and hadn't recorded 1 assist. Pominville potting his 7th goal of the year last night, giving him 4 points in his last 4 games. Kane was pointless in his last 3 contests but as of late has turned it around with 6 points in his last 4 games.
WASHINGTON vs. VANCOUVER:
Vancouver with their 3rd straight win last night, beating the Capitals 3-2. Michael Neuvirth was in net after relieving Holtby the other night and looked good. Even though credited with the loss, he stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced. Daniel Sedin with 1 goal and 1 assist, and Ryan Kesler continuing his tear with another goal, giving him 5 goals his last 4 games. Look who is making himself relevant again, Mikhail Grabovski. With 1 goal last night, he now has 4 points in his last 4 games giving him 10 points in 12 games on the year. Brandon Miller, you dumb, bro. Capitals were getting help from others too though, Jason Chimera with 1 goal and an assist, giving him 5 points his last 3 games. Looks like Ovi isn't a machine, now going po
Alright, I'm trying something a little different this bit which focuses on something that if you know me, kills me. Let's talk stats. We got a lot of numbers to crunch and I hope you stay with me or this at least makes you think.
WINNIPEG vs. COLORADO:
Colorado with another win last night, defeated Winnipeg 3-2 to now extend their league best record of 10-1-0. For the love of god people, will someone beat them? I might have to wait until Detroit plays them again, oh well. Bryan Little with 1 goal and an assist last night to help get his team started and that was about it for the Jets. The Avalanche has proven their offense can get it done, but where the hell is P.A. Parenteau? He's gone pointless in his last 5 games, a -2 and only has 6 SOG, buddy you're killin' me each week. Paul Stastny with 1 goal and an assist last night, and Gabriel Landeskog finally contributing with 2 assists. Seymon Varlamov with the win, now with a record of 7-1-0, he's having a hell of year so far, I can't deny him that. Now Al Montoya got the start in net last night, and the former University of Michigan goaltender played great stopping 33 of 36 shots. Which draws my whole piece on this into light, why in the hell isn't he given more of an opportunity? Ondrej Pavelec is an AVERAGE goalie. Pavelec this year with 11 starts, recording only 4 wins with a 2.85 GAA and a .909 SV%. So far Montoya this year has started 2 games, 1st wasn't much because it was the Devils but a 24 save shutout victory and last night he had a .917 SV% and a 1.52 GAA this year. Last year he started 5 games, but played in 7 and compiled a record of 3-1-1 with a 2.90 GAA and a .899 SV%, so not the greatest on saves but his record indicates other wise. Winnipeg is a team that needs wins and still sits almost at the bottom of the Western Conference and the same as last year, what do you have to lose?
LOS ANGELES vs. EDMONTON:
Well it's safe to assume that Richard Bachman has sealed one of the goalie positions in Edmonton after last night. His first NHL start of the season last night after being recalled from Oklahoma City Barons, and holy shit was it something. Bachman stopping 47 of 48 shots through OT, was dealt the loss in the shootout when Anze Kopitar put one by him. The Oilers were outshot 48 to 18, and had no business even being in the game if it wasn't for his .979 SV% and ridiculous 0.92 GAA. Nail Yakupov finally scoring his first goal of the year, and on the PP.......don't get to comfy, I don't think you're staying the whole year. Sorry cake eater. Mike Richards was the only king to get past Bachman in regulation and the assists coming from Jake Muzzins, & Jeff Carter ( good to see he can do something other than shoot). At this point, Bachman has to be given a fair shot at the starting job, he did a great job last year in the Dallas organization (AHL) with a 5-1 record with a .920 SV% and a 2.31 GAA, and was even called up a few times by the Stars. Devan Dubnyk has started 9 games this year with a 2-7 record and just ugly numbers, .878 SV% and 4.01 GAA....................LaBarbera is no better, 4 started with a 1-3 record wielding a .857 SV% and an even nasty 3.65 GAA.......................Need I say more?
ANAHEIM vs. COLUMBUS:
Ducks with another win last night, a 4-3 victory thanks to Corey Perry's GWG with 2:25 left to play in the 3rd. Perry with another 1 goal and 1 assits, and Ryan Getzlaf with a goal of his own. Rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen with his 2nd straight start and earning his 3rd win of the season, wasn't his prettiest but he's 3-0 now. Artem Anisimov with 2 goals for the Blue Jackets and just like I said yesterday, Brandon "Rack em" Dubinsky with an assist and 15 PIMS. MULTI-CATEGORY, PEOPLE.
Corey Perry, this is why I draft you:
SAN JOSE vs. OTTAWA:
San Jose just dominated the Senators last night, right when I didn't need them to. I decided to roll Craig Anderson because my back was against the wall in my matchup and what do you know, Craig, ya bent me over, bent me over real good. Sharks pummeling the Senators 5-2, despite San Jose giving up 40 shots. San Jose back up, Alex Stalock, was superb in his first game of the season and earning his first start stopping 38 shots. Erik Karlsson with 1 goal and an assist and a whopping 9 shots last night. You guys, he's a defensemen..............that's unheard of. San Jose rookie, Tomas Hertl with another goal ending his 3 game drought. It's good to see him on the radar still but his production has slowed down but that's either because he's an 18 year old rookie, or is he really missing Brent Burns that much? It will be interesting what San Jose decides to do with him this year, I think they'll send him for more "seasoning." James Sheppard had a goal and an assist last night, which brings me to my next point. 11 San Jose players had points last night, and I'm calling out the Avalanche. To me, SAN JOSE is the best team in the NHL right now, their record might not reflect it but their also playing great hockey and is a juggernaut right now. I think for once they can finally live up to all the hype Barry Melrose puts on them and finally make a playoff run. I want to switch over to Ottawa real quick and point out that Kyle Turris had an assist last night. I like Turris, he's not a big name guy but every year I see him he just seems to be getting more balanced and finding his bearings there. He's overshadowed by the "stars" on the team, but he gets the job done. Look at these stats, he's got 1 goal, 8 assists, a +3 rating, 1 PPP, and 31 SOG. If I were you, keep an eye on him, that's the kind of depth you look for. Don't buy it? Ok let's try this, let's compare him to oh let's say Bobby Ryan & Milan Michalek, 2 stars and yet their point production is something Turris is keeping up with.
James Neal is suppose to be out at least 1 more week, sucks to suck kaps. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll still wax my teams ass this week (it's just a feeling). Thomas Vanek was dealt last night to the New York Islanders for LW Matt Moulson, a 1st round 2014, and 2nd round 2015 draft pick. You can go to the news tab and read my article for my thoughts about the deal. Martin St.Louis with another goal last night, giving him 14 points in 11 games this year (7G/7A) and 4 points his last 3 games. Henrik Lundqvist is slated to return to the Rangers lineup tonight for their season home opener. Johnathan Quick with last night's shootout win, now improves to a 4-0 record in shootouts, stopping 10 of 11 players. Looks like Calgary is spending that hard earned money not being given to Kiprussoff & Igilna, they unveiled their new 3rd jersey's. Take a look, they're pretty sick:
PHOENIX vs. EDMONTON:
It was another disappointing game for the Oilers, losing this contest 5-4 and it wasn't due to lack of offense. Jason LaBarbera getting the start over Devan Dubynk, LaBarbera who left Phoenix this summer as a FA was pulled at one point of the game to be given a 39 second break and a chance for the Oilers to regroup? Dubnyk, was spot on stopping his 1 shot. If only that's how it was every game, Oilers would be champs like they should be, but never will be. LaBarbera was just awful, giving up 5 goals on 27 shots and at this point the net for Edmonton is open for the highest bid and it makes you wonder if Nail Yakupov is apart of a deal to land a legitimate starter? (I THINK SO). Mike Smith in net for Phoenix and didn't look as good but was able to get the win stopping 24 shots. Oliver Ekman-Larsson with 1 goal and 1 assist, Rradim Vrabata had a playmaker (3 assists) while Keith Yandle with 1 goal and 1 assist of his own. David Perron, take a bow. You're the only reason why there hasn't been riots in the streets of Edmonton, 1 goal last night to give him 9 points in 12 games this year. Ryan Nugent Hopkins tallying another 2 assists, and is on fire since returning from injury, 4 goals and 6 assists to give him 10 points in 10 games. Also, Perron averaging 6 shots the last 3 games, giving him a total of 18 in 3, he's flipping Ovi the bird.
NEW JERSEY vs. BOSTON:
Brandon Knopp, I would like to say eat my shorts, I called it the night before even if it was a long shot and said the Devils were due a win. What do you know, Tukka Raskk giving up 4 which is rare and the Devils some how finding their groove on that powerplay. New Jersey was down 3-1 at one point but managed a 4-3 comeback to also help boost Brodeur's confidence because he needed it. Rookie defensemen, Tory Krug, with another goal giving him 4 goals and 2 assists in 10 games so far. I like that fit in Boston, he's young, aggressive, and confident which is huge in this league. He's not afraid to jump up in the play and make a little offense happen and just knows when to at the right time (KYLE QUINCEY, watch some fucking game footage and take notes). Jarome Igilna with another goal and 2 assists last night and seems to be fitting in quite nicely. I want to point out a lot of people and writers have been saying, oh he isn't scoring as much or were fast to point out how slow of a start he got? Yes, he did but you shouldn't worry about it because he's in a spot where he doesn't have to have the team rest on him to carry them, he's in a system where the points will come because of who he plays with. He won't see the points he once use to post because of age and more talent but he's still gonna hit 60+ points cuz he's in a great organization. Jagr with another 2 assists last night, and Andry Greene making himself noticeable with 1 goal and 1 assist. Milan Lucic, even though he's a dirtball had another goal which gives him 6 goals and 5 assists on the year (10 games), which he has 6 points in his last 4, I think he's a sell high kinda guy cuz I don't think this pace continues. He had a rough year last year and at one point was a healthy scratch.
SAN JOSE vs. MONTREAL:
Not to much happening in this game, except Antti Niemi posting another 22 save shutout ( I hear the Vezina calling to him). Logan Couture with 2 goals last night, and Patrick Marleau with 2 assists. Carey Price actually looked really good, stopping 35 of 37 shots, his team just couldn't get anything past Niemi. Uh oh, looks like dad might wanna keep her away from hockey players, she's already practicing (I couldn't resist the joke, I don't even care if you laughed, cuz i know it was funny).
ST.LOUIS vs. NASHVILLE:
Talk about the phrase "Gongshow," my god was Nashville just that. Losing 6-1 and St.Louis scoring 6 goals on only 30 shots just points out 1) The Predators are awful and rely on Pekka Rinne to much, and 2) They HAVE to deal for a veteran goaltender. Now, who it is I don't know, but at this rate you can't expect Hutton or Hellberg to be the answer. Not all good news for the Blues though, they lost wingers Chris Stewart and Magnus PaaJarvi to injury last night and both sounded serious. Alexander Steen with another 2 goals, Tarasenko with 2 assists, and David Backes with 2 assists also. Alex Pietrangelo with 1 goal and an assist, and Jay Bouwmeester, good to see you finally showing it was wise to deal for you from Calgary, notching 2 assists last night.
CALGARY vs. WASHINGTON:
Calgary with another 5-2 win last night, and showing they are anything but a joke this year so far by beating the Capitals and chasing Braden Holtby from the crease in just about 13 minutes. Holtby was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 14 shots, which opens the door for Michael Neuvirth to possibly steal some starts from the star goaltender. Won't be much though, Holtby's stats are still unreal and has claimed that job. Ovi was finally held off the scoresheet last night, managing only 5 SOG and going a -1. Karri Ramo with the win stopping 27 of 29 shots and making the goalie dance in Calgary a little more interesting. Neither Ramo or MacDonald have sealed the deal for starter but both keep helping back stop their team to wins which I'm assuming will be happening all year. Mike Cammalleri with 2 goals and 1 assist, Kris Russell with 1 goal and an assist, and Dennis Wideman with 2 apples of his own.
PHILADELPHIA vs. NEW YORK (ISLANDERS):
Philly finally with a full and healthy roster, welcoming back Scott Hartnell were able to win a game 5-2 last night. A large part is due to Vincent Lecavalier's hat trick (3 goals) and the 2nd goal I thought was impressive but then I saw his 3rd of the night and couldn't believe the determination and the plays he made to get this goal, I'll post the video. I was as hard as a diamond in an ice storm when I saw it. Voracek with his first goal of the season last night, and Mark Streit playing his former team had 2 assists, of course after I drop him, you got me good, fucker. Frans Nielsen continuing his torrid pace tallying another goal last night giving him 7 goals and 8 assists on the year, 8 of them in his last 4 games. I'm impressed already, are you?
DETROIT vs. NEW YORK (RANGERS):
Detroit losing again last night, now going 0-2-2 their last 4 games. It's a minor stretch, they'll pick it back up soon. Rangers with the OT win ending their 9 game season opening road trip, going 3-6-0 in that span, are beyond gassed I assume. It was a goalie duel in Hockeytown last night, with rookie Cam Talbot making his 2nd straight start, getting the win stopping 32 of 34 shots. Jimmy Howard looked fantastic last night, and was the only reason why Detroit was in this game stopping 37 of 40 shots. Derick Brasard had the OT GWG and Benoit Pouliot with 1 goal and 1 assist of his own and first with the Rangers I believe. Drew Miller scored his first goal of the year last night, but Kyle Quincey is what lost this game for us. I watched the 3rd period very closely and there was a few times I saw Quincey pinch in and try to help the play and almost got burned a few times if it wasn't for Danny Dekeyser helping bail his ass out. Once again, I saw the pinch and just started screaming Kyle and as soon as I knew it, there was an odd man rush and Dekeyser tried catching up but Pouliot tossed a pass to Brasard who beat Howard with a wrist shot. Get him the hell out of the line up, I can't stand him anymore. There's a difference between helping the play and knowing when to pinch in and no offense Kyle, you don't know shit.
Interesting development happening in Charlotte, Rick "Band-Aid" DiPietro signed a professional tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL this weekend. He's suppose to make the road trip with the team because currently the Carolina Hurricanes have recalled Justin Peters, and Mike Murphy to start the games due to Cam Ward & Anton Khudobin being hurt and on IR. This could be something to keep your eye on, can Rick finally get back into the game after being plagued with injury his whole career? I'm still shocked Charlotte did this instead of giving IIya Bryzgalov a call, but this should be a fun story to monitor to see if DiPietro doesn't get a call up to see NHL action once again. James Reimer was back in net last night and backstopped his team to another win over the Penguins, check out him robbing Pascal Dupuis...............twice......................HA.................
NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS:
Islanders with a comeback to win the game with just 1:40 left in the 3rd period, they can thank Josh Bailey with the GWG. Matt Moulson with another PP goal, but the real story is Frans Nielsen this year so far. Nielsen had another goal and 2 assists last night to give him 14 points in just 10 games this year, 7 points in his last 3. Let me rephrase that for you, Frans Nielsen now has more points than his teammate, John Tavares. Ya, it's still beyond early and that will drastically change in the end, but it's good to see someone else other than the captain be in the limelight. Sidney Crosby with another goal last night, and piled up 7 shots. Matt Niskanen with 2 assists, which reminds me. Kris Letang made his season debut last night, and the one person this will hurt is Matt Niskanen for sure. Letang led all Penguins in ice time last night with over 25 minutes and had 3 SOG but was held pointless. Patience. Evgeni Nabokov with a solid performance after having 2 weak ones prior, making 39 saves on 42 shots, I guess he's still got some gas in the tank left over from his saga in San Jose?
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS:
Columbus with 4 third period goals, to comeback and win their 3rd straight game last night by a score of 5-2. What the hell happened Bernier? I want to take a minute to highlight a very underrated player who i've typically drafted because I saw this before anyone else, AKA Nick Athens you bastard. Dubinsky with 1 goal, and an assist last night and to me is the most valuable multi-category player in fantasy. This year so far in 10 games has 3 goals, 4 assists, a +3 rating, 15 pims and 28 shots on goal. If you can get him, snag him. He'll help grind out the tough weeks where it's neck an neck during your matchup and depth is what wins those titles. Marian Gaborik with 1 goal, and James Wisnewski a PP assist and if he stays healthy this year, doubt it, I think he could pay dividends for your blue line. Ryan Johansen now has 5 points in 5 games, and could be a big what if, but if you're feeling lucky, take a shot on him. Phil Kessel with his 6th goal of the year last night, with the assists coming from Bozak and JVR. Joffrey Lupul was a scratch after bruising his foot blocking a shot in practice, gotta love the effort.
ANAHEIM DUCKS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS:
A big night here for one goalie in particularly. Frederick Andersen with his first NHL win and full start. He came in Sunday to relieve Hiller against the Stars where he back stopped them to a 6-3 win. Andersen made 26 saves last night and earned a 2 year contract extension. At this point after reading that, I know for a fact its time for Anaheim to deal a goalie because of the depth they have in the system too, along with Viktor Fasth. You know it's going to Hiller because at the end of this year, he becomes a UFA and they need to deal him to get something, possible destination Nashville? I hear they're looking. Ryan Getzlaf with 1 goal and an assist, and Cory Perry with 2 assists himself. Maroon with another goal last night to extend his pointstreak extended to 2 games, it's good to see the 4th line can do something other than occupy space on the bench and fill water bottles.
DIRT vs. DIRT: (BUFFALO vs. FLORIDA (pussycats))
Buffalo Sabres earned their 2nd straight win, even though it's going to end tonight when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning, sorry but you don't know shit about hockey if you think other wise. Buffalo hung on to win this one because of one reason and one reason only, Jhonas Enroth. Enroth I took a flyer on earlier because as much as I hate him, he posts great numbers and I was in a corner and needed a good start option and saw he was playing a AAA team. Enroth made 44 saves last night giving up only 1 goal. Enroth will take over when starter Ryan Miller is dealt, look at these numbers. 4th start of the season last night, 1st in 5 games and his record coming in was 0-2-1 despite a 2.66 GAA, and a .909 SV%. Cody Hodgon with an empty net goal, Vanek with an assist. Another multi-category player who I'm not a fan of, but Steve Ott. Scored his first goal of the season, 2 SOG, 3 hits, and 5 PIMS, all in 16:15 of ice time, if you need help in deeper leagues he be worth a pickup, just don't expect great +/-....................Rookie Rasmus Ristolainen of the Sabres, with his first goal last night. He was the 8th pick overall at the NHL 2013 entry draft. Cody McCormick gets into a little scrap trying to get the puck for him, can you believe this shit?
VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs. ST.LOUIS BLUES
Canucks wrapping up the road trip with a 3-2 OT win last night in St.Louis. Vancouver was playing in their 13th game, and their fifth game in 7 days to lead the NHL in most games played so far. Mike Santorelli just seems to be on fire, I thought he would have hit a wall but another 2 assists last night, but I'm sure he'll come crashing down soon enough. Ryan Kesler with 2 goals last night, including the OT winner with the man advantage. The Sedin brothers both assisted on Kesler's final tally to clinch the win. Alexander Steen with 1 goal, and an assist last night and Kevin Shattenkirk making an appearance with 2 assists. Eddie Lack getting the start over Luongo, for his 2nd start and got the win making 22 saves.
CAROLINA HURRICANES vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE:
The Colorado Avalanche now have the league best record 9-1-0, by defeating the Hurricanes 4-2. At this point, there's no more questions about are they the real deal? They've proven their leaps and bounds better than last year and at this rate are a tough match-up for any team. The only loss came from my team, the Red Wings but they didn't go quietly. Jeff Skinner was a scratch to an upper body injury, and no it wasn't a concussion. Other wise i would have been downing mass amounts of bleach and chasing it with Draino. Matt Duchene had a hell of a night, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist to pad his stats, and Alex Tanguay with 1 goal and an assist. I forgot Tanguay was even in Colorado, I wonder why (typed that as I rolled my eyes and yawned). How impressive has Seymon Varlamov been in net? Another 30 saves last night and now has a record of 6-1 with a .948 SV% and a 1.73 GAA (his SV% has only dipped once below a .930, just unreal). Anrej Sekera with 1 goal and an assist of his own, while Alexander Semin with 1 apple which he now has points in 3 straight, and 5 in his last 5 games overall.
Jiri Tlusty, only 2 goals and 1 assist through 11 games this year. Showing that last year was merely a fluke, which is impressive because somehow he's still on the top line? Whereas Jeff Skinner, 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points in 10 games is anchoring down the 3rd line, why? But what the hell do I know? Interesting move in Minnesota, with Harding hurt, they have recalled goalie Johan Gustafsson and not Darcy Kuemper? Gustafsson has no NHL experience and only 3 games of AHL ice time. Flyers sent Tye McGinn back down to the AHL, this was done to make room for activating Hartnell of IR who returns to the lineup tonight (not holding my breath he does anything, I'll turn purple in the face and pass out before he does). Nashville has a long 4 weeks ahead of them averaging I think roughly like 1.5 goals a game (don't quote me) so a lot will rely on goaltending with Magnus Hellberg & Carter Hutton, but makes you think do they do the unthinkable? Do they deal for a play on Hiller from Anaheim or bring in the bear from the woods who was bought out in Philly this year? Prolly not but I like to imagine something fucking drastic, cuz it's awesome and this is my blog. Also, Sweden released what the team will be wearing for sweaters this year at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Pretty tight butthole (workaholics, keep up people.) See em here:
SAN JOSE SHARKS vs. BOSTON BRUINS:
Finally, the San Jose Sharks were handed their first regulation loss of the 2013-2014 season Thursday night. David Krejci, tipped in a shot with 0.8 seconds left in the 3rd period to end the Sharks impressive run. The Sharks doubled the Bruins in shots last night, 39-17, but Tuukka Rask was able to backstop his team for 2 points. You have to ask at this point, who will be Finland's starter at the Olympics because Rask is making his case and it will be a tough call because Antti Niemi is also in the running. Niemi didn't have his strongest showing last night, stopping 15 of 17 shots and coming up just short. With San Jose about to have their first back to back games (Ottawa/Montreal), you can bet back up Alex Stalock, will see a game this weekend. Brent Burns was out again for his 2nd game in a row, after taking a stick to the mouth against Ottawa the other night. In his place, the Sharks gave Freddie Hamilton the top spot, Freddie also brother of Douggie Hamilton (Boston D-man). Freddie though, hasn't recorded a point in his 2 game stint, and it isn't because his linemates aren't good. Anchoring that top line, Hertl and Thornton, have also gone pointless the last 2 games and my guess is, they miss having a toothless caveman to set them up.
Igilna registering his first goal as a Boston Bruin, and Milan Lucic with an assist to extend his point streak to 3 games. With Loui Eriksson out with a concussion, Carl Soderberg was in the lineup and even saw some time on the 2nd PP unit. Brad Marchand was back on the top line due to injury's (been back and forth on the 1st and 3rd line), but isn't seeing any PP time though, should fantasy owners be concerned?
VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS:
Looks like Luongo has bested Schneider again, twice this year now. Both contests have been in OT, but I don't think they would have gone that far if Brodeur was in net. I love Marty, don't get me wrong, the man is going to be a hall of famer for christ sake's. But at this point, he himself has said that Cory Schneider is the teams starter and even in the numbers so far, it has shown to be that way. Ryan Kesler looks like he's having a great time skating on that top line with the Sedin twins, Kesler with 1 goal and an assist last night. Henrik Sedin with 2 assists, while his brother Daniel with 1 goal. Henrik, now is on a 7 game point streak, while Daniel now has 11 points in 12 games. David Booth was back in the line up after missing a little time with injury, but left this game early to, no way? Since being dealt from Buffalo, it seems that he's been the poster boy for injury.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS vs. NEW YORK RANGERS:
Well for Claude Giroux saying, the Flyers will make the playoffs, he sure isn't helping back that up. Giroux's 3 game point streak came to an end last night, but they did manage to get 2 points against the Rangers. A very depleted Ranger team, Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan, and Henrik Lundqvist all out due to injury. Matt Read though, with a short handed goal and an assist, leads the Flyers in shots and seems to me like anytime I check a boxscore his name seems to be popping up? Vinny Lecalvier was back in the line up after missing a week with an injury, saw 20 minutes of ice time and 6 minutes with the man advantage. Scott Hartnell is set to return to the line up this weekend (Saturday). I don't think Brad Richards is being given enough credit, he had the lone goal for the Rangers last night, and now has 8 points in 8 games. I constantly see how much the Rangers are struggling and what they use to be, and yet no one mentions what I stated above, Richards is having no trouble keeping them on the map. Rookie goaltender Cam Talbot saw action last night with Henrik out, and from the highlights I can see why the Rangers put Biron on waivers. He wasn't tested to hard, but made 25 saves and was fluent and consistent, I expect big things to come. Steve Mason is another person who I don't think is given enough credit with what he has in front of him, last night he came up big for the Flyers with 31 saves to get the win. Mason's record isn't impressive (2-7) but the guy posts great numbers, .930 SV% and a 2.17 GAA, I like his odds against Emery.
ANAHEIM DUCKS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS:
The Ducks outshot Montreal last night, but Carey Price once again with another strong performance turning aside 31 of 32 shots. Tomas Plekanec is now on a hot streak, with 1 goal and 2 assists last night, he now has 7 points in his last 4 games. Ride the hot streak. Brian Gionta is starting to find his groove, also with 1 goal and an assist last night and former rookie Alex Galchenuk had an assist to end his 5 game pointless skid. The Ducks only goal came from their 4th line, Patrick Marron which is surprising. Michael Bournival, 2 points (1G, 1A) now is on a 4 game point streak, you might want to keep an eye on him.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING:
Well this game was nothing short of, uh goaltending? Tamp Bay with a 6-5 OT win, with Ben Bishop not having his best performance (38 saves, on 43 shots). But the guy keeps piling up the wins, he now has a 6-1-0 record but a good amount of that credit has to be given to his offense squeaking this one out. Steven Stamkos with another monster night, 2 goals and 2 assists, and Martin St.Louis with a goal and an assist of his own. When the Lightning decided to sign Valtteri Filppula, I thought they over paid for a mediocre player, but with another 2 PP assists last night, he shut me up. He has quietly strung together 4 goals and 4 assists, giving him 8 points in 9 games this season. Nikolai Khabibulin was in net for the Hawks and looked drunk, I mean bad. I never understood why Chicago signed him for 1 year, when their system is stocked with goalies such as Antti Raanta, who is more than capable of carrying as the teams back up this year. Antti is in Rockford, and was the MVP of the SM-Liiga and best goaltender of the year with a 21-10-11 record, with 5 shutouts and a league leading 1.85 GAA and .943 SV% last year. If you're in a keeper league, wait for him. I'm telling you it will pay off. What won't payoff is Bryan Bickell, started on the top line and PP unit this year and did nothing, and then gets demoted to the 3rd line and now has goals in 3 consecutive games. He should have probably done that when he was on the top line, right? Check out what I mean about Antti Raanta, his higlight video is at the bottom after my quick hits.
David Legwand with 2 assists last night, and Patrick Hornqvist with a goal to help beat the Jets 3-2 in OT. Pekka Rinne is out 4 weeks, due to a bacterial infection in his hip that he had surgery on last spring. Which leaves the net open for back up Carter Hutton who had 34 saves last night, and oddly enough the only other game he's played this year was also against Winnipeg who he also beat that game with what I think if I recall correctly, 39 saves. Nashville recalled prospect Magnus Hellberg, who I've yet to see play, but have heard he is a monster in net. Ovechkin with another goal last night, giving him 10 goals in 10 games for a total of 15 points to lead the league. Can he do it? Be the first to have 50 goals in 50 games? I don't think so, I think he'll go goaless one night, but I've been wrong so damn much in my life. Marcuss Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom both with 2 assists and good to see the top line clicking after I picked Marcuss up after a buddy dropped him in our league. Brandon Miller, you were smart by passing on Mike Green so far, but I'm sure you'll kill yourself at one point this year, but so far it's paid off for you. Green, only has 1 point in the last 7 games? The top line in Edmonton last night was Nail Yakupov, RNH, and Jordan Eberle which didn't work at all. Each player going a -4 which I think the Oilers are missing the absence of Taylor Hall. Buckle up Edmonton, you thought you sucked now, doesn't look to hopeful now. Good to see one thing going right for the Oilers though, the trade that landed David Perron there, picking up an assist last night with 6 SOG. In goalie news, Cam Ward and Josh Harding both leaving the game due to LBI which isn't good news for either team. Anton Khudobin is also out right now with a LBI, so Justin Peters has been called up and I assume will take all the starts. Harding hurts because the guy was on fire seeing as how they just got their starter back from injury, but looks like Nicklas Backstrom is back in the crease.
Pretty slow night around the league, with only 2 games going we'll get the most painful one out of the way first. Just do it Bacon, it's like ripping a band-aid off. A big god damn band-aid, jeez. I know how Vesa Toskla felt his whole career.
DETROIT RED WINGS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS:
Ottawa came storming into the Joe tonight, posting 6 goals and chasing Jimmy Howard from the crease. I try to be as unbiased as I can, because I love the wings so I try to write these with as little emotion as possible. But holy shit, was it ugly. 2 penalties didn't help starting the first period off, where Ottawa took full advantage which gave them a 3-0 lead to go up. It was late in the 1st when the Bertuzzi scored on the wrap around with the man advantage, the only bright spot the whole game. Jonas Gustavsson came in to relieve Howard but didn't far any better. Jason "give away" Spezza scoring 2 goals, and as did Bobby Ryan. It's hard to judge the situation, but Ottawa managed to post 6 goals tonight, and Milan Michalek wasn't associated with ANY of them. A big comeback candidate heading into the season after being injury prone, and yet it doesn't seem like he's found his groove on that top line ( only 5 points in 9 games).
BOSTON BRUINS vs. THE BUFFALO PYLONS:
Just put them out of their misery already. It's almost painful to watch a Buffalo Sabres game anymore because of the fact of how fucking bad it's gotten. I can not imagine being an actual fan in Buffalo, New York. You can only wonder how long it really is going to be before they realize it's going to be a rebuild and they ship Thomas Vanek & my boy (Michigan native) Ryan Miller. Cody Hodgson with a PP goal, with the assists coming from Vanek and Foligno. Milan Lucic with a big night, taylling 2 goals and an assist, and rookie Torey Krug making a name for himself in bean town with 2 goals himself, and Igilna with 2 assists and still no goals on the season. Speaking of first timers, Chad Johnson with the start in net tonight. I don't blame Boston for the decision, you're basically at a local charity skate when you play Buffalo and god for bid they forget to Velcro strap themselves into their skates. I wonder if they're still wearing neck guards or sign autographs with crayons? A nice 5-10 game suspension coming up for this just malicious hit to Loui Eriksson, personally delivered by a repeat offender (think about that joke). You can tell I hate Buffalo when you allow garbage like John Scott to pull shit like this:
MINNESOTA vs. DIRTVILLE
It's kind of frustrating to turn on the TV and see that out of 8 games taking place in the NHL last night, I was stuck watching The Minnesota Wild vs. Shea Weber & Pekka Rinne. It makes you wonder why they decide to broadcast 2 teams that struggle to find the back of the net, and in this case for Nashville...............offensive zone pressure. My good friend, is a loyal fan to the Wild so it's nice to see him watch his team, because they looked great last night, despite only scoring 2 goals (1 empty net). The first and second period should have been a different story if it wasn't for Nashville's goalie, Pekka. Highly regarded Jonas Brodin left the game early after taking a puck to the face, hopefully it's nothing to serious. Zach Parise with 2 assists last night, and 4 SOG putting him in 2nd in the league with most SOG only behind Ovechkin with a league leading 61. Justin Fontaine with the GWG for the Wild
NEW YORK ISLANDERS vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Islanders and Canucks going head to head last night, and it was nothing short on offense as both teams compiling for 9 goals. Nabokov, you're dirt. It concerns me to see that the Islanders putting up 4 goals, and seeing Tavares on the scoresheet with 1 PP assist. Matt Moulson putting together a nice night for himself, 2 PP goals which is nice because Frans Nielsen also with a goal and 2 assists last night giving him a ridiculous 11 points in 9 games. Since the dealing of Brad Boyes to sunny days shuffleboard Florida, Nielsen has been seeing top minutes on the PP and fitting in quite nicely on the 2nd line. Jannik Hansen left the game with an apparent shoulder injury and holding it real tight, looks long term which you could see an increase in ice time for Mike Santorelli.
Who else knew Rick Dipietro was in Flordia? Classic Tim, hurt...............again.....
EDMONTON OILERS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Mark Arcobello picking up 2 more assists last night giving him 10 in 10 games, and tied for 1st in the rookies. Talking about getting settled, I like David Perron in Edmonton. I think he's finding a groove he was never given in St.Louis and constantly being shuffled with lines due to T.J. Oshie's fragile body. If you can get him, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would be a great buy low option, 2 assists last night and I'm telling you right now, comeback kid. All I'm gonna say.
WASHINGTON OVECHKIN'S vs. ATLANTA THRASHER (WINNIPEG)
Alex "the great" is at it again with his 2 goals last night, gives him 9 on the year and to lead the league. Speaking of titles, 7 SOG last night also gives him 61 total and another league leading, so needless to say he's back in his old form and hopefully to put us all out of our misery and rock Crosby again.
Mathieu Perreault has 9 points in 9 games, and proving that a change of scenery and constantly being over shadowed in Washington, he can do more if given the opportunity and the Ducks are making sure to give them to him. Braden Holtby has faced 121 shots in his last 3 games, and stopping 114 of them. Sorry Neuvrith, better luck never. Might wanna get a seat cushion because your ass isn't leaving unless there's an injury. Viktor Stalberg, with 0 points in 6 games with only 6 shots on net so far. Hope Nashviller likes eating, cuz you only have about oh let's say, 4 years left on that contract. (insert fart noise)
Let's get started, first time writing for THERANJO and I couldn't be more pumped. Let's recap Monday night's games and highlights. It was a slow Monday night for the NHL to say the least, 3 games and 6 teams all combined for 6 goals during regulation play.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins:
The Avalanche now improved their record to 8-1 despite being out-shot last night by a margin of 34 to 14! They had only 9 shots with roughly 12 minutes of play left in the 3rd period and makes you wonder, how long can they keep this up? New coach Patrick Roy is good but to me this isn't by peer skill. So far this season, the Avalanche have now been out-shot by their opponents 304 to 262. With a mediocre Defense, a lot of pressure is put on to goaltending which makes me question just how far this run will go before they come crashing back to reality?
Landeskog with the loan first period tally to clinch the game for them, as Giguere somehow stonewalling the top team in the East with a 34 save shutout. Sidney Crosby was held pointless, with 7 shots. While Chris Kunitz 4 game point streak finally ended.
San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings:
Another game came to a goaltenders duel, as Anti Niemi & Jimmy Howard were perfect through regulation and overtime to take this game to a shootout. It was a very even game, Detroit being my team I have to show some praise because they were finally able to slow the Sharks offense down and held Patrick Marleau off the score sheet for the first time all season, and snapping Wisconsin native Joe Pavelski's 4 game point streak. Despite missing Detroits top defensive unit (Kronwall w/ a mild concussion, & Jonathan Ericsson was with his wife who was in labor) Jimmy Howard looked like he was in prime form. Speaking of, it's almost time for the Olympics which all this does is convince me even more that Jimmy Howard is making his case for starting goalie for the US this year, and I'm calling it right now. HE DOES. Only person to come close is Johnathan Quick because of his ridiculous Stanley Cup run 2 years ago, but is lacking this year posting average numbers (2.56 GAA, & .909 SV%). Logan Couture with the lone shootout goal and Anti Niemi coming up huge with this save, it's just absolutely ridiculous. Take a look below. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames:
How about the Abbortsford Heat! I'm sorry I meant the Flames, you get the idea. Despite being the joke at the dinner table, Calgary has somehow strung together a little bit of a record, going 4-2-2 this year so far ( i know, it's so early yet, give it time) but you can't help but wonder how they're doing it? Is it because they know that despite being gutted and losing their captain, and the face of their franchise goalie to retirement that they have nothing to lose at this point? They beat the Kings last night 3-2 while Karri Rammo made his 2nd consecutive start. The net in Calgary is still up for grabs, and I think it will be all year. Joey Macdonald isn't going to go away that easily and once this teams record starts to reflect it's age and depth, they'll start using the merry go round of goalies. The flames PP was in full effect last night scoring each of their goal on the man advantage with Jiri Hudler tallying 2 PP apples, and TJ Brodie with the game winning goal. Monahan with another goal, this kid is actually on fire and you can't help but think the Flames have no choice in keeping him with the team all year. He's panning out a whole lot better than Baertschi did last year, and he's making his case to stay. Jeff Carter once again with a goal, and Drew Doughty finally starting to show why he could be a top fantasy asset with a PP goal, and as much as I hate to admit it, Justin William with another assist giving him 4 points in his last 2 games. It's just a little streak, but his 6 points in 10 games could bolster your roster with a little depth in some pools if you really need it.