October 10, 2009

Jeff Angus


The Canucks have recalled scrappy winger Guilliame Desbiens from the Moose. He has been the best Moose forward so far this season, and the team wants to build up Shirokov’s confidence before recalling him. I was at practice today – expect the Canuck lines to be: Sedin centering Burrows and Bernier, Kesler centering Raymond and Samuelsson, Wellwood centering Glass and Desbiens, and Johnson centering Rypien and Hordichuk on the fourth line. Scrappy group with not much talent, so it will be interesting to see if they are able to pot a few.


Tampa has claimed Radek Smolenak on waivers from Chicago. Smolenak was originally waived by the Lightning a few weeks ago. Chicago has called up Jack Skille, who should at least see some minutes on the fourth line.


Jose Theodore is starting for Washington tonight.


Per Andy Strickland, Patrik Berglund is sitting tonight, and Cam Janssen is drawing in to the lineup.


Colin Wilson took the morning skate with his Predator teammates. Not sure if he makes his debut tonight, but I am looking forward to seeing him play.


New Sens lines: Spezza between Michalek and Foligno, and Fisher between Kovalev and Alfredsson.


James Duthie with a hilarious (and very fantasy hockey appropriate) piece over at www.tsn.ca. Talks about Premature Evaluation. Check it out here.


Sergei Shirokov had a goal and an assist in his first game with the Moose. He’ll be back with the Canucks pretty soon (especially if Daniel Sedin misses any time with his foot injury).


Calgary is in trouble if they have to play Curtis McElhinney 10-20 times this year. He is just not a good goalie. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Flames solidify the back-up position with a veteran pretty soon.


Jamie Benn looks awesome on the top line with Morrow and Ribeiro. His skill level is fantastic, but he also thinks the game at the NHL level, something that most prospects lack right off the bat. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get 35-40 points if he can stick with the big club. Will be interesting to see what happens when Jere Lehtinen returns from injury.


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Tomas Vokoun is the most inconsistent starter in hockey. He can have a brilliant game or two, and then toss up a stinker (like tonight). Vokoun allowed five goals in only 26 shots. The Panthers as a team looked flat (jet lag from Europe, perhaps), but Vokoun was awful.


Interesting stat from the Dallas game tonight – defenseman Nicklas Grossman was a massive plus-five, and he didn’t even record a point!


Brad Richards looked pretty good, but something still is off, he just doesn’t have the same jump he had with Tampa Bay. Matbe he is resting on his laurels, maybe he still has a nagging injury, I am not sure. He did make a few nice offensive plays, and he should still have a solid 60+ point season… but he looks like a shadow of his former self.


James Neal is awesome. Big, fast, and smart. I wouldn’t at all be surpris