High Five, Low Five

Jeff Angus


Anze Kopitar

Every couple of weeks during the 2009-10 season I will roll out my High Five/Low Five. The list is open to teams, players, coaches, and fans – basically anything hockey-related qualifies. The High Five are five things that have impressed me (with an emphasis on recent games), and the Low Five are five things that have me shaking my head.



High Five


Ilya Bryzgalov – Dave Tippett is a fantastic defensive coach, but even he is probably surprised at how quickly his message has gotten through to the Coyotes. Through five games, Phoenix has allowed a measly seven goals, and they already have posted two shutout victories. Bryzgalov is the most obvious candidate to benefit from the shift to a defensive style, as the scorers like Shane Doan will probably see a slight decline in production. Bryzgalov is a very capable goalie who now finds himself in a great situation. Nab him now before it is too late.




Smyth-Kopitar-Williams – The Kings top line has simply been dominant so far, combining for 23 points in five games. Kopitar looks poised to take the next step offensively (90 points), and Smyth has provided a net presence that the Kings have really been lacking. Williams flew under the radar this off-season because of his numerous injuries recently, but he is a proven 30-goal scorer. The Kings have depth up front and on defense, and they also boast a legitimate goalie in Jon Quick. This team is for real.



Craig Anderson – So far, Anderson has to be far and away the best signing of the off-season (correct me if mistaken), and he could even be the MVP of the league. That all could change if/when Colorado comes crashing back down to earth (you would be very rich if you predicted they would get off to a 4-1-1 start), but for now, Anderson is a must-st