Happy New Year!
Colorado’s Brandon Yip has four points in his last four games. His ice time is going up and it seems to be at the expense of Chris Stewart, who is pointless in two. Keep an eye on Yip, he seems to be a good one for the short term. His ranking on my prospects list is steadily rising.
To celebrate the New Year, why not treat yourself by pre-ordering the Midseason Fantasy Guide? Out in ONE WEEK!
Petr Sykora played just 10 minutes in his return to the MIN lineup. The line combos seem to have already been set though: Koivu, Miettinen and Brunette; Ebbett, with Havlat and Latendresse; Belanger with Nolan and Clutterbuck. That leaves Boogaard and Brodziak as Sykora’s linemates. Sorry Sykora owners!
Finally reunited: Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar. It didn’t help either of them, although their linemate Smyth scored. I don’t think you can have both on the same line together – one or the other. Brown needed to be there when Smyth was hurt. But anyway, as such I don’t think you will see the troika together for long. The new line resulted in Teddy Purcell getting scratched.
JM Liles has been scratched for two games, and it doesn’t look bright for the future. As Adrian Dater writes: Since returning to the lineup and displacing veteran John-Michael Liles, Avalanche defenseman Kyle Cumiskey is a minus-4 with no points in two games. Is it time to rethink Liles’ benching and give a seat to Cumiskey? “Not really,” Avs coach Joe Sacco said. “Kyle does so much out there. He alleviates pressure in our own end, he gets the puck out of our zone. Goals aren’t really on one person, especially him. I still like what he brings to our team, his energy and speed.”
Bench Liles until he is dealt.
Marek Svatos was also scratched (it’s about time!)
Andrei Kostitsyn left last night’s game with an undisclosed injury. Max Pacioretty took his spot on the second line, and earned an assist.
Benoit Pouliot scored his second goal in three games and it was the game winner. Had he not scored that goal, I can see by his ice time (steadily decreasing game after game) that he was going to be bumped off the Gionta/Gomez line. But he scored and as such will probably get another game or two there to keep proving himself. He’s a dark horse, but his hold is tenuous.
With Cory Stillman back in the lineup, the Florida lines looked like this: Weiss, Horton and Frolik remained together; Reinprecht played with Stillman and Dvorak; Moore centered Kreps and Olesz. Stillman tallied an assist in 18 minutes of action.
Time to start worrying about Matt Moulson. My “through thick and thin” statement as expired. After just one point in nine games, the Isles finally had enough of keeping Moulson with JT and he was removed from the line. His 13:25 ice time was his second lowest of the season. He needs to score soon to get back on Tavares