March 12, 2010

Jeff Angus


Elliotte Friedman noted this a few days ago – if things go as expected during the first round of the OHL playoffs, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall will face off in round two. You can bet the Oilers and Bruins will be watching that series very, very closely.


As many as six NHL teams are seriously pursuing Norwegian Olympic star Mats Zuccarello Assen. He is expected to sign with a team at some point in the next few weeks.


Kevin Bieksa has been cleared to return and will play tomorrow night against Ottawa.


Jonathan Bernier was the first goalie off the ice during the morning skate today, which means he will get the call tonight in between the pipes for LA.


Sean Avery will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers tonight.


Flames goalie coach Jamie McLennan, assessing Vesa Toskala, "There are a lot of teams that would love to have him as their No. 1. He’s an excellent goaltender, he’s got a great demeanour, he handles the puck well and his skill set is really good.” Good thing he isn't a scout!


Maxim Afinogenov is pointless in four games. He already has 50 points this season, which is more than Atlanta probably anticipated when they signed him for under a million bucks last summer. His pace has obviously slowed since the Ilya Kovalchuk trade.


Maksim Mayorov played only three minutes last night – he clearly won't get a shot to produce right now for the Blue Jackets.


The Avalanche have two lines firing right now offensively, which is a necessity in the playoffs. Stastny and Stewart combined for four points last night, and Galiardi brings a lot of speed and defensive awareness to that line. On the second unit, Matt Duchene has found chemistry with newcomer Peter Mueller, and Milan Hejduk brings some pop on the other wing. Mueller had an assist last night, and has yet to go pointless in a Colorado sweater.


Chris Higgins has now scored in consecutive games for the Flames. He is an interesting case – only two years ago many in Montreal were expecting him to develop into a Selke-calibre winger capable of scoring 30 goals every season. Obviously the lofty comparisons went to his head, as his work ethic (once his strong suit) went down the tube. He has a lot of motivation down the stretch here, as the Flames are in a dogfight for the final playoff spot, and he is slated to become a free agent this summer. Could be worth a pickup if you need a few goals.


San Jose scored eight goals last night (including six in the final frame), but that is more of a reflection of how bad Nashville played then how dominant the Sharks were. Joe Pavelski, who was benched at times during the first two periods for poor play, had four points in the final frame alone.


Ryan Suter pulled his best Tiger Woods impression (no, not in the bedroom), finishing the game with a dreadful minus-6 rating. Shea Weber was only marginally better at minus-5. I am sure there are a few of you that own both of them… ouch!


One bright spot for the Predators was the play of Colin Wilson. He had two points, finished the game with an even plus-minus rating, and played close to 20 minutes. He has flown under the radar this season because he missed some time with a groin injury, but he is fully healthy now. He could be centering Nashville's top line as early as next season.


Patrik Berglund has eight points in his last 10 games. His upside is huge (90+ points). It may take him a few years to get there, but he should have significant value in all keeper league formats.


I am continually dumbfounded how such