Aaron Portzline is reporting that Kristian Huselius took a shot off the foot Saturday and he will not be in the lineup tonight. I’m guessing bruise, and not break, so he won’t miss a lot of time.
Breaking: With Asham, Michalek and Orpik all returning to the lineup, the Pens have assigned Eric Tangradi and Andrew Hutchinson to WBS of the AHL. Tangradi has been less than stellar as an NHLer so far. The Pens Top 6 now look like this: Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letestu, Comrie and… er… Dupuis. But I’m sure Asham will get a look there. When Staal returns a couple of games from now, this Top 6 will actually not look all that bad.
Ondrej Pavelec has been activated from the IR.
AM640 Toronto is reporting that the Leafs have removed Kris Versteeg from the big line. If the chemistry isn’t there, it’s not there. No sense forcing it. Kulemin is back on that line, where he enjoyed success last year. Versteeg is with Grabby and Mac.
Shocking stat – here I was thinking that Stevie Sullivan was flying high in Nashville, leading the team in scoring. But in fact, five of his points were in the first three games. He has just one in his last five. Now I don’t feel quite as bad for trading him rather cheaply in the summer.
Unshocking stat – Radim Vrbata is pointless in his last five. He had two goals in Game 1.
A lot of Niemi owners correcting me, or disagreeing with me. But I’m sure they don’t understand – that I’m a Niemi owner too, so I hope I’m wrong with what I say. That I’m truly taking a step back and being objective, trying not allow “wishful thinking” to cloud my judgment. I really don’t think I’ll be using Niemi much this year, unless Niittymaki gets hurt. I think the battle for No.1 is all over but the crying. Sorry fellow Niemi backers. I know it’s early and there’s still hope, but the statistical gap is so disgustingly vast that it’s hard to dispute. But hey, maybe they’ll each start playing the opposite of what they are doing now…
With Semyon Varlamov hurt – again – the Caps have recalled Brayden Holtby (according to Corey Masisak). He’ll get at least one start this week. It looks like Varly will be out for at least a week.
Antti Niemi got the start Sunday and was quickly eliminated. Three goals on five shots and out he goes. The starting job may have been up for grabs before this, but it’s certainly not anymore. Niittymaki wins the No.1 job by sucking the least (tongue in cheek – he’s actually had a couple of strong games lately). Niemi is 1-3-0 with an ugly GAA and SP. Just ugly. Niittymaki owners rejoice. I acknowledge that it’s very early yet, but the gap between the play of these two is so wide that it would take a month to close. It certainly looks like a 50-30 split for Niitty and Niemi, when before the season started it seemed destined to be 40-40.
Can Rene Bourque be stopped? Not right now. Man, these last 12 months he has been hitting these intense hot streaks. They tend to last five or six games before he cools off.
Anders Lindback stopped 42 of 45 shots and got another win. He still hasn’t lost in regulation. Actually, neither have the Predators.
It figures that the Preds take over first in the entire NHL the season after a spend a summer rolling back my investment in them. I traded Steve Sullivan, JP Dumont and David Legwand away in separate August deals, l