Corey Crawford will get the start today for Chicago. A big start from him will solidify his claim as the No.1 guy. He’s won five in a row.
The issue with downloads and the ultimate/keeper league packs is still being worked on, I expect it to be solved this week. Sorry for this, and if you need one of the documents you ordered (and can no longer access) just email me your receipt and I will send it to you.
Goals are up slightly this year over last year, according to the latest issue of The Hockey News. This is not surprising given the offense from some of the blue-liners, as well as the Sid/Stamkos contest (which won’t be a contest for long, but I digress). Just think – Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Letang, John-Michael Liles, Tobias Enstrom, Nik Lidstrom, Lubomir Visnovsky, Dan Boyle and Ryan Whitny are all on pace for 60 points or more. Eight players. Last year, two defensemen reached the mark. And before you say “it’s early”, yeah – that works both ways. Some of those eight will drop off, but some of the other defensemen not listed will step up. I think this is the key to more scoring, and a sign that more scoring is upcoming. The blue line scores more and no neutral zone trap or left wing lock can stifle it. With smarter, more talented rearguards, checking will need to spread out. And I didn’t even list the best offensive defensement of 2013 – Erik Karlsson, John Carlson, PK Subban and OEL… or Jamie McBain, or Alex Pietrangelo or Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith…the point is, scoring will continue to rise because of these players, and defensemen will get more points in the future and deserve to be treated accordingly.
Jeff Carter has yet to tally points in three straight games. A third into the season, and that’s a little concerning.
Evgeni Malkin was out because of a knee injury yesterday, further backing up my contention that he has been playing hurt all year (and last year, too). He’ll come out of it, maybe not this year, but when he does – he’ll have all of you falling to your knees and begging forgiveness for ever having doubted him. When he’s in the moon, and fully healthy, nobody in the NHL today is better. I’ll go to the grave with that belief. So if you are in a keeper league and you own Stamkos, trade him for Malkin plus a great draft pick, plus a decent defenseman. That’s buying low. Not selling high (on the Stamkos side) – because I think Stamkos will be a 100-point player year in and year out – but I think Malkin is better. And when Malkin has down years like this one and last one, it’s still not too bad – so it’s not like the trade I suggest can really hurt you. But it could absolutely help you. Take advantage of the Stammer hype and the Gino “meh”.
Despite Jamie Langenbrunner notching two points, he was a minus-3. Then again, it’s the Devils.
Hey, remember in the summer I put out a plea to you people – help talk me out of putting the Devils in the playoffs in my predictions? I didn’t like them for the postseason… yet every year, they make it and do well, despite what “experts” think of them preseason. Well, finally I got one right with them. Martin Brodeur, although coming back soon, is not as he was in his peak. The defensemen are horrible…
Benoit Pouliot has six points in his last seven games. He is on pace for 43 points, which is close to where I had him at, and if he keeps going then I think he’s 65-70 points by the end of 2011-12.