February 03, 2011

Jeff Angus

2011-02-03

 

Malkin is playing tomorrow for Pittsburgh, but Mark Letestu is out for at least four weeks (and up to six).

 

Vinny Prospal is making his season debut for the Rangers tonight alongside Stepan and Gaborik on the top line.

 

Anders Lindback is getting the start for the Preds tonight.

 

Some very interesting tidbits from Darren Dreger today.

 

Apparently the Ducks are kicking the tires w/ regards to Ray Emery. Emery’s comeback from a significant hip injury has been remarkable. A comeback to the NHL would be even more so.

 

Dreger goes to say that Steve Mason and Jakub Voracek are drawing interest from other teams. Of course Voracek is, he is a terrific young forward. I am not sure if drawing interest means that he is available? The wording is a bit confusing. Read for yourselves here.

 

Anyone in Phoenix like cheap beer? Check this promo out.

 

Couture missed his second straight game due to the flu.

 

Ryane Clowe is on pace for about 25 goals and 65 points. I think those are numbers he should hit each season, and I see him peaking at 30 goals and 75-80 points one year. He has a ton of skill and he thinks the game well. Combine that with his imposing physical frame… he just needs to develop a bit more consistency (heading in the right direction).

 

Don't look now, but Devin Setoguchi has six points in his past four games. Kudos to those of you who have stuck through the thick and (very) thin.

 

Daniel Sedin sits one point back of Stamkos for the scoring race. Another Sedin winning the Art Ross?

 

Few are better than Mikael Samuelsson when he is hot. He has five points in his past three games. Ride the wave if you own him, and scoop him up ASAP if you don't!

 

Mason Raymond has four points in his last four (two two-point efforts). He is slowly starting to come around after showing signs of rust coming off of a wrist/hand injury.

 

I have spent some time trying to figure out why Dion Phaneuf is struggling so mightily in Toronto. A few ideas:

 

The weight of the letter on his chest. Trying to do too much.

 

The weight of the number on his pay cheque. His play has gone downhill ever since signing the massive extension with Calgary a few years ago.

 

The personnel in Toronto. He was so successful in Calgary because he shot the puck so much. Calgary had big forwards who could dig the puck out of the corners and feed Phaneuf at the point. Toronto… not so much.

 

I hate making comparisons for the wrong reasons… but Lee Sweatt and Brian Rafalski have a ton of similarities. Both are former NCAA stars who went to Finland after getting zero NHL interest. Rafalski was 26 when he came to New Jersey, Sweatt is currently 25.

 

Both are short (Sweatt even more so), but extremely smart (the key to playing defence in the league now) and mobile. I doubt Sweatt ever has the offensive success that Rafalski has experienced… but he certainly bears watching.

 

Milan Michalek has quietly crept up to a 20-goal pace.

 

One name I expect to see on the move at the trade deadline – Florida pivot Stephen Weiss.

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