Brian Elliott looked great last night. His hand eye coordination is amazing (I remember watching a video on him doing some training with tennis balls being tossed at him), and it shows on shots to his glove and blocker. With Halak struggling right now, he could see more starts in the next few weeks.
Vlad Sobotka led the Blues in faceoff wins last night (12 on 18 chances) and he played over 17 minutes, too. An underrated player who can do a lot. His offensive upside isn’t high but he could one day be a 45 point guy in the right role.
No Brad Richards, no problem. Two goals and an assist for Loui Eriksson last night against the Ducks. He was all over the ice.
Seven combined points for Franzen and Filppula last night.
Aaron Johnson had two points, six shots on goal, and a lot of PP time for the Jackets. Johnson, Clitsome, Tyutin, and Russell all played over three minutes on the PP (Clitsome led the way, just over four minutes).
Seven shots on goal for Prospal last night, after he essentially called out the entire Columbus organization. Rick Nash had none.
A few Carolina fans have emailed me to highlight Eric Staal’s struggles. He looks disinterested, and may be playing through an injury. Whatever the issue is, many poolies used a high pick on him and he’s shown in the past he is one of the most consistent star forwards available. He needs to get going.
14 games tonight – looking forward to the ramblings from Chris Nichols tomorrow.
Cory Schneider is starting today – don’t forget the 1pm start for the Vancouver/Minnesota game.
Kari Lehtonen has probably been the best goalie in the league through the first few weeks of this season. He’s stolen a few games and kept Dallas in a few games that they have won later. Talent has never been the issue with him, but fitness and health have. He has rededicated himself to training properly since coming over from Atlanta, and it is amazing to see how much better he looks.
Still a long way to go and I’m not advocating rushing out to pick him up, but I wouldn’t be looking to sell high either.
Jacob Josefson broke his clavicle last night – look for the Devils to recall Adam Henrique (Taylor Hall's set up man from junior). Henrique is a solid two-way center who sees the ice well.
Ott-Benn-Eriksson looked great last night. Benn was the C man last night.
Drew Doughty skated on his own for a bit after practice yesterday, testing his injured shoulder out. He can't return until after Tuesday (IR rules).
From Brendan Ross: Alex Galchenyuk is scheduled to have surgery next week. Expected to miss until March. Bad news for Alex in his draft year.
Developing in a losing environment is a bad thing. This comment stirred up some debate yesterday, so allow me to elaborate.
Columbus has struggled recently, and they have done an awful job of insulating their rookies with competent veterans to carry the bulk of the load (and to help teach and develop). Edmonton is facing a similar problem, but their young guys are so talented that this probably won't hurt them as much (Hall and RNH in particular are going to be star forwards, but their development may get stunted a bit in Edmonton).
This didn't really affect Crosby, Malkin, etc. On one hand, these kinds of players are elite talents, even at 18, 19, and 20. They are able to handle the tough minutes, the defensive responsibilities, and the grind of 82+ games. However, they are the outliers, not the norm. Young players, in general, are best developed through patience and cultivation at lower levels. Detroit and San Jose are both great examples of organizations that preach this.
I'm not saying if you own Hall, RNH, or even a guy like Ryan Johansen that it is time to jump ship. I am just making the point that these teams w