My buddy Rhys Richards takes a look at realignment and what it means (in particular for the Red Wings). Could this move extend the career of Nick Lidstrom?
Radim Vrbata doesn’t get a lot of league wide attention, but there aren’t many better pure offensive talents. Inconsistent production is a part of his game, but he’s been pretty good in that regard this season. He’s currently on pace for 41 goals and 73 points. Playing with a true play maker like Ray Whitney has helped a lot.
Chris Campoli is healthy and ready to play, but it is unclear when that will be. The Habs have been getting good play from some of their young defensemen, most notably Raphael Diaz and Alexei Emelin.
Jeff Skinner had the flu and was a late scratch last night for the ‘Canes.
Chris Higgins is likely to play for the Canucks tonight. Not sure where he’ll play – either with Kesler and Raymond, or with Hodgson and Hansen.
A beastly game from Dennis Wideman last night – three goals and an assist. His assist was probably the nicest offensive play he made all game, too. In Wideman fashion, he managed to be a minus-1 at the end of the game, too.
Cam Ward was yanked after giving up four goals on 30 shots. Pretty good for his standards this season, actually. Ward is killing me in a few pools with his awful play. He isn’t even good enough this season to be labelled as inconsistent.
Sure, Carolina’s defense is bad (Jamie McBain was an adventure in every sense of the word last night against Winnipeg), but Ward’s numbers make it look like he’s playing behind a beer league defense.
Habs prospect Brendan Gallagher is having a good season in the WHL – he scored a great goal last night, too. He’s going to be a good player in the NHL. Undersized but a lot of heart and skill (like a few other Montreal forwards).
Kyle Wellwood is on pace for 21 goals and 53 points.
Blake Wheeler had a horrific start to the season, but he had three points last night and now has eight in his last six games. He’ll be a solid second or third line winger, but he isn’t and won’t ever be a top line winger in his career.
Sam Gagner scored twice last night – one of his better games in the while. Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle both had two points.
THIS is the Ovechkin we have been missing. Passion. Watch him battle Phaneuf hard last night with these video clips.
Ovechkin had eight shots on goal, and had his second consecutive involved, physical game.
Jason Garrison scored his ninth of the season for Florida.
Thoughts from the four games last night will be up later this AM. I was busy last evening at a charity function for work – each year in December, the clients at the fitness training studio I work at come and "get their revenge" on myself and my fellow trainers. For a great cause (Canuck Place Children's Hospice in Vancouver), but it is very, very, very hard. Needless to say I needed some zzz's after.
There were some tweets making the rounds yesterday regarding Sidney Crosby. Apparently whatever injury he is dealing with right now is more serious than they are letting on, and apparently it isn't head/concussion related.