Jeff Skinner does indeed have a concussion. Ditto for Milan Michalek. So in the past week we have lost the NHL’s leader in points, leader in goals and reigning rookie of the year to concussions… on the heels of losing Crosby. I don’t believe that concussions are anymore prevalent than they were in the past, but it’s obvious that teams are being more cautious. The result of this is more time missed by more players. Joni Pitkanen is also gone with a concussion.
I have a feeling that Bobby Butler gets back onto the radar as a result of the Michalek concussion.
Ville Leino is out 2-3 weeks with a lower body injury. The celebration in Buffalo is already underway.
So far, Tomas Kaberle has three points in two games with his new team. As I said in the trade breakdown, his game compliments PK Subban’s and I thought that maybe it would work. I thought that he would get back up to a 40-point pace at least.
A great daily feature in our forum, check out today’s Studs and Duds
Team Canada set their final roster this morning.
Mark Visentin (PHO) and Scott Wedgewood (NJ) are the netminders.
D – Mark Pysyk (BUF), Nathan Beaulieu (MTL), Jamie Oleksiak (DAL), Scott Harrington (PIT), Ryan Murray (2012), Dougie Hamilton (BOS), Brandon Gormley (PHO). Surprised to see that Pittsburgh prospect Joe Morrow was cut, as well as Ryan Murphy (CAR). Murphy actually made an NHL club (even if it was Carolina) and Morrow lasted a lot longer (and was more impressive) in training camp than Scott Harrington. What changed? Interested in Brendan Ross and Matt Bugg's take on this.
F – Brett Connolly (TB), Quinton Howden (FLA – concussion symptoms), Jaden Schwartz (STL), Devante Smith-Pelley (ANA), Mark Scheifele (WPG), Mart Stone (OTT), Michael Bournival (MTL), Brendan Gallagher (MTL), Freddie Hamilton (SJ), Ryan Strome (NYI), Boone Jenner (CBJ), Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA), Tanner Pearson (2012). To me, the big surprise cuts include Tyler Toffoli (LA), Ty Rattie (STL) and Christian Thomas (NYR). These are elite fantasy prospects, but unfortunately fantasy often doesn't match reality. It's a case of "roles" and how to fill them.
New (temp) coach, same result. Or was it? The Kings put up a goose egg last night, but they fired 41 shots on net. Dustin Brown had six of them and Kopitar, Penner (?) had four each. Six other players had three shots.
First of all, with a new coach, you want to see what he does with the rookies who do not have a roster spot secured. Slava Voynov played 21:15, 5:07 on the PP. That's his third highest this season and his highest while Drew Doughty was in the lineup. A great sign…if it wasn't for the fact that he was minus-2 and had four penalty minutes – each are career lows. Let's hope Stevens sticks with him.
Next up is Loktionov. His 16 minutes marked his highest in eight games. Also 3:36 on the PP. But he, too, was a minus-2. Again, I hope the coach gives these guys a few games before giving up. Some coaches don't.
And finally, you look at the struggling players who are on the outs – Dustin Penner. He saw 3:35 on the PP and 16:04. He had four shots and was one of the few with an even plus/minus. It's a start.
I know people aren't high on Zach Hamill and I count myself among them, but I look at the results and I think I have to be fair. For a guy who has averaged 10 minutes of ice time in his seven career NHL games, he has done well. A point in his only game two years ago, a point in three games last year, and now two points in three games so far this year. He's also a career plus-6. This "bust" (and again – I'm at the front of the line with giving him this label) has done better than most prospects in the first few recalls. I'm saying – instead of ruling him completely out, I'll leave the door open a little bit. This team is too deep, but we thought that about Brad Marchand a year ago.
I love how Claude Julien sticks with his lines no matter what. I wish they all did that. You can see a line like Marchand, Bergeron and Seguin go into a slump that could last six or seven games – but they pull out of it and get hot