December 23, 2011

Jeff Angus

2011-12-23

 

Angus here – Merry Christmas (eve). Out doing some Christmas stuff this AM, so the ramblings will be up a bit late. A lot to chew on from a busy Friday night in the NHL. Thanks for your patience!

 

Dobber’s THN column on Radim Vrbata is here.

 

Weiss left the game with an upper-body injury last night. Likely a promotion for Shawn Matthias (who is playing some great hockey right now). No word on the severity, but Weiss won’t play in Florida’s next game.

 

My fantasy hockey year in review will be out this weekend. I have been stalling with it (and a few other pieces) – very busy fall for myself. I've spent a lot of time compiling my top 10 fantasy hockey stories (with input from you fine folks on the site, twitter, and via e-mail).

 

In honor of Kronwall's hit – a post from the Score's hockey blog (back from October) on hockey's five scariest hitters. Worth the read alone to see the evolution of Dion Phaneuf's photo.

 

The daily Studs and Duds are up over on the forums.

 

Nick Foligno was kicked out of the game last night for throwing a hit. More of a reputation call based on some recent stuff (his hit on Kesler which also earned him a game misconduct). Neither hit was malicious – Kesler embellished it and fell into the hit a bit, while Keaton Ellerby blew a tire and Foligno really had nowhere to go but over. It is nice to see him playing with more of a physical edge, though.

 

Tomas Fleischmann played almost 25 minutes last night. He's having a great season for the Panthers. His signing was a risk (and still is) considering the severity of the injury/issue he was coming back from (blood clots). He's a dynamic offensive talent and he's making the most of his first line opportunity.

 

Versteeg's great season continues, as well. The Florida top line is arguably the top surprise line of the season, and could find its way into my top 10 fantasy stories of the year list in a few days…

 

Three points for Alffy last night, and two points for Karlsson. Karlsson is second in the entire league in assists. Showing why people have been so high on him for so long. He's never goiong to be a defensive stud but he's a game-changing defenseman offensively. Imagine the totals he will put up once Ottawa gets some more talent for him to play with?

 

Chris Neil had a goal and a helper – he'll be highly sought after at the deadline this season (if the Senators choose to shop him).

 

Turris has points in two straight games. He didn't see any PP time last night, although the Sens only had one (brief) power play. He also had three shots on goal.

 

Michalek is getting closer to returning, but he still missed the game due to a concussion.

 

Brian Campbell refuses to slow down, as he is still on pace for 65 points.

 

Shawn Matthias has four points in his last four games.

 

PK Subban was a healthy scratch last night. The Habs continue to struggle, and I'm not surprised. Their roster is built for a Jacques Martin system – responsible defensemen who can clear lanes and the front of the net, but aren't great puck movers, and a forward group devoid of elite offensive talent. I feel for Carey Price.

 

Montreal was shut out without Subban. Chris Campoli was a minus-3. Montreal has been playing some ugly and uninspired hockey lately.

 

With Bryan Little out, Burmistrov and Jim Slater took most of the faceoffs for the Jets. Neither recorded a point, though.

 

Three points and four shots on goal for Blake Wheeler. Wheeler's quietly on pace for over 55 points.

 

Another collapse for the Blue Jackets, as they failed to hold two different three goal leads. Jeff Carter had a first period hat trick, but the Jackets collapsed once again down the stretch.

 

Nikita Nikitin continues to log heavy minutes. He had one point, five shots on goal, and close to 26 minutes of ice time.

 

Weber and Suter combined for five points and a plus-4 rating. Another dominant performance from the league's best defensive pairing.<