Welcome back! I trust you had a wonderful Christmas and for many of you it’s still going on throughout the week. Glad to give you your fantasy hockey fix and a big thanks to Chris Nichols for the great Christmas content and Jeff Angus for a solid year-end piece. Chris Wassel also has a column in that I’ll post later today. These guys are hardcore!
First, I’ll pimp my Midseason Guide – it’s out in 11 days and updated a week later. I’ll also give you some reading material as well, since I didn’t post it here before. My THN column on Radim Vrbata from Friday is here, and my fantasy mailbag with THN is here.
Look for Drayson Bowman on a line with Eric Staal again for the ‘Canes. Fantastic opportunity to re-assert himself as one of the best prospects in the game. A lot of that luster has faded over the past year.
Further to my Sabres note below, MA Gragnani will be a healthy scratch again.
Here’s an update on some injured Blues, mainly that Andy McDonald is doing some light skating and Vladimir Sobotka is expected back before the New Year.
Another great link – the Penguins’ beatwriter ranks their prospects from 1-10. Joe Morrow tops the list, with Beau Bennett second.
Richard Bachman will make his eighth straight start for the Stars – Sheldon Souray did not make the trip due to a sprained ankle. So now we’ll see Alex Goligoski, probably with a healthy hand at this point, playing without Souray. A situation that most closely matches last March when he kicked ass.
Ron Wilson was extended, I’m not certain of the length. I know that many Leaf fans will not be happy. Myself, I’ve been indifferent about Wilson – never been one to call for his head or pat him on the back. I think he’s done alright with what he’s been given. He’s not a coach who will win the Cup but then again the Leafs aren’t a team that will win the Cup. Obviously, given the production of that top line, he’s not stifling any offense. So fantasy-wise he’s fine.
News from out of Buffalo – Boyes and Hecht are apparently ready to return, and Nathan Gerbe is practicing without contact. Gerbe is a third liner on the A