March 02, 2012

Jeff Angus

2012-03-02

 

Ryan Miller’s sensational play continued last night – he now has back to back shutouts, after stopping 39 shots against the Sharks.

 

Cody Hodgson’s line produced the only goal, but he didn’t factor in to it. Stafford scored, from Ennis. Hodgson played over 18 minutes – by far his highest total of the season.

 

The Blues/Canucks game was very tight checking (another word for boring). Luongo was really good, Elliott was pretty good, but not tested all that much.

 

Vlad Sobotka had a standout game for the Blues – no points (shutout by Luongo), but he was physical and creating offensively.

 

Zack Kassian was really solid on the fourth line, throwing his weight around, and creating a few chances too. If he can keep this level of play going, he will find his way onto the second line for the playoffs, I have a hunch. He had four shots and four hits in just over 11 minutes of ice time.

 

The Sedin twins offensive struggles continue. The Blues played them really tight and didn’t give them much space. I think it is a combination of fatigue and preparation for playoffs, but now could be a time in a one-year league to look to move them for a streakier forward (if you need to take the risk to win).

 

Marc-Andre Gragnani played over 15 minutes. He made a few mistakes defensively but showed why he has been so productive at the lower levels – fantastic skater, good passer, really aggressive offensively.

 

Steve Mason posted a shutout last night. If that isn’t a sign of the return of the dead puck era, I don’t know what is.

 

In an absolutely irrelevant season, Ryan Johansen continues to see scraps for ice time (8:14 last night).

 

Three points for Claude Giroux, and two for Jagr. Jagr now trails Mario Lemieux by 80 points for 7th overall on the career list – will he get there?

 

Matt Read, who is finally healthy after battling some nagging issues, and two goals and a helper – he also had five shots on goal. I believe Dobber mentioned the minor injuries a few days ago, and mentioned he would be worth watching now that he was healthy – if so, good call.

 

Two assists for Casey Cizakas, a prospect who I have mentioned in a few past Prime Cuts. He's a big, strong, two-way center in the Islanders organization, and he is showing that he has much more offense this season than many had anticipated.

 

So….. the Jets were pretty decent last night, eh? Eric Gudbranson had a nice hit on Wheeler, but the rest of his game was ugly – a few bad turnovers and a minus-4 rating to reflect that.

 

Evander Kane is emerging as a star a few years before some had expected – four points for him in his 12th multi-point game of the season. He also had nine shots on goal.

 

Mark Stuart had a great roto game for the few who own him – two assists, plus-4, two shots on goal, and 14 PIM.

 

Blake Wheeler's under-the-radar season continues with two more points.

 

Bogosian had an assist in his first game in over two weeks. He played over 22 minutes as well.

 

Montreal allowed three Minnesota goals in the final five minutes of the third period (some brutal non calls by the officials, especially near the end of the game), but they ended up getting the win in the shootout.

 

Enforcer Matt Kassian (no relation to Zack) scored his first two career goals. Nick Johnson had three helpers – he had a good stretch earlier in the season, but like most Minnesota forwards has be