St. Patrick’s Day

Jeff Angus

2012-03-17

 

Happy early St. Patrick’s Day to all those real Irish people out there (as well as the rest of you). May your beers be cold and never ending! Ramblings up early on Friday evening – will update throughout Saturday morning from last night’s action.

 

Wish I was in Winnipeg last night (you don’t hear that every day). Apparently the Jets fans were giving it to Ovechkin pretty good all game. They were rewarded with a win, too. With every Washington loss we are seeing the importance of Backstrom to that team. No one can come close to doing what he does on the ice.

 

Blake “Superstar” Wheeler had a point and four shots on goal.

 

Byfuglien is quietly (at least to me) having a great statistical season – two more points last night, and nine shots on goal.

 

Pavel Datsyuk is back for the Wings tonight, but Franzen is out (back spasms).

 

Josh Gorges blocked 10 shots last night. More saves than some goalies make in a period. Wow!

 

Kuba scored the OT winner. He’s been a rock most of the season for Ottawa – a big turnaround from a player the Sens couldn’t give away for free a few years ago. He’ll break the 30 point barrier this season, too.

 

The Northeast Division-leading Ottawa Senators (wait, what?) beat Montreal in OT last night to leap past Boston in the standings.

 

The Oilers/Flames game was a good one last night. Caught most of it. Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins were sensational.

 

Where would you rank Eberle among all forwards right now? Top 10? 15? The kid is amazing. 31 goals now, outside shot for 40 on an awful hockey team. Imagine how good he’ll be once Edmonton has some defensemen on their roster. He’s going to contend for a few Art Ross trophies in his career…

 

Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and six shots last night. Like Eberle, he’s only scratching the surface. Of the three Edmonton youngsters, I’d take him first, Eberle second, and Hall third. Nothing against Hall, but he doesn’t have the hockey sense of the other two, and he plays a reckless style of hockey that may lead to a few injuries.

 

Jeff Skinner has been suspended for two games.

 

Cory Schneider is getting the nod for the Canucks tonight (Saturday). Wouldn't at all surprise me to see the team run with him for a bit if he plays really well.

 

Jaden Schwartz, who will 100% be on my top 10 fantasy prospect forwards list coming out in a few weeks, makes his NHL debut tonight (Saturday). Has 90 point upside – gritty, skilled, tenacious winger. Hey, sounds a lot like a current Devil, no?

 

Schwartz will skate on the Blues second unit with Langenbrunner and Berglund.

 

The Ducks have numerous young forwards who are very close to making the leap to the NHL. Here is a very thorough breakdown of them.

 

Palmieri:

 

"His confidence continues to grow, his speed is impressive, and he has an underrated shot. He could fit as a top-six scorer or a bottom-six checker, and it seems to be up to him which role he plays as he is capable of doing both."

 

Peter Holland:

 

"Holland is a pretty big centre, which is always a hot commodity, but he has shown in the past to be a little soft, and lacking in grit. Scouts saw