Loui Eriksson is off to a slow start this season, but I would expect him to turn things around after a strong performance last Friday. It should help now that Dallas has two legitimate offensive centers back and healthy (Benn and Roy).
Breaking news: Teemu Selanne is good.
It's hard to believe that Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne is actually 42. After all, his age certainly hasn't slowed his production.
Selanne had a goal and four points in Saturday's 6-5 shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues — his second four-point contest in just 22 days. He's is the only player to ever record two four-point contests at or beyond the age of 42, according to the Ducks and the Elias Sports Bureau.
Justin Goldman breaks down Jonas Hiller's "interesting" start to the season.
I also briefly discussed this with goalie coach Sean Murray from Pro-Formance Goalie Schools. As the goalie coach for the Vancouver Giants, I've come to really trust his insights over the past two years. His tweets are very informative, he trains a number of high-profile prospects, and I know he also noticed Hiller's blocker side issues in a game against the Canucks earlier this season.
"Hiller's blocker stays in a locked position outside of the pad, which causes his shoulder to rise," Murray said. "When he butterflys, it pulls away from the puck, creating a constant hole between the head and elbow. This causes him to lose track of the puck as the head pulls away from the shot."
I've seen this from Hiller many times in the past, but whether it's bad luck or it's truly a weakness teams are exploiting, so far this season, the blocker-side issue is easy to see.
Larry Brooks offers up some positive words on Rick Nash in today's NY Post.
If it is clear we've yet to see the full kaleidoscope of Nash's imposing game, it is equally clear that lack of production hasn't been for a lack of trying. The winger has been involved, he has been on the puck, he has been recording shots at a rate historically consistent with his first nine years in the NHL and he has been defensively responsible.
Last night, Nash completed the scoring in the Rangers' 5-1 Garden victory over the Lightning, whipping a left wing two-on-one drive past Anders Lindback with just nine seconds to play. But his third goal of the season did not define the night any more than his stats defined his first three weeks as a Ranger.
Here's an extended profile on Jakob Silfverberg from Silver Seven.
Silfverberg has all the ingredients necessary to become a very good NHL player. He’s got good size and an ability to use that to protect the puck; good defensive awareness to make him popular with teammates (especially goalies) and coaches; a rocket of a shot that’s already very good even by NHL standards; good speed; a good mind for and understanding of the flow of the game; and good vision to see where his linemates are on the ice.
It might take until next season or the year after for him to really put it all together, but not every prospect is as quick to develop as Erik Karlsson. I fully expect Silfverberg to become a very reliable and consistent offensive producer for the Senators, and it sure looks like he’s well on his way.
Alex Chiasson is a solid two-way wing prospect in the Dallas organization. Here's an update on his season from the AHL website. He is playing a much bigger role on the team with Cody Eakin and Tomas Vincour now up in Dallas (along with Reilly Smith).
Chiasson firmly grabbed the reins and led the charge through a dominant road weekend where the Stars scored 20 goals in a three-game sweep of Chicago, Peoria and Rockford. He tallied four goals and three assists in the three games, announcing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the AHL.
Chiasson has now played in 42 games and has 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists), ranking in the team's top five in every offensive category. Couple his personal success with the fact that Texas currently sitting on top of the league standings and it is no surprise that he is relishing the moment.
James Mirtle writes that much of Toronto's success this season should be attributed to Jamies Reimer, and I agree.
The biggest change – and the one almost everyone failed to predict – is this is a team getting great goaltending, through 12 games.
Obviously we're still dealing with small sample sizes, but entering Sunday's games, James Reimer's .929 save percentage put him seventh in the NHL among regular starters and right about where he was in his fantastic rookie season two years ago.
Jimmy Howard was fantastic yesterday morning against the LA Kings, stealing a win for Detroit. He finished with 45 saves on 47 shots.
Damien Brunner scored a goal and continues his strong play for the Wings up front. He looks great together with Zetterberg and Franzen on the top unit.
Tomas Tatar was pointless but did see close to two minutes of PP ice time.
Justin Williams finished with no points, but he did have a game-high seven shots on goal for LA.
Slava Voynov logged close to 27 minutes of ice time for the Kings – his quiet progression into a really good defenseman has been a huge boon for the Kings, especially with the injuries to Mitchell and Greene.
The magician at work:
The Oilers were outshot 40-13 in Columbus last night, but thanks to a stellar performance from Devan Dubnyk they came away with the win.
Nugent-Hopkins saw less ice time than both Sam Gagner and Eric Belanger. Is his shoulder issue a reason for that?
Jack Johnson was a minus-3 for the Jackets, but he did fire five shots on goal. Columbus really controlled the game from start to finish, but they couldn't solve Dubnyk.
Dobber is away in Vegas this week so you are all mine for the next six days.
Michael Leighton was placed on the IR by the Flyers, and they recalled Brian Boucher to back up Ilya Bryzgalov.
Jaro Halak has been activated from the IR and may get the starttonight for the Blues, who have lost four straight.
Aaron Palushaj will play for Colorado tomorrow after the team claimed him off of waivers last week. He was a good scorer in college and at the AHL level, but he hasn't really done much with limited NHL opportunities.
David Clarkson continues his Wayne Gretzky impression with two more goals (he now has nine on the season). Clarkson also fired five shots on goal.
Brad Marchand was great last night in his first game back after the shoulder injury – he had a goal and controlled the play along with Bergeron whenever the duo were on the ice together.
Buffalo ruined a fantastic start from Ryan Miller, who let in only two goals in 38 shots.
The Rangers are finally getting some secondary scoring. Carl Hagelin scored twice last night, and Callahan/Asham also added goals.
Ryan McDonagh added a helper and his offensive game appears to be rounding into form.
Rick Nash had two points. Derek Stepan also had a strong game. This is an example of how good the Rangers can be when they have all of their players working together.
JT Miller won only three of the 11 faceoffs he took, but he got lots of ice time on the PP. He finished with no points and a minus-1 rating.