March 16, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-03-15

 

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It hasn't been a great stretch of games in Western Canada for Pekka Rinne. What gives?

 

The notoriously streaky Curtis Glencross had a hat trick last night. Time to ride out another hot streak?

 

Mikael Backlund has been one of Calgary's best players (when healthy) this season, and he was seen after the game tonight walking around on crutches. Not good news at all.

 

Lost in Calgary's bad season has been the play of a few bright spots – Jiri Hudler is one, and Dennis Wideman is another (both UFA signings from last summer).

 

Hudler was slumping a bit as of late (no points in his previous four games), but 18 points in 23 games is great production from a secondary scorer.

 

And Wideman has been logging a ton of minutes for Calgary and doing a pretty good job of it, too.

 

And finally, there is Lee Stempniak. 20 points in 26 games – who saw this coming? He has a wicked shot and a lot of offensive talent, and he is making the most of his increase in minutes in 2013.

 

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Taylor Hall was dominant last night – he can take over games like none of the other young guys in Edmonton. He is learning how to pick his spots better and stay out of dangerous areas on the ice, which is great to see. He is too talented to keep getting injured.

 

He finished the game with two points and six shots on goal.

 

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He gets slammed whenever he plays bad, but Ilya Bryzgalov was great last night for the Flyers in Jersey, stopping 27 of 28 pucks fired his way.

 

Is father time catching up with Danny Briere? He hasn’t been himself this year (granted, injuries could also be a factor).

 

Andrei Loktionov left the game with an injury after playing only four minutes.  I am sure you can find updates here on the Dobber forum when news breaks.

 

David Clarkson scored the lone Devils goal and also had eight of those 28 shots that Bryzgalov faced.

 

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Fantastic contract between Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the Coyotes. Six years and $33 million, or $5.5 per year. He's worth that amount now, and he is likely going to continue to get better.

 

There aren't many defensemen I'd take over OEL if I were starting a franchise. Letang, Karlsson, Weber… I think that's it. An argument could be made for Drew Doughty too.

 

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Florida has acquired depth defenseman TJ Brennan from the Sabres for a 5th round pick. If you can't make the Sabres back end, that has to say something, no?

 

Brennan is a good puck mover who is a work-in-progress in the defensive zone. Florida is stacked with young talent on the back end, and Brennan is probably a worthwhile gamble for them to take on.

 

I'd expect Brennan to see some PP time down the stretch for the Panthers, as they will want to see if he is worth keeping around past this season. This hurts the short term value of Colby Robak.

 

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My next top 10 ranking list – defensemen. Here are the lists from the past three seasons:

 

2010

2011