The latest Free Roll from Draft Street happens on Saturday at 2pm – Free to enter your team, takes about five minutes to pick your 10 players – and then pit them against the rest of Dobber Nation to win your share of $300. Details Here!
Mark Giordano has been a huge offensive disappointment this season. He had a goal and a helper last night against the Preds, but he has failed to live up to expectations (offensively) in 2013.
One reason for his drop in offense? Dennis Wideman. Giordano plays 2:17 on the PP per game (and 2:43 on the PK). Last year, he played 3:21 on the PP per game. Wideman has come in and taken his PP ice time (and then some).
Keith Ballard played left wing last night, and he actually looked pretty good, too. The Canucks have a ton of injuries up front, and they didn't have any spare forwards lying around.
Pinizzotto would have played, but he has the flu. Higgins and Kassian both have minor back injuries. Kesler and Booth are out for a while.
Booth has an ankle sprain, and it doesn't sound like a good one. I wouldn't expect him back any time soon. Many times, a sprain is worse than a break (less of a "clean" recovery).
Alex Edler smoked Mike Smith behind the net, and was given five and a game for it. Smith stayed in the game for a bit, but then left.
It was a pretty reckless play on Edler's part – he is the furthest thing from a dirty player, so I'm not really sure what he was thinking.
Jordan Schroeder had an excellent game – after hitting the rookie wall during his first call up, he looks much better after some time down in the AHL. Hansen and Raymond were both very good on his wings – there isn't a faster line in hockey.
Kari Lehtonen showed why he is one of the best goalies in hockey last night – Lehtonen posted a dominant 40-save shutout in LA.
Alex Goligoski had a helper, and over a full 82 game season he projects to having over 40 assists (but still no goals). His play has been better as of late – I'd expect his numbers to really take off if and when the Stars can find an ideal defensive partner to put alongside him.
Dobber's latest for Puck Daddy.
Under the duds category:
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators (0-2-0, 5.23 GAA, 0.803 SV%, yanked twice)
Nothing kills a good fantasy team more than a stud Top 3 goalie crapping the bed for four games. Because you don’t even see it coming. There you are walking down the street and whistling a happy tune, when ‘splat’ – four seagulls fly by and drop some of the white stuff on you. Rinne had allowed one goal in three games…pushing a lot of fantasy teams to the top of their league. Why on earth would you bench him after that? But then…this.
Updates on last night's later games will be up later on this morning. Until then… lots of other good stuff to read up on. Enjoy!
Peter Harrold scored for the Devils last night and now has three points in three games.
Andrei Loktionov also scored for the Devils, and he has three points in his last three games as well. These things write themselves!
Nazem “The Dream” Kadri had three points last night, and is now eighth in scoring. No, not on the Leafs. And no, not in the AHL. Eighth in NHL scoring. He deserves it – obviously worked his butt off last summer and during the lockout. He’s a pleasure to watch play.
Two goals and five shots on net for PK Subban, who is en fuego right now. There aren't many/any NHL defensemen playing as well as PK is right now. He has benefitted from the Raphael Diaz injury, as he is now the primary option on many of the power play formations.
Another goal for Brendan Gallagher – he isn't slowing down any time soon.
Colin McDonald had zero points for the Isles, but he did have five shots on net. I've been impressed with his pay – Dobber has been pumping his tires for a while now, and I can see why. Some legit NHL upside there.
TJ Brennan scored again for the Panthers – every time I see his name, I think of Will Ferrell as Brennan in Stepbrothers.
Brennan played only 12 minutes, but did get a regular shift on the PP. He now has two goals in three games since the trade from Buffalo.
Tomas Kopecky scored again and continues to build his trade value.
Rookie Quinton Howden played only 6:52, and didn't register a point. He projects as a 15-25 goal two-way power winger.
Two game suspension for Joffrey Lupul – fair punishment for a dangerous/reckless hit to the head of Victor Hedman (who appears to be fine).
The Lightning have signed college UFA defenseman Andrej Sustr to an entry-level contract. Sustr is 6-8 and has a lot of upside – probably the most of any of the NCAA free agents this year.
Sticking with Tampa – good thing they have a strong AHL club, as they are stealing all of their good players. Goaltender Cedric Desjardins is up with the Lightning, and forward Richard Panik is, too.
Desjardins is up because Anders Lindback suffered a high ankle sprain. One of the worst injuries for a goalie to suffer – they take forever to heal.
When the Lightning acquired Desjardins in February it was rationalized explicitly with the thought that the team was more comfortable with Desjardins than with either Dustin Tokarski or Riku Helenius in the case of injury to Lindback or Mathieu Garon. And when Garon went down earlier this month, Desjardins was, in fact, the go-to guy.
Here is a look at some potentially available defensemen at the deadline. I wrote it from a Canuck perspective but the same could be said for most contending/playoff teams.
The Vancouver Giants sure picked the right year to tank.
They hold the 1st pick in the upcoming WHL Bantam Draft, and will use it on Alberta's Tyler Benson. Benson is smashing records right now (previously held by Blues prospect Ty Rattie), and he is already 5-10 and 190 pounds at the age of 15.
Here is more on Benson from the Vancouver Sun:
A WHL team executive, who requested anonymity, said that Benson is the best prospect he's seen come through these ranks in some time. He's not another Sidney Crosby, the exec said. But asked how he matched up to an Evander Kane in his day, and the exec said that Benson is more advanced at this stage. Kane scored a Giants' record 48 goals in 2008-09, was drafted fourth overall into the NHL that summer and had a 30-goal campaign with the Winnipeg Jets as a 20-year-old last season.
Elliotte Friedman's latest 30 thoughts piece, and I'll share some of my favourites:
Similar: A few rival execs said they understood why Montreal gave David Desharnais a four-year, $14-million extension. “Centres are so hard to come by,” one said.
Indeed they are, and this is why Derek Roy and Stephen Weiss are about to get paid this summer. You can't blame Roy for wanting to see what he is worth on a market that is desperately lacking in quality top six centers.
Two years ago, Philadelphia goalie coach Jeff Reese said that when Sergei Bobrovsky learned how to deal with North American angles, traffic and style, he was going to be a stud. Good call.
Bobrovsky has been exactly that this season – a stud. Who out there has been rewarded with patiently holding on to him? Did any of our readers see this breakout season coming?
An interesting read from the Washington Post – Ovechkin's move to right wing is finally paying off.
It wasn't pretty at first. Ovechkin had no goals and just 11 shots as the Caps went 0-3 before the Great Eight convinced Coach Adam Oates to temporarily end the experiment and move him back to left wing. Washington then went 1-2-1, Ovechkin had just two goals (both power-play tallies) and the move back to right wing was made permanent.
What is the problem with the Dallas defense? From a fantasy perspective, Lehtonen owners will want to read this.
At times this season, he has had the forwards from the Stars zone coverage playing much lower than one would typically expect. This aided the defensemen in coverage, gave them ample outlets for transition passes, and, unfortunately, led to opposing defensemen getting consistent uncontested shots on the Stars’ net. One quick pass from down low back to the point, and the Stars’ entire defensive scheme would go to hell.
Is Charlie Coyle already a top line NHL forward? A very interesting read from Hockey Wilderness:
While Coyle is a talented prospect that show flashes of dominance, he lacks ability to finish off his plays, which is a prerequisite for any top line forward. Not only do top line forwards need to start the play, they need the ability to come away with the puck and make a play that creates a scoring chance. Coyle has been inconsistent in that department.
But some may ask “isn’t him playing alongside Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu enough evidence?”
Not necessarily. Parise and Koivu play a power and grind sort of game. They attack the zone with energy, excel at battling for the puck along the boards, and really drive their way through to the net. Coyle is the only player on the Wild roster that compliments this style nicely.
I know some are still on the fence with advanced stats, but here is a straight-to-the-point breakdown of the benefits (and weaknesses) of some of the more well-known ones – Corsi, Fenwick, and so on.
Marty Brodeur “scored” his third career NHL goal last night. I’ll get the video up soon, but I am sure you can find it over at Youtube as well. Not quite like his other two, though…
Do any leagues out there reward goaltenders for offensive contributions (goals, as an example)? 10 points? 20?