With seven points in his last five games, Matt Carle’s numbers have shot up to a level that is fairly close to our preseason expectations. It’s playoff hockey in some fantasy leagues, so this surge is timely. S/T to Ken in the comments below.
Love the comments, as they often inform me of things I don’t catch. I didn’t catch that Ray Emery started two games in a row. Will it continue? I would guess that it won’t, because he hasn’t been facing a lot of shots for his wins. It would seem that the Blackhawks would win if they pulled someone from the stands to tend goal. Emery has faced 101 shots in his last five starts, or 20 shots per game. Or “two periods” worth of shots for most games.
Columbus has four goals in three games since acquiring Marian Gaborik. No surprise that they’ve lost two of those games. They are overly reliant on their new superstar, similar to the way the Rangers became overly reliant on Rick Nash when he arrived there. Let’s hope, for the sake of Columbus fans, the team finds their way quickly. Best thing to do – lean on a second line just as much as the first line, no matter how silly the notion. Here are the line combos for the Jackets last night:
Prospal – Letestu – Gaborik
Calvert – Anisimov – Atkinson
Foligno – Johansen – Umberger
Two more points for Brandon Saad. The 20-year-old rookie now has 18 in his last 16 games. I never saw him as a first liner. I certainly do now. But I figured he would top out at 70 points, and for the most part be a solid 60-point guy. I know it’s a small sample size, but I’m inclined to add 10 to each of those numbers. He’s been dynamite, and almost as importantly – the club loves him, therefore he’ll get all the opportunity in the world.
Andrew Shaw has been a big letdown lately. Heading into last night’s contest, he had just one point and four PIM in 10 games. He picked up two points and two PIM last night, so perhaps he’s snapping out of it.
Mikael Granlund picked up an assist Sunday and beatwriter Michael Russo noted on Twitter that he felt that Granlund played his best NHL game to date by far. Granlund is four games shy of losing rookie eligibility next year. If he can stay under that 25-game mark, he’s my Calder favorite (again) for next year.
The Wild have signed another solid offensive prospect in Erik Haula yesterday. Haula tallied 100 points in 80 games over his last two WCHA seasons for U. of Minnesota. Get a full fantasy profile on Haula right here. He has been assigned to the AHL.
It looks like James Neal will be out for a little while. No idea how long, but the Pens have recalled Beau Bennett. And so we have come full circle. The hockey gods have restored the balance:
“Add Iginla and Morrow? I don’t think so. I smite thee, Sidney Crosby! I smite thee, James Neal!”
I expect Bennett to make his presence felt on the scoreboard.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard has o