October 26, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-10-26

The Islanders staged a late comeback to beat the Penguins 4-3 last night and once again Frans Nielsen posted some solid numbers. Nielsen had a goal and two assists, and now has seven points in his last three contests.

 

We had a Thomas Hickey sighting as well. The young blueliner picked up his first point of the season and finished as a plus-3. Hickey got over 19 minutes, which was the second highest ice-time he has received so far in 2013-14, and he might be the recipient of some more opportunities since the Islanders defense corps is so banged up.

 

Evgeni Nabokov had a bounceback game after two rough starts in a row, stopping 39 of 42 shots.

 

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Kris Letang made his season debut and he certainly didn't get eased into things. Letang led the team with over 25 minutes and eight of those came on the power play. He also picked up three shots.

 

Someone who may suffer from Letang's return is Matt Niskanen. He did pick up two assists on Friday, but he only saw 16:34 of ice-time after averaging around 20 minutes so far on the year. Niskanen's power play time will likely be cut going forward as well with Letang back.

 

Chris Kunitz continues to be extremely valuable picking up nine shots and three hits against the Isles.

 

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Toronto took it on the chin in Columbus Friday night and it didn't help that Joffrey Lupul had to miss the game because of a bruised foot he suffered after being hit with a shot at practice. Once again, the Leafs shot blocking ability during practices is unparalleled.

 

Phil Kessel scored again and had five shots. He's now got four goals in his last two contests, although he made a brutal mistake on the Jackets' third goal that isn't fantasy relevant, but worth pointing out. With the Leafs on a 4-on-3 man advantage, Kessel broke his stick and floated to the bench to retrieve a new one. Meanwhile Columbus capitalized on a 2-on-1 to make it 3-1. Unreal.

 

David Clarkson made his debut with the Leafs after serving his suspension. He had a couple of scoring chances and four shots, but looked rusty. It's going to take him a few games to get to full speed.

 

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Jack Johnson didn't record a point, but he was plus-3 on the night. That's an encouraging sign since he was minus-7 going into the game.