January 4, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-01-04

Water is wet. The sky is blue. And Patrick Sharp continues to rack up the points at a feverish pace.

 

Sharp had a hat-trick in Chicago's 5-3 win over New Jersey on Friday night to give him a ridiculous 21 points in his last 13 games. Not only that, but in four of those games he's had at least three points and that's his second hat-trick in his last five outings.

 

There's just no slowing down the Hawks right now as Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook all chipped in with multi-point games. Chicago could easily have the most Olympians at Sochi, with the potential for four or five on Canada alone.

 

Marian Hossa added a goal to go along with five shots after being held without a point in his last two. Hossa's power play time has been sliding over the last three seasons and he is barely averaging over two minutes a night with the man advantage at this point. In 2011-12 he was getting over three minutes and last year he was seeing just over two and a half. Something to keep an eye on.

 

Antti Raanta got the start and moved his record to an impressive 11-1-3, but he was unspectacular in this one. Raanta finished the night with a save percentage of .889 and it's the fourth time in his last five starts that he has failed to finish with a mark above .900.

 

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Martin Brodeur didn't have his greatest night making just 19 saves. You can put an asterisk by this one though because it was against the Harlem Globetrot…… I mean Chicago Blackhawks.

 

Adam Henrique, Ryane Clowe, and Michael Ryder were all minus-4 on the night.

 

On the plus side, the Devils did get some quality performances from a couple of defensemen. Andy Greene broke a four game scoreless drought with a goal and Marek Zidlicky had two goals, six shots, and two hits. Both guys are getting huge minutes right now, especially on the power play. Zidlicky saw well over five minutes with the man advantage and Greene came in at just under five. They're two great defensive adds if you can get your hands on them.

 

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You can only hope to contain Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby right now as they each had three points in the Penguins 5-2 beat down of the Rangers. It's looking more and more like Kunitz is destined to end up on the Canadian Olympic team. Should he be there?

 

Jussi Jokinen had a pair of goals and tied a season high with five shots. It's hard to get excited about Jokinen because it seems like he only does something every third game and goes dormant in-between.

 

Matt Niskanen extended his point streak to three games and it's not surprising. He was flourishing earlier in the year when Kris Letang was out and he looks to be doing it again. When Letang returns expect him to cool off.

 

Marc-Andre Fleury was excellent on Friday and he's really been sensational all year. He deserves a lot of credit for bouncing back from a brutal playoffs last spring. A lot of guys wouldn't have been able to respond the way Fleury has.

 

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Ryan Callahan returned to the Rangers lineup on Friday and had four hits in just under 15 minutes of action.

 

Marc Staal was a minus-3 in his second game back from missing most of December with a concussion.

 

Brad Richards is now on a three-game pointless drought and couldn't muster anything up against the Pens despite playing more than five minutes on the power play. Going back even further he's got just one point in his last seven. Yikes.

 

Benoit Pouliot remains hot and his assist on Friday gives him points in eight of his last nine. He really is worth a short-term look