February 6, 2014

steve laidlaw

2014-02-06

Dobber here with an update – Martin St. Louis has been named by Team Canada to replace Stamkos. Well deserved and the way he stepped up his game when he wasn’t initially named speaks to the attitude and commitment he will bring to the dressing room. As a Canadian, I’m very happy with this decision.

 

Interesting note in the comments below regarding Alex Stalock. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent if he does not play at least 30 minute a game for 14 more regular season or playoff games. It indicates that there is a lot more starts ahead for Stalock…

 

*

 

The big news making the rounds yesterday was that Steven Stamkos has ruled himself out of the Sochi Olympics. What a shame but it's what's best for everyone involved. Who do you think replaces Stamkos?

 

The names I've seen thrown around are Claude Giroux, Martin St. Louis, James Neal and Eric Staal. I'd like to throw Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall out there as options. Seguin, in particular, makes for an intriguing replacement given his righty shot and sniping ability. That said, I'm really just paying lip service to some long shots because I think St. Louis is the choice. He's a natural winger and an absolute dog but it's Canada there is no wrong choice.

 

By the way, I’m picking up a Team Canada Olympic jersey in the next couple of days. Who do you think I should get? 

 

*

 

So, rivalry night, eh? Not sure what the Sabres-Penguins game was doing in there. Peanut butter and jelly have a better rivalry than those two right now.

 

As you'd expect the Penguins skated circles around the Sabres for much of the night. I was impressed with the Linus OmarkTyler EnnisDrew Stafford line as they generated the bulk of the Sabres' chances –the few there were – and generated the lone goal.

 

Omark didn't skate much – just 14:27 – but at least he was in the lineup skating with some talent in the top six. I'm not sure that there is room for Omark in the NHL though. Just doesn't have enough drive for a player his size. He's gifted, no question, but to succeed at the NHL you have to be about more than just skill.

 

Ennis is a great example. He's still finding his way at the NHL level but he's a player who is much more willing to go to the tough areas to make a play. Of course, he's most effective at center where he doesn't have to compete physically to the same degree but the will is what separates him more than the skill.

 

Ennis' second half explosion – one I tho