February 9, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-02-09

Yeah it’s winter and it’s miserable outside (in most parts of North America), but who cares: get in the pool!

 

I’m talking about Dobber's Olympic Hockey Pool, of course! It's free and fun to play, so sign up now!

 

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Following Saturday’s slate of games, the National Hockey League is now officially on hiatus for the Olympic break.

 

Luckily for hockey fans there will be a tonne of hockey to watch during the Sochi winter Olympics (even though some of the games will be on at odd hours during the day). Also, even though a handful of the world’s best players are injured (like Steve Stamkos, Mikko Koivu, Henrik Sedin, and Pavel Datsyuk), best-on-best Olympic hockey is really incomparable in terms of quality.

 

Anywa I’m pretty excited and I’ll be covering the whole thing over in theScore newsroom (literally the whole thing: I’m working 13 straight days from this Tuesday through to the Closing Ceremonies).

 

A quick note: If you use theScore app and it hasn’t automatically updated itself, go update manually in the app store so you can add the “Men’s Olympic Hockey”, “Women’s Olympic Hockey” and the “Women’s Olympic Hockey” verticals, and access scores, news and push alerts right in your pocket. If you don’t use theScore app you should figure it out and download it!

 

Here’s more about theScore’s Olympic update and coverage plans.

 

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If you’re playing in a roto league then you didn’t feel the impact of a shortened week (obviously). If you’re in a Matchup league, however, you almost certainly did (and hopefully it didn’t cost you).

 

Remember: most matchup leagues are now going to a long three week fantasy week to account for the Olympic break. When the NHL returns on January 25th, ostensibly that will give Fantasy Owners another six day week. But beware: really it’s a five day week since there’s only one game on the 25th and it’s Carolina vs. Buffalo.

 

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The Calgary Flames lost 2-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first of three afternoon games on Saturday. Claude Giroux added assist #38, Matt Stajan continued his strong play scoring Calgary’s only goal, and Luke Schenn threw six hits while finishing with a +2 (he’s now a +10 in his past six games, which, what even?). 

 

After game – during which he led his club in ice-time – the Flames and surprising defenseman Kris Russell agreed to a two-year, $5.2 million pact. I’ve never been very high on Russell before this season (the Nikitin/Russell trade was maybe Scott Howson’s best single move as the GM of the Blue Jackets), but he’s been really good in Calgary this year. The overmatched Flames have even managed to outscore opponents with Russell on the ice. 

 

Russell is the second Flames veteran who acting-General Manager Brian Burke has locked up in the past month (Matt Stajan is the other), and that seems rather notable considering Calgary’s scortched earth rebuilding status. The contracts Russell ($2.6 million) and Stajan ($3.125 million) agreed to were very reasonable on the whole, and if both players continue their strong play on an overmatched side they’ll serve two purposes.

 

First of all they’ll provide younger Flames players with relatively easier circumstances in which to develop which is the right way to do it I think. And secondly, Stajan and Russell are now reasonably attractive trade assets and could be the future centrepiece of one of Brian Burke’s patented “I’ll trade you this large quantity of mediocre players for that NHL star you employ” deals.

 

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The Winnipeg Jets fell in the shootout to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, and T.J. Oshie made Al Montoya look pretty damn silly with his slick shootout attempt. 

 

Jets forward Mark Scheifele (whose last name I still can’t spell without looking up) managed two goals to continue his