March 8, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-03-08

Anton Khudobin with another solid performance for Carolina on Friday night making 40 saves, albeit in a losing cause. I have to say, I remember debating with someone in the Ramblings earlier in the year about Khudobin's ability to steal the job from Cam Ward. I didn't think he could but I'll admit I was wrong. It looks to be his job at the moment and it was very telling when he received a contract extension this week. Perhaps the Canes try and deal Ward this summer if they can find a taker for his contract.

 

Jeff Skinner broke out of a slump, but it took a goal on a penalty shot to do so. He hadn't recorded a point since returning from the Olympic break and was minus-5 over that stretch. He's quietly had a good year and is on pace to shatter his career-high in shots on goal.

 

Andrei Loktionov saw some solid power play time in his first game with Carolina. He got over four minutes and he's someone to monitor if that continues.

 

Jordan Staal notched his first goal since January 27th. He's had a somewhat disappointing year one would have to think.

 

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Martin St. Louis picked up his first point as a Ranger to go along with five shots. Losing Steven Stamkos is a blow to his fantasy production, but at least it looks like he's going to be playing with Brad Richards, who he had some familiarity with in Tampa once upon a time.

 

Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist to give him a five-game point streak.

 

Carl Hagelin has seen some time with St. Louis and Richards so far. If he stays there he's going to be valuable, but something tells me he won't last long on that line. Ultimately whoever ends up in that role permanently should see a bump in production.

 

Mats Zuccarello returned to the lineup after missing time with an injury. He hadn't played since before the break when he had eight points in six games. He picked up an assist against Carolina, so hopefully the injury doesn't destroy all his momentum.

 

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Roberto Luongo's first start with the Panthers was a shutout. As crazy as it sounds, as a Luongo owner I was happy to hear he was going to Florida. You could make an argument the Panthers aren't in that much worse shape than the Canucks at the moment, and at least Luongo will get the majority of the starts now.

 

Jimmy Hayes hasn't done a ton since arriving in Florida, but he still seems to be getting key minutes. He played over five minutes with the man advantage against Buffalo, but didn't even record a shot. These are opportunities Hayes needs to be taking advantage of.

 

Dmitry Kulikov scored a goal, giving him his first point in nine games. After his impressive 2011-12 campaign, I thought he could be a 45-50 point guy, but that doesn't look to be the case anymore.

 

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Michal Neuvirth made 42 saves in a losing effort and that's bad news for Jhonas Enroth owners. I scooped up Enroth when Miller was dealt, hoping he would get most of the starts the rest of the way. With Neuvirth there now it may be more of split unfortunately.

 

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Cody Hodgson and how the Sabres plan to use him. He was once highly touted, but with Buffalo being in a rebuild is he a focal point of their future plans?

 

This is a great time to take an in depth look at the Sabres' roster if you are in a keeper league and want to get your hands on someone for the future. It's hard to think years down the road, but when the team turns it around you will be ahead of the game if you grabbed a few young players with a vision of what they could eventually be. Zemgus Girgensons is one that comes to mind.

 

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Detroit crushed the Devils 7-4 and it's unbelievable how they just keep trucking on with all the injuries they are dealing with.

 

Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist led the way with four points each. They seem to be gelling as of late. They also combined for 14 shots and Franzen now has multi-point games in four of his last five outings.

 

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Todd Bertuzzi might be worth a look with all the injuries the Wings have. He's got four points in his last four contests and is still getting respectable power play time. He'd strictly be a short-term option though.

 

Picking up David Legwand from Nashville was one of the more underrated moves on deadline day. He had three points against the