March 11, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-03-11

The Stars and Blue Jackets contest was postponed after a very scary incident that saw Rich Peverley collapse on the Dallas bench. He was rushed to a local hospital and was conscious. Hopefully everything turns out okay there.

 

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Evgeny Kuznetsov finally made his long-awaited NHL debut on Monday and saw fourth-line duties. Kuznetsov played just over 10 minutes and managed two shots on the night. I've never understood the logic of putting skilled forwards on the fourth line to ease them in, as no offense to Jay Beagle and Tom Wilson, but those aren't the types of players that are going to help Kuznetsov display his talents. He did see some power play time though and once he gets his feet wet let's hope he quickly gets up in the top six.

 

Jaroslav Halak got his second straight start, which doesn't look good for Braden Holtby owners at the moment. The Caps are in a battle for the final playoff spot and if Halak gets hot there is a good chance they will run with him as much as they can. Washington hasn't been able to settle on a goalie for years and it looked like Holtby might be the man of the future, but bringing in Halak at the deadline says a lot about how they view him right now.

 

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Lee Stempniak grabbed two assists for the Pens and I mentioned him last time around since he was playing with Crosby and Kunitz. Crosby had a three-point night and Kunitz had two goals, meaning as long as that keeps up expect Stempniak to remain on that line and be a valuable fantasy asset.

 

Matt Niskanen did have five shots against the Caps, but was held pointless for the third straight game. With Kris Letang and Paul Martin out of the lineup though, he's very important to keep on your roster. He led all Pittsburgh defensemen in power play ice-time Monday and finished second in overall ice-time. It's just a matter of time before the points start coming again.

 

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Ben Bishop has now posted a save percentage of less than .900 in three of his last four games as the Lightning fell 4-3 to the Coyotes in a shootout. He's never played anywhere close to this many games before and there is still plenty to go. You just wonder if he is starting to wear down somewhat.

 

We are still awaiting Steven Stamkos' first point since his return and first without Martin St. Louis. I agree with Dobber that Stamkos is going to feel that loss more than people realize. He's a great player but it's simply going to take some time to adjust losing a playmaker like St. Louis.

 

Tyler Johnson had a goal and Ondrej Palat added a pair to go along with an assist. If everything keeps going as planned Tampa is going to be crazy good in a few years with their young forward group.

 

Ryan Malone was a healthy scratch for the third-straight game on Monday. With all the young talent Tampa has up front, it's tough for him to get minutes anymore. With that contract of his, Malone is a buyout waiting to happen this summer.

 

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Mikkel Boedker had his first point and goal in four games for the Coyotes.

 

Martin Erat also scored and he's been a plus-2 since arriving in Phoenix. He's still not generating many shots and seeing minimal ice time though. Sometimes struggling players just need a change of scenery, so we'll see if that's the case with Erat.

 

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These aren't your father's Nashville Predators. The Preds blew a three-goal third period lead, but still managed to win it 4-3 in overtime.

 

Seth Jones saved