February 25 2015

Dobber

2015-02-25

Kassian on fire; Neuvirth a sneaky-good pickup; another Kane is out; Hayes on top line and more …

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Look what Gary Bettman said yesterday, per Joe Haggerty

Bettman: “[A Capgeek site] isn’t something that seems to be driving fan interest as much as perhaps the interest of people in [the media]”

Once again, Bettman has his finger on the pulse of things. You people don’t miss Cap Geek at all, right? I know what you’re thinking: Wut? What’s a Cap Geek?

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I’ll open with Zach Kassian today, because the guy has been on fire on the Sedin line. With another goal last night (the game winner), he’s up to 10 points in his last 10 games. He just turned 24 and seems to be finally coming into his own. He’s not at the level yet where he can go to a different line and keep producing – he’s still very much reliant on the twins. But he’s keeping up with them and this frees up the Canucks to put Radim Vrbata on another line. Vrbata can still produce on the second line, just not as well (obviously), and certainly much better than Kassian could on that line. So there’s a tangible net gain for Vancouver’s offense.

Jacob Markstrom was called up and as an emergency call-up he didn’t have to go through waivers. He backed up Eddie Lack, who had a fantastic game stopping 39 of 40. For those keeping score, he’s stopped 67 of 68 since Ryan Miller left with an injury. Miller is out for 4-6 weeks at minimum. Lack is probably going to be gold for the next month. And no, the Canucks won’t be adding a goalie before next Monday. They’ll go their second consecutive March with a Lack/Markstrom tandem. But this year will be better than last.

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Since Jhonas Enroth was traded, Michal Neuvirth is 2-2-2 and has stopped 220 of 231 shots (0.952). It’s early, but what he’s doing right now reminds me of Luongo back in his first stint as a Panther. Just a bad team and a good goalie facing a ton of rubber. Suddenly, he may be worth the add in your league, especially if the focus is on saves.

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Patrick Kane left last night’s game after this: