Ramblings: Backstrom Explodes, Injury Updates on Hall, Stamkos, Gaudreau (Nov 17)

steve laidlaw

2016-11-17

Backstrom Explodes, Injury updates on Hall, Stamkos and Gaudreau.

Nicklas Backstrom with a five-point night to jump from 10 points to 15. He’s right back on track for a point-per-game season. This is why we cannot write off star players who fall into a slump. They are all too capable of making it up in a hurry. Now, Backstrom is down almost a minute of playing time per game from last season, which may cost him a couple of points over the course of the full season. This is apparently part of the plan for the Capitals’ stars. Ultimately, he’s still a stud and he still sees big power play minutes.

Perhaps not, but Trotz is on record indicating that he wants to reduce minutes for his stars in order to keep them fresh for the long haul. For what it’s worth, Ovechkin was back up to 18:38 last night and that includes needing to get checked out after banging his funny bone.

The scoring barrage was not limited to Backstrom as TJ Oshie put forth a four-point night to rocket back up to a 60-point pace. He’ll likely fall just shy of 60 when all is said and done.

Evgeny Kuznetsov managed to not get a point. Remember what I said about Backstrom above? Stars can scores in bunches. Nowhere near panic time yet.

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Matt Murray was in for a dreadful night but got spared much of Backstrom’s wrath after taking a stick to the head and being placed in the concussion protocol. He passed so presumably there will be no long term effects but he did not return to the game. That meant Marc-Andre Fleury was on the hook for five of the seven goals allowed. This game changes literally nothing about my opinion regarding the Penguins’ goalie situation.

Silver lining for the Penguins? The HBK line has been back together for a little while and they scored the lone goal, with Nick Bonino drawing an assist. He should finish near 40 points considering his usage but he is definitely off that pace right now.

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My latest piece for Puck Daddy touched on some of the superstar injuries from yesterday.

We now have confirmation that