Ramblings: Clock ticking on Capuano, a multi-cat sleeper and more
Jack Capuano. (insert booing here)
Last week I mused that he could possibly be gone if the Isles lose their next two games. I also thought that a loss was likely because they played Chicago and then they followed up against the hot Sabres team without getting any rest. Sure enough, the Isles lost those two games (though one was in OT). And then they lost – badly – on Sunday to the Senators. Icing on the cake. Even the most loyal and patient GM has to make a move now. So will he? If Garth Snow wants to cling to that 5% chance of getting into the postseason, then he needs to shake up the team with a new coach. So who would be the best replacement to make a quick impact? Bob Hartley, Marc Crawford, Mike Yeo, Dave Cameron, Kevin Dineen, Travis Green (former Islander), Gerard Gallant, Brent Thompson (Bridgeport’s coach), Doug Weight (current assistant) are the names I could come up with.
Now is the time to acquire John Tavares. His owners will be ready to move him on the cheap. They’re panicking and aren’t altogether certain that Capuano will be fired. But I am. How many more losses until there is a coaching change? One? Two? None? Yes, it’s a bit of a gamble because…what if Garth Snow keeps the coach no matter what happens? But my money is on him stopping the bleeding and when that happens, the scoring will take off. And one of Thomas Greiss or Jaroslav Halak will become instant studs.
Anders Lee, who had one goal after 18 games, now leads the Islanders 13 games later with 10 goals.
Bobby Ryan has points in four consecutive games. It looks as though he’s finally clicking with Kyle Turris and Ryan Dzingel – linemates that Guy Boucher has gone back to over and over again. This time it’s working…
#1 23.7% BRASSARD,DERICK – SMITH,ZACK – STONE,MARK
#2 19.5% DZINGEL,RYAN – RYAN,BOBBY – TURRIS,KYLE
#3 18.6% LAZAR,CURTIS – PAGEAU,JEAN-GABRIEL – PYATT,TOM
#4 16.1% BAILEY,CASEY – KELLY,CHRIS – NEIL,CHRISTOPHER
Zack Smith is back with Mark Stone and this time they have Derick Brassard on their line (instead of J-G Pageau) and that seems to be getting all three of them going. Smith has five points in two games, Stone has six in three, Brassard has points in each of the last two contests.
Andrew Hammond left the game in the first period after twisting his ankle. If the Sens have to recall a goalie, then I suspect Craig Anderson could come to the rescue. But the Hammond injury doesn’t sound overly serious because he was on the bench in the second period.
John Tortorella became the first US born coach to win 500 NHL games Sunday, putting an exclamation mark on what has already been a shocking and amazing season. Even if they go .500 the rest of the way, Columbus has exceeded all of our expectations (.500 going forward would mean 26-26-1, bringing them to 46-31-5 which is 97 points and still in the playoffs).
Columbus is also the only team to have not yet have played 30 games this season. Sunday was Game 29. Cam Atkinson has 31 points in those 29 games and is having a “fifth year breakout”. He’s 27 years old and yet another example that a player’s prime or peak is 27 or 28 and not 24.
Don’t overlook Sam Gagner – he has 21 points in his last 23 games. And 10 of those points have come off the power play. He’s still only getting about 14 minutes of ice time per game. That’s Torts getting the most out of his strengths. So I like Gagner for this season going forward, but cringe a little when it comes to future years if he signs with another team.
The NHL has a roster freeze after tonight, which means no waivers or trades or loans until after December 27.
Scott Darling is now 10-2-2 and 0.927 SV%. But Cory Crawford is an amazing goalie and his success has nothing to do with his team. Right?
Artemi Panarin has a five-game points streak and 11 points in that span. He’s up to 34 in 34 – a point-per-game! That shoots him up to a tie for third in NHL scoring… and ahead of Patrick Kane by two points. Of the five players who have at least 34 points, three of them are Russian.
Vinnie Hinostroza has four points in his last four games playing with Marian Hossa and Ryan Hartman. But if you’re looking for a depth guy in a multi-cat league, you want Hartman. The 22-year-old Hartman has 25 Hits, 20 SOG, five points and is plus-6 in his last eight games.
Trevor van Riemsdyk has three points in his last four games and is also seeing secondary PP time. A depth option for you (temporary) if you’re desperate for a rearguard.
Man, as lucky as I’ve been with goaltending projections over the years (quite successful), I have been an absolute dog with defensemen projections. Remember that when I open my yapper about a young defenseman who is primed to break out.
Besides the Adam Larsson snafu, I tagged Marc-Edouard Vlasic wrong. The elements are there – he’s getting the PP time and he’s not getting the puck luck (according to the fancy stats). But the bottom line is that he has just seven points. I’ll own that. That’s on me. Sorry. I see the picture, I see the opportunity, I play the odds…but with defensemen it must be something I miss.
I wish I could explain Mikkel Boedker. But I can’t. What a dog! Just six points so far for the Sharks, not earning the right to see any top-six time, and he’s minus-7. In fact, the 27-year-old is minus-54 for his career.
Sure enough, Calvin Pickard is getting start after start after start. Unfortunately, he’s also suffering loss after loss after loss. Great time to hit that slump – when the starting job is his for the taking.
The new Colorado coach does not like Carl Soderberg. At all. And it’s only getting worse. His ice time is down over two minutes per game versus last year and it’s down about 25% in the last 10 games versus the first 20 games. His PP time has dried up to virtually nothing, too. He’s paid a cap hit of $4.75 million for each of the next three seasons.
Tyson Barrie is taking a hefty run at TJ Brodie for the dubious shitty-plus/minus trophy (I think that’s the actual name for the official trophy). His minus-4 on Sunday puts him at minus-18 on the season. Brodie is minus-19.
Patrik Laine doesn’t turn 19 until late April. The NHL record for most goals by an 18-year-old is 45 (Dale Hawerchuk – also on the Winnipeg Jets). He needs 28 goals in the next 48 games to set a new record. Laine had three points on Sunday and leads all rookies in points with 29.
Do you think he can do it????
Eighteen freakin’ years old. Geez…
Marian Gaborik was a healthy scratch in favor of Devin Setoguchi. Darryl Sutter on the decision: “It was a coach’s decision. We have that right in the locker room as players and coaches to have high expectations of players in terms of how they play,” Sutter said of not deploying the 34-year-old Slovakian winger, who carries a salary cap hit of $4.875 million and last season scored only 12 goals in 54 games. “Guys that don’t, got to rest. Guys that do, got to play again today and they left it all out there.”
Damon Severson – 12 points in his first 15 games, four points in his last 16 games
Interesting game tonight – Frederik Andersen faces his former team the Ducks for the first time tonight. And Anaheim Coach Randy Carlyle faces the Leafs for the first time since they fired him.
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