A popular Danish in St.Louis... still selling on Kopitar... Kyle Brodziak revealed... more injuries for the Canes... embarrassing & interesting NHL video
HEADS UP: Our weekly "Fantasy Five" article is up over at HockeyDraft.ca... go have a look.
The Dane, Lars Eller, got into his first NHL game for the Blues last night and made it count with a goal in under 10 minutes of ice-time. We're high on this kid but we wouldn't get too excited as the goal just deflected in off his arm and the ice-time probably indicates that he'll be heading back down to the AHL when Andy McDonald is ready to return.
Anze Kopitar continued to roll with another two goals last night and we're still going to recommend you sell high here as he's on pace for a crazy 132 points and is scoring on an unsustainable 26% of his shots... his career shooting % before this season was 12.6%.
Dustin Brown had two points last night and is on pace for 76 right now and while he probably won't be able to keep that up he's a guy we like as he's consistent across the board. Here's his 3 year averages: 80 GP, 25+28=53, 58 PIMs, 235 shots... and a lot of hits, if your league uses that category. We'd like to be able to gloss over the fact that he's averaged a minus-16 as well, but that wouldn't be right.
There's a mound of offensive dmen in Vancouver that it makes it hard to pick any one of them out of the pile as they've been sharing the PP time.... and although Alexander Edler got off to a slow start this year he's been picking it up lately with six points (4 PPP) in his last nine games.
Who is this Kyle Brodziak, you ask? Well, he's the guy the Oilers drafted in the 7th round in 2003. He's the guy who managed 119 points in 173 AHL games. He's the guy who's centering the third line in M'sota. So is his current pace (three goals in two games) for real? The answer is no.
Antero Niittymaki started for the Bolts last night and while he picked up the OTL loss (with 26 for 29) it was his third start in four Tampa games. In Mike Smith's only start in that stretch, he was shelled. Ride Niitty while you can... all it could take is one or two solid Smith starts from him being on the bench again.
Carey Price showed us what he's capable of yesterday with a 42 save on 43 shot OT win. Great start, no doubt, but let's see Price string a couple together before we get too excited.
Mathieu Garon started for the first time in six games and looked pretty good (32 for 35 and the W). With Steve Mason struggling this year (3.38 gaa and .889 sv%) look for Garon to get a few more starts. His numbers should be pretty solid for a backup.
A three point night for Ales Kotalik and he continued his strong play which includes 15 points with 12 coming on the PP. This scout is not a big believer in this guy as with all his talent and big shot, he's never topped 25 goals and has only cracked the 50 point barrier one time (62 in 2005/06). Its not like he's shooting the puck a ton more this year (on pace for under 200) so I think he'll cool off soon.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Carolina is playing like crap, the last thing they need is more injuries... well god has dealt them more injuries... Tuomo Ruutu has a UBI and is day-to-day, although he may be able to go tonight, and Ray Whitney has a UBI and is out for a few games.
Eric Belanger left last night's game with a UBI, no word on the extent yet.
Victor Hedman left last night's game after getting run over by Chris Neil. He got up and didn't appear to be in too bad of shape as he skated off.
The Coyotes are short two dmen after last night, Zbynek Michalek missed the game due to a LBI and he's listed as week-to-week and Ed Jovanovski left the game with a LBI and will be re-evaluated today.
Derick Brassard returned to action yesterday (he missed one game with a hand injury). The good news: he had a 1+1=2 night. The bad news: he only played 11 minutes. He normally plays around 15 minutes a night... the Jackets are just easing him back into the lineup.
Jason Spezza returned to action last night (after two games out with a sore back) and picked up two more assists and tacked on his 1st goal of the season for the OT winner. That's now 1+10=11 in 11 games, which is a nice pace but we need more goals from Spezza. Hopefully his first will open the floodgates.
Also returning to action from the injured list last night was: Brian Rafalski, Ron Hainsey, Josh Harding, Jason Arnott, Scottie Upshall, Martin Hanzal and TJ Oshie.
What's distracting us today? The NHL has been doing a pretty good job of putting NHL content up on the web. Just for example... take a look at the numbers you get when you search for 'NHL' versus 'MLB'.
But this video from NHL Social Media is embarrassing. Here are some simple rules for NHL Social to follow next time they are able to interview a hockey star like Mark Messier.
1) Get yourself a freakin' tripod. At the very least set up the camera on a desk or get a guy who isn't suffering from epilepsy to hold it.
2) Clean yourself up a bit. A tie and jacket might be asking a lot but at least take the pen out from behind your ear.
3) Location, Location, Location. Find a decent backdrop for your interview. Some rolling hills, a nice painting... hell, even a blank wall will look better than what you've got.
Just a bit of professionalism people... that's all we ask.
Our bitching aside, the content is pretty interesting. Nice to see somebody think about a way to reduce injuries that doesn't have anything to do with changing the rules.