Dan Ellis shut out the Leafs last night with 28 saves and is now 3-0-1 with a 0.79 gaa & .971 sv% over his last four games. He's still not the clear #1 in T-Bay though as neither he nor Mike Smith has started more than two straight games this season. If Boucher decides to end the rotation then Ellis looks like the guy you want to own but he's never been a workhorse-type goalie so we can see this split carrying on for a while.
We've had lots of questions and comments about Erik Karlsson lately so it sounds like people are starting to catch on about how much upside this dude has... he had two assists last night and has 1+5=6 & a plus-5 over his last four games.
Two more goals for Brian Boyle last night and he has five in his last eight games. He played 18:41 last night and put five shots on net, both season highs, so his game is growing with confidence. We're a little concerned of what happens to him when Gaborik, Drury & Prospal come back but enjoy this little run while it lasts.
Chris Mason had another rough outing for Atlanta last night as he was pulled after allowing four goals on 18 shots. He's allowed four or more goals in six of his 12 games this year, not a pleasant ratio. We're working on updating our Crease Conflicts page right now and this is our number one goalie battle at the moment. I'd take Pavelec if given a choice between the two and I think Coach Ramsay agrees as the young netminder has started three of five since he returned from that concussion and his .921 sv% is solid. But you probably want to avoid both of these guys for the moment as ATL puts their goalies in front of the firing squad, facing an average of 37.2 shots per game (worst in the league).
Anthony Stewart had his first goal in 10 games last night and while he has five on the season, three came in one game so he's scoring pretty sporadically. If you picked him up then hopefully you're not counting on him over the long-term as we're not sure he has staying power... actually, we're pretty certain he doesn't.
Big night for Eric Staal as he had four helpers and looks to be feeling it with 3+5=8 over his last four games... I'm a big fan of Staal, love the durability and the shots, just wish he had more talent to play with.
Maybe Jeff Skinner will be that elite wingman that Staal has been waiting for... they've been together a bit this season but not regularly, although they do team up on the PP. Skinner is doing damage on the PP & at ES as he had three points last night and has 5+6=11 over his last seven games.
Sergei Samsonov has actually been moved back up to the top line with Staal lately and he has 2+4=6 during a four game point streak. This guy should not be relied on but could be useful in a pinch.
Similarly, Erik Cole has a three game point streak going but we'll need to see more before we're convinced that he's going to be useful over the long-term.
I mentioned Joe Corvo in the comments to Jay's post about ice-time yesterday as he's an underrated guy that I've always liked and right on cue he potted two goals last night... I love it when that happens. He had an off-year last season with only 18 pts in 52 gms but over the four prior seasons he averaged 12+29=41 with 183 shots.
Jonas Hiller is facing too many shots (35.4 /60mins) to put up great numbers, although you know his sv% is going to be solid (currently at .918)... but he's 7-2-1 over his last 10 games and has strung together four wins in a row. We think this guy is a very underrated goalie and he sports a stellar .920 career sv%.
12 straight starts and four straight wins for Brian Elliott... just an FYI for Elliott & Leclaire owners.
Both Taylor Hall & Jordan Eberle were made to ride the pine for most of the 3rd period of last night's drubbing... that's not really a concern but gives us reason to mention that Hall has only one point and Eberle none over their last four games. Even the most optimistic of prognosticators, Dobber, is backpedaling from his prediction that they would both crack 70 points this year.