I liked Matt Read and I'd love to say that I told you so after his 1+3=4 last night but I didn't expect him to play as much as he has and be this successful right off the bat. He hasn't played less than 15 minutes since opening night and is seeing his share of time on the top PP unit. He'll be a very popular pick-up (like five minutes ago) and one that I'd recommend as a short-term add until he inevitably comes back to earth.
Joni Pitkanen with 1+2=3 last night and he has 2+4=6 over his last five games... I'm a fan of Joni as while he'll miss his fair share of games with minor injuries, you know he's going to play a lot of minutes and he'll give you solid production having averaged 7+31=38 & 69 PIMs in an average of 69 games per season over the past six years.
Shutouts last night for Tomas Vokoun, Henrik Lundqvist & Jonathan Quick. Vokoun only had to stop 20 shots to stick it to his former team and that gives him four wins in a row as he puts a stronghold on the Caps #1 job that looked very iffy less than two weeks ago.
Nice evening for Cal Clutterbuck as he had a SHG and eight hits in 18 minutes of ice-time. I grabbed him in our FHS Delta League that counts hits as he's reliable and durable... the fact that he could approach 20 goals and 200 shots is just gravy. He's even been seeing some PP2 time lately (4:29 last night).
Strong & healthy start to the season for Guillaume Latendresse as he scored on five shots last night and has 1+4=5 in his first six games. The big key for him is to stay healthy, the secondary goal is to shoot more as he has a career 14.1% sh% but only averages 1.8 spg over his career.
Raphael Diaz with a goal on four shots in nearly 20 minutes of ice-time last night and while he's worth a look, the guy I'm more interested in right now on the Habs blueline is Yannick Weber as he's getting more of the PP opps (5:43 last night) and saw 22 minutes of ice-time. Weber has a real bomb from the point and all I think he needs is a chance to play regularly.
Max Pacioretty with an assist and nine shots last night... he has 2+3=5 & 23 shots over his last four games. Not really a surprise, he was producing like this last season for about 20 games before he broke his neck.
The Sheldon Souray comeback story is a successful one so far as he has 1+4=5, plus-6, 19 PIMs & 17 shots through his first six games. Just three years ago he was one of the most valuable guys in standard leagues with 23+30=53, 98 PIMs & 268 shots and it looks like he's back on track.... but beware of the injury bug.
Matt Cooke with 2A last night and he has 3+3=6 on the season. He's seeing a little more time with all the Pens injuries but it's pretty clear at this point in his career that he's just a 30 point guy.
James Neal with another goal on five shots last night and that gives him five goals in his last five games. He currently leads the league with 32 shots but he has at least two games on the rest of the field.
First game back for Ryan Kesler, he played 19 minutes and took over his normal spot on the #1 PP unit. I thought Alexandre Burrows might put up more of a fight for that spot but I was wrong. Burrows still saw 5:06 on the PP and I still like his chances for a big season as any PP time is better than none but I'm a little less enthusiastic.
Stephane Da Costa has been a minus in each of his six games this year (minus-8 in total) and saw his ice-time drop to less than eight minutes last night.
Another loss for Steve Mason as he gave up three goals on 18 shots and falls to 0-5-1, 3.35 & .883. Man, do these guys need a backup that can play or what... dammit Dekanich.
Jacob Markstrom looked fairly solid in his first NHL start as he stopped 29 of 31 but took the loss against the Caps. He'll probably see a few more starts but should be heading back to the AHL once Clemmensen returns.
Thomas Vanek extended his point streak to five games with a goal, plus-2 & four PIMs last night. He's off to a hot start with 4+4=8 in his first five games.
Ville Leino saw his ice-time drop to a season low 9:40 last night.
Simon Gagne with 2+1=3 last night and he has 3+4=7 & plus-6 over his last four games... getting comfortable in LA.
Anton Babchuk was scratched again for Calgary last night... that's the third time in five games.
Jamie Benn with what is being called a "goal of the year candidate"... looks more like a "defensive [expletive]-storm of the year candidate"... but I can be harsh sometimes.