It's Awkwardly Cropped Photo Week... here's the part of the net where the Resurrected One scored his first goal
In addition to his return and curing cancer last night, Crosby seems to have melted the internet... I'm having major CPU issues today...
As I'm sure you're reading for the first time, Sidney Crosby returned last night and almost lived up to the impossibly high expectations with 2+2=4, plus-3 & eight shots. Once everyone dries their pants, I'll remind you that he was facing the Islanders (talk about cherry-picking your opponent) and a goalie in his first ever NHL start. Alright, I was half joking about all of that, half jealous and half just a little tired of the oversaturated Crosby coverage... time to move on.
Speaking of which, Anders Nilsson should lawyer-up and sue the Islanders coaching staff for not providing the necessities of life for throwing him in for his NHL start in a guaranteed no-win situation. He was beaten five times on 36 shots.
Based on chatter on FHS and around the interweb lately, it seems that Alex Ovechkin is now a piece of garbage. Well, I'd like to own garbage then. Sure, 60 goals, 100+ points & 500 shots aren't happening but I don't see him ending up as low as the 64 points he's on pace for right now. Two things jump out at me: 1) His on-ice ES sh% is 5.0%, so goalies have a .950 sv% when he is on the ice at evens. Over his past four seasons that number has been 9.1%, 12.5%, 10.2% & 10.7%; 2) Dude was 6th in the league last year with 53 assists but he's on pace for just 34 this year and doesn't have an ES A2 (even-strength second assist) yet. Now I'm not going to say that he's going to start racking up second assists but I will say that the guy is due to get some bounces. A few lucky breaks, his linemates help him out a little, the coach (or a new coach) gives him some more ice-time and he turns up the effort level a notch and, at a minimum, he's a point-a-game guy. So all that to tell you that I'm buying low.
Nikolai Khabibulin is now 1-4-0, 3.72 & .887 over his last five games. The overall numbers are still very solid so you might be able to find a taker for him but the window is closing fast as his gaa has pretty well doubled in the past 10 days.
Stephen Weiss with 1+2=3 & plus-4 last night and he now has 3+6=9 & plus-8 over his last four games. The entire Panthers top line is ridiculous as Versteeg is on pace for over 100 points and Fleischmann has points in 15 of his 20 games this season. I was hoping that Kevin Dineen would squeeze offence out of this team but I didn't expect this kinda production.
Dmitry Kulikov. Assist. Again. On pace for 57 of those babies.
Tim Thomas with a 33 save shutout of Montreal last night and he's now won six straight, three of them by shutout. He's now up to 2nd in the league in gaa (1.77) & 3rd in sv% (.938) and the clowns ahead of him won't last so he's the clear Vezina front runner right now.
Let the Curtis Sanford era in Columbus begin as he's now 2-0-1 with a 1.46 gaa & .943 sv% in three straight starts. He's earned more starts and he's surely going to get them with Mason on the shelf right now. I'm going to go ahead and advise you to pass here unless you're as desperate as Jeremy Roenick is for attention.
Jeff Carter with two goals last night and he's now scored in back-to-back games.
One for you deep leaguers... Andrew Ference with a goal last night and he has 2+1=3 & plus-4 in his last six games. He won't chip in many points but should have a solid plus/minus so if that is useful to you then give him a look.
Matt Read scored in his fifth straight game last night. The kid is really on a roll with 6+1=7 in his last five and logged 21 minutes last night.
Kyle Okposo was back in the lineup last night and had no points & no shots in 13 minutes (3:20 on the PP)... so not a Crosby-like return but at least he wasn't a scratch.
I knew there was no reason to get excited about Andrew MacDonald last year... he has 1+0=1 in 18 games so far this year.
Alexander Semin, meet rock bottom. You can't get any lower. He was a healthy scratch last night after just 2+1=3 over his last 11 games. You should certainly be able to get him at a discount now, if you really want to, but he's coming off a 54 point season and it's an accomplishment if he plays over 70 games in a season so just make sure you understand the risk.
With all the Crosby hype I surely missed something from last night so help a brother out and drop a comment with anything noteworthy.