Mike Smith keeps coming up with the puck in these piles and keeps getting up healthy... bonus!
Mike Smith stopped 39 of 40 for the win last night and is now 4-0-1 in his last five and 5-1-2, 1.95 & .935 in the eight games since he was shelled for six goals on opening night... that's definitely noteworthy.
The Ville Leino #1C experiment didn't last long as he was demoted after a few shifts and replaced with Luke Adam. Adam went on to 1+1=2 & plus-2 last night whereas Leino had all zeros to show for his effort but on the brightside he did see a season high 19:51 of ice-time. Leino was dropped back to the Derek Roy & Drew Stafford line and I'm not sure if that was meant to help or punish them as neither of them has a point in their last six games.
Martin Brodeur returned from his shoulder injury last night and he looked awful allowing some weak ones and giving up five goals on 23 shots overall. A lot of people are writing him off (Dio dropped him to #30 in the Goaltender Rankings) but I'd buy low as I think he has more to give. Recall that he started poorly last year but was 18-8-2, 1.96 & .919 after Jan 1st.
Radim Vrbata remained on fire with two more goals to give him 4+3=7 over his last three games. He's good if you're in need of shots but just don't expect him to keep converting like he is right now.
Ray Whitney with a pair of A's last night to give him 2+5=7 over his last five games.
Ryan O`Reilly with a goal last night and he has 2+7=9 in his last 10 games.
Joffrey Lupul exploded for a hat-trick last night and that moves him to 8+6=14 in 12 games on the season. Given all the factors, especially the questions surrounding his durability, he makes a perfect sell high candidate right now... attempt to get a consistent 60-70 point player for him.
Joey Crabb scored in his first game of the season last night... he was called up from the AHL on Tuesday and even though he had 7+8=15 in nine games down there I'm not expecting much NHL production from him.
Jonas Gustavsson with his fifth straight start and he's won three of his last four while keeping the goals at three or less each time... he's winning but it ain't pretty.
Adam Larsson with his first NHL point last night in game #10. He logged 22:53 with a team high 3:11 on the PP but was also a minus-2 and is a minus-6 on the season. I really hope you weren't expecting much production out of him this year.
Scott Hartnell with a goal last night to extend his point streak to five games where he has 5+5=10 & plus-6. This guy was jobbed by Jagr for an NHL star of the week last week... luckily we righted the injustice in our FSOTW.
A goal last night for James van Riemsdyk but he still only saw 14 minutes of the ice and only had one shot. There has been a lot of chatter about what to do with him and I'd be patient in general but if you have decent options available on your wire then I wouldn't wait around for JVR as the big breakout that most people expected may be slow to develop, if at all.
I seemed to have cursed Wayne Simmonds by picking him up two weeks ago as he's gone five games without a point and is stuck on the 3rd line.
Ryan Miller was pulled six minutes into the game after allowing three goals on 11 shots. He's now lost his last four straight but I wouldn't be too concerned about him as he's going to struggle at times but will work his way through it. The team isn't giving him a lot of goal support right now either.
Marc-Andre Gragnani was a healthy scratch last night as he hasn't been having the breakout season that a lot of people hoped for.... just 3A & five shots through his first 10 games.
Well, that didn't last long... the Wings sent Gustav Nyquist back to the AHL.