Petr Sykora is still in the NHL? Hmmm who knew?
Petr Sykora under the radar right now (I guess playing a season in Europe will do that). He scored two last night and now has nine points in his last night games. He's on pace for 47 points, 68 PIM's and 207 shots. He's playing with Elias and Zubrus on L2.
Patrik Elias set up both of Sykora's goals and is now on pace for 73 points. He scored only 62 last year so his owners must be happy so far.
Martin Brodeur picked up the win by stopping 22 of 23. He's been pretty consistently terrible this year but some are holding out hope he gets it going in the second half like last year. I wouldn't be so confident.
The goalie situation in Washington just got even more confusing. Tomas Vokoun got the start and posted a 31 save on 32 shot win over the Rangers. We're guessing Dale Hunter will just ride the hot hand to expect to see a lot of Vokoun in the short term.
The Caps got a couple of nice performances from some struggling stars. Alex Ovechkin had two assists (his first multi-point game since November 4th). Alexander Semin had two goals. THe's on pace for just 41 points but has six points in his last five. I doubt he's figured everything out but I'd take a flyer on him if you could get him cheap. He has point-a-game potential.
We were expecting a lot out of Jonathon Blum this year. After playing at an 29 point pace last year things were looking good but he started the season with just 5 points in 27 games. He has two points in his last two games. It's not much but it's a start and I think he's got 30 point potential in him. It may not happen this year but it's there.
Jonathan Quick with a 38 save shutout last night. He now leads the NHL with five SO's. I'll admit I've never been a believer of this guy but he keeps making me look stupid. His 2.09 gaa and .930 sv% would look pretty nice on my team.
Corey Crawford took the loss (stopping 36 of 38) against Quick but it was his third straight start so Ray Emery's shaky hold on the #1 job appears to be over. It looks like the Hawks will be sticking with whoever is hot.
Tuukka Rask stopped 21 of 22 for the win last night against the Yotes. He's started seven of the last 14 games and is now sporting a 1.61 gaa and a .945 sv%. He's the most valuable backup in the league right now.
Marc-Andre Gragnani was a healthy scratch last night. That's four of them in a row. He's got some scoring potential but the Sabres don't seem to be interested in giving him a legit change so he can help your fantasy team.
I failed to mention the two goals Andrew Ebbett picked up on Boxing Day because.... well it was Andrew Ebbett and I didn't think anybody would care. Well he scored another one last night (the OT winner) and now has three in his last two. He's been getting a bot of press so I thought I should mention that he's playing less than 10 minutes a game and playing on the third line. In others words don't go running to the wire for this guy.
After two points last night Kevin Bieksa is on pace for 43 points, 104 PIMs and 186 shots. That will help out in most leagues.
Pekka Rinne made 34 of 35 saves for the win. He's been brutal his last three games so this is a welcome change for Rinne owners.
Just wanted to point out that Roberto Luongo has started 11 of the last 12 and hasn't let in more than three goals in any of those games. He won last night and stopped 33 of 35. It might be a good idea to keep Cory Schneider on your bench or even drop him in shallow leagues.
A couple of WJC notes:
- Sabres prospect Joel Armia picked up 2+1=3. He's definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.
- Mark Stone scored another goal. He's now scored at least one goal in every one of Team Canada's games (including the pre-tourney matchups)
- One guy I was particularly impressed with was Jaden Schwartz. The captain looked really strong on the puck. He may not have the point totals of guys like Huberdeau of Strome but I think he's could be a good one for STL one day.
- Potential future Red Wing Petr Mrazek might have had the best game a goalie has ever had in a 5-0 loss.