After a forgettable sophomore campaign, Michael Del Zotto has bounced back nicely this year. He had a goal and an assist last nght to hit 38 points, one better than his rookie year in 09-10. The kid is only 21 and could be a real steal in drafts next year.
Henrik Lundqvist started his seventh in a row, his longest run of the year. He played six straight to begin the season, but other than that it's been runs of five or less consecutive starts. Compare that to last year when he started 26 in a row to finish the year and Lundqvist owners should be thanking Tortorella (and the Rangers' comfortable position in the standings) for the career-best peripherals (1.93 GA / .932 SV%) a well-managed Lundy has produced this year. His wins haven't suffered - 37 give him one more than last year, but in 10 fewer starts. I mean, sweet jesus, you could set your clock to this guy's win totals over the last six seasons: 37 37 38 35 36 37. Money in the bank.
Ryan Callahan snapped a three-game pointless skid with 1+1=2 and four shots to help seal the Jets' playoff fate. Cally is always giving you something; no PIM in seven games since missing a few to injury, but he has 29 shots in that span, so who the hell cares.
With a goal last night, Niklas Kronwall has 1+2=3 in two games, and his 36 points make him a serviceable option, but it's the 15 goals that stand out - good for fourth overall among D-men.
Remember when Henrik Zetterberg had only eight points in his first 18 games? Horrible! Cut bait! Well, since then he's gone PPG on us with 19+41=60 in 60 games. Only five forwards in the entire league have more points in that time frame. Another goal last night and Zetts is on a four game point streak (4+3=7).
Allen York (29/31) notched his first NHL win against Detroit, so those of you in deep leagues with 100 player farm teams will be excited. Actually, I admit that I do own this guy in one of my keepers, but between his GAA in five AHL games (3.94) and 11 ECHL starts (3.04) this year, and the fact he plays for Columbus hahahaha...well, I'm more embarrassed than anything.
Speaking of shitty seasons, R.J. Umberger had 1+1=2 last night and he's on a little hot streak with 4+2=6 in four games. Before this year, he had three straight seasons of 23+ goals and 220+ shots, but nothing could save him from the Columbus black hole this year. It must suck for him to be signed through 2017, but hopefully the 4.6 million/yr will help ease the pain.
With his 42nd and 43rd helpers of the year, Anze Kopitar is on pace for 26+46=72, plus-11, 237 SOG and 24 PPP. His point totals have declined/stagnated for two years running, but he's still averaged 72 points/year over the last five seasons. I'm guessing there are no more than three or four other forwards in that echelon. Kopi has figured into more than a third (37.6%) of Kings' goals this year...not fantasy-related but amazing nonetheless.
He needed only 19 saves, but Jonathan Quick still shut 'er down for his ninth shutout and 33rd win of the year. At 26 years old, he's just hitting his stride but a1.93 GAA and .930 SV% sure sound like a career season.
Fantasy line of the night goes to Michael Ryder with 2+1=3, plus-2, two PIM and four shots. Ryder's 35 goals are good for ninth overall in the NHL.Ryder's 35 goals are good for ninth overall in the NHL. Ryder's 35 goals are good for ninth overall in the NHL. Nope. Still doesn't sound right.
As usual, Mike Ribeiro was Ryder's catalyst and Ribs had 1+2=3 and a couple of shots. Unfortunately for anyone in pools that counts shots, two per game is about Ribeiro's average.
I'm guessing Kari Lehtonen has turned out to be the top goalie steal in most drafts this year. 32 wins in only 55 games with 2.26 and .924 peripherals! A couple of summers ago I traded draft picks for this guy, and at the time that's all he was worth. Well, the worm has turned. Knock on wood. Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 Oilers' shots last night and if you're looking for a dark horse n your playoff pools, look to Dallas. Just a hunch.
Cory Schneider bagged his third shutout of the year and he's won four of his last five. Looking at his body of work this year, one has to wonder if the Canucks might lean towards keeping him instead of Luongo. Only Brian Elliott (.943) has a better save% than Schneider (.937) this year.
Ryan Clowe has goals in two straight, but overall it's been a letdown season filled with trade rumours and face shields. I'd expect a nice rebound from him next year as obviously the head injury is keeping him from playing Ryan Clowe Hockey. Exhibit A is only seven PIM in his last 19 games. That ain't right.
Up: Cody Eakin
Down: Carter Hutton, Pierre-Cedric Labrie,
Still time to get your picks in for tonight's over/under/pick 'em comp.