A fantasized look at the NHL action from Thursday night
Not bad... Thomas Vanek jumped to the front of the Art Ross race with another five point night (3+2=5). He has a point in every game this year, so a pair of five-pointers and then slacks off with a paltry five points in total in his other four games.
Cody Hodgson had 1+2=3 while lining up with Vanek at ES but note that he's been bumped off the PP as Ennis took his spot on the top unit.
Those in need of a little waiver wire help might want to take a gander at the Avs John Mitchell as he had 2+1=3 & plus-3 in 18 mins of ice-time last night. He now has four goals on the season due to a pretty tidy 36% sh% to go along with 18 hits, 10 blocks and he's usually pretty decent on draws.
Lovin the Leafs L3 right now as the Matt Frattin - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov troika is emerging as a threat lately in limited minutes. Frattin & Kadri teamed up on the GWG last night, Frattin's fourth in four games, Kadri leads the team in points despite playing just 14 mpg & Komarov is amongst the league leaders in hits with 27 so far this year.
Three point night for Jiri Hudler and he is making a good impression on his new team with 2+2=4 in two games so far.
Also making an impression with Calgary fans, but not a pleasant one, is Miikka Kiprusoff as he was roughed up again last night for five goals on just 21 shots. Not sure if it's the new coach and system or if he's rusty from the lockout but Kipper has given up three or more in four of five games so far and sports a .854 sv%.
The Flames should also be concerned about Mike Cammalleri as he has really been the pits this year with no goals and just five shots through his first five games. He's getting four mpg of PP time, so there is no excuse for it.
The Caps have had their struggles this year but Joel Ward and Mike Ribeiro teamed up on another goal last night and Ward leads the Caps in goals with four and Ribeiro is the team leader in points with 1+7=8 in seven games.
Peter Mueller with a PPG last night and he has a goal in three straight games.
Lots of fantasy options in St. Louis now but don't sleep on Patrik Berglund as the big Swede tallied a PPG last night and has 3+2=5 over his last four games. He plays on L3 at evens but jumps up to the top unit when it's PP time.
John Tavares with a nice run going to start the year with 4+7=11 in his last six games after 2+1=3 with eight shots last night.
We'll give the unsung fantasy line of the night to Mike Weber of the Sabres for his assist, plus-2, six hits & four blocks in 21 minutes of action. Weber can be a source of some peripherals when he plays but has a hard time staying in the lineup.
Your shutout of the night goes to the Penguin's Tomas Vokoun who the Rangers failed to beat on any of their 28 shots. We're not talking about a controversy in Pittsburgh yet but Vokoun now sports a .940 sv% versus Fleury's pear-shaped .890.
5th straight start for Michal Neuvirth last night and he was pretty solid stopping 37 of 40 but took the one goal loss. Coach Oates says he keeps going with Neuvirth to provide some stability to his team, so maybe he'll just keep rolling him out there.
Adam Larsson finally made his season debut last night after sitting out up to now as a healthy scratch. He didn't accomplish much of note in nearly 18 mins of action.
The Penguins have claimed former Canes 1st rounder Zach Boychuk off waivers. Perhaps he'll get a look on the Malkin line but if this guy had the stuff to pull that off then he wouldn't be on waivers now would he? He's shown he can put up points in the AHL but has just 18 points in 73 career NHL games.