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Daily Dosage - Nov. 17, 2008

Daily Diarrhea

Check back to our weekend posts for comments on ESPNs #3 ranked dman traded, Barry Melrose fired and ballot-box stuffing.

Cristobal Huet got the start yesterday and gave up 6 goals on 31 shots to SJ... so he's not putting up much of a fight as Nikolai Khabibulin hasn't lost in regulation in his last 8 games, so Khaby should be the guy for the next little while.

Bobby Ryan was called up as a result of the Beauchemin injury and he got into the lineup right away playing almost 17 minutes yesterday.  He's worth watching as he should see a lot of time on the 2nd line.

LA isn't playing Drew Doughty a lot, they are playing him a ton!... he's averaging almost 23 minutes on the season and has been over 25 minutes in 4 of his last 5 games including a season high 28:27 last night.  He isn't putting up big points yet but LA has been struggling offensively so far this year so look for his numbers to pick up if he keeps playing these huge minutes.

Peter Budaj is a sneaky good goalie right now... over the last month he's 6-4, 2.39, .916 including only giving up 4 goals in his past 3 games (all wins) and there's no threat of Raycroft touching him so he's going to be playing pretty much every night. 

Always interesting to see what happens in the first few games after a new coach takes over and yesterday was Rick Tocchet's first game, here's what we observed:

  • Vinny Lecavalier was reunited with St. Louis and Prospal and that line saw major minutes... St. Louis and Vinny scored the 2 TB goals yesterday, although Vinny's goal was scored on one of the worst blown calls we've seen in a while... a blind man could see that he was offside... how could they not call that?... maybe Tocchet had big money riding on the game???  just saying.

  • Radim Vrbata played 17:39, which was easily his season high, he also saw quite a bit of time on the #1 PP unit with the big boys... so he may be a player that really benefits from the change (as opposed to the team barber who goes from working with Barry's luscious locks to Tocchet's melon-head).  We wouldn't recommend Vrbata as he hasn't scored on the season yet but keep an eye on him as things could be turning around for him.

  • Stevie Stamkos did see 15 minutes of ice-time, which is what GM Brian Lawton asked Barry Melrose to do but Tocchet had him playing with every combination of 3rd and 4th line brick-layers from Hall to Roberts to Artyuhkin to Gratton and he didn't see much PP time at all... so don't expect much production until that changes.

  • For all the grief we give Koules and the Gang for all their terrible moves, the one move that has actually worked was getting Mike Smith from Dallas as he's given them some very solid goaltending this year, that's definitely not the problem with this team.  What's that? oh, Mike Smith was a guy that former GM Jay Feaster brought in?... and the current guys had nothing to do with it?  Oh, well, we apologize cause this just makes it official that they have done absolutely nothing right so far. 

Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page which will give you a consolidated list of injury status):

  • Andy McDonald took a nasty spill into the boards last night and the word is that its a fractured leg, he's still undergoing tests to determine how long he'll be out for but it looks to be a while.

  • Apparently Brian Rolston's injured ankle isn't recovering as expected and he's stopped skating, so a return is not imminent. 

  • Returning to the lineup on the weekend was: Jonathan Cheechoo, Paul Martin and Patrick Eaves.

Distraction of the Day

What's distracting us today... we talked the other day about how some Montreal fans with a souped-up Commodore 64s are making a mockery of the NHL all-star fan balloting as currently the Eastern Conference starting lineup would be 6 Habs, well now its gone from what city has more fans to what city has better techno-geeks that can figure out how to beat NHL.com's steel curtain defenses.  Shortly behind Montreal is Detroit, who currently has 4 guys on the Western Conference starting lineup and Pittsburgh is now making a charge as dmen Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney are rocketing up the charts... here are the current results.  If that's the way they want to play, then they've forced us to make some modifications to the old ColecoVision and see if we can get 6 guys from Atlanta vs 6 guys from Phoenix in the starting lineups just to stick it to Gary.