So the Summer/Fall/Winter of Mats has finally come to an end... and he's going to the team that wanted him all along, Vancouver. He should be lacing them up right after Xmas and if he's available in your league then grab him. Dude's a hoss, we wouldn't be overly concerned about injuries as he's proven pretty durable during his career. As for linemates, you'd think that he'll play with Pavol Demitra and Mason Raymond which would be a boost for all three guys. Kyle Wellwood is probably the loser in all this as he'll be relegated to 4th line duty and get bumped off the #1 PP unit in favour of the Big Swede.
We know Ottawa is planning on splitting up their big three but at practice yesterday all three were playing on different lines: Vermette - Fisher - Alfredsson, Heatley - Kelly - Foligno, Ruutu - Spezza - Neil. We're going to assume all three players will still receive similar minutes but this isn't good fantasy news for owners of the big Senators.
Pascal Leclaire and Marty Turco had an epic battle to prove once and for all who is the biggest goalie bust this season. Not surprisingly, they proved they are both busts...the game ended 6-5 in OT to the Jackets. Actually, Turco has been playing much better lately so it's a shame to see him go off the rails again. As for Leclaire, it's amazing how far he's fallen. From fantasy darling to useless backup...in less than a year. If you own(ed?) Leclaire we hope you picked up Steve Mason.
A few other goalies got thumped last night: Tim Thomas, Vesa Toskala, Ondrej Pavelec, Antero Nittymaki and even Evgeni Nabokov had owners pulling out their hair.
Philly Kessel kept the point streak alive with 3 more points last night, its up to 16 games now but he was overshadowed last night by our boy David Krejci who had the hat-job last night, that gives him 6+11=17 in his last 9 games. DK's on pace for 84 points and making us look foolish that we only tabbed him for 62 points in the Breakout Bible... why are we so stupid?
Hat-Trick last night for Loui-Loui Eriksson, continues his breakout season and he can't not score these days with 5 in his last 2 games.
Yesterday we proclaimed Sergei Kostitsyn as our 'Drop of the Week' in our Fantasy Fornight. Sure enough, the guy goes out and scores a goal and assist...if we knew we had this kind of power we would have done something ages ago. Don't get over-excited...he had only 12 minutes of ice time and most of that came in the third so he's not out of the dog house yet. Despite our proclamation yesterday, we've got faith in this kid but we'll need to see a lot more consistency to recommend him again this year.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Some good and bad news for the Stars. Stephane Robidas returned from his broken jaw last night and had zero points in over 27 minutes of play...he'll only help teams in very deep leagues. The bad news? Sergei Zubov is having hip surgery and will likely miss the rest of the season.
Both Alex Semin and Mike Green had trouble finishing the game last night. Semin took a cross-check to the back and was in a fair amount of pain. Green re-aggravated his shoulder injury, oh god no. Both players are listed as day-to-day but we'll probably hear more about them tomorrow.
Andrei Kostitsyn left in the second period with an undisclosed injury last night. More on this when we get it. Ditto for Pascal Dupuis.
Derick Brassard was just trying to help out your fantasy team by dropping the mitts with James Neal but then it all went wrong, he hurt his shoulder and is might miss a few weeks.
What is it with Mike Van Ryn and guys trying to put him through the boards/glass?... he picked up another concussion last night when Milan Lucic bounced his face off the glass.
Marc-Andre Fleury returned last night, picked up the win and stopped 28 of 31 shots. He looked very comfortable and had no problems with his injured groin. Start with confidence.
In the Shark Tank...Jon Cheechoo and FHS favourite Joe Pavelski both came back from injury last night...Milan Michalek was shaken up in Wednesday's game and missed last night's contest with a UBI. Cheechoo and Pavelski lined up with Ryane Clowe on the second line and had zero points last night. We expect Cheechoo to be back on the third line when Michalek returns.
Marco Sturm returned as well but left after scoring in the first period. He came back from concession problems and left with a knee injury. No word on the severity yet.
Chris Osgood's injury isn't as serious as some were saying. He didn't miss any games and backed up Ty Conklin's shut out last night. Business as usual in Detroit.
Jeff Halpern scored in his first game of the year last night after returning from off-season knee surgery. Wouldn't recommend this guy although he did have a nice run of 18 points in 19 games to close out the season last year after coming over to TB in the Brad Richards trade but this is an entirely different franchise of Dolts Bolts.
Holy fricken returns Batman! This is nuts, what are guys short on cash and need a little extra for the holidays? We haven't heard of this many returns since Mark Morrison was skyrocketing up the charts with "Return of the Mack". The following guys returned to action last night: Ryan Malone, Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, David Booth, Eric Fehr, Frank Kaberle and Darcy Tucker.
What's distracting us today? You've probably heard about the Canadiens celebrating their 100th season this year. As part of the festivities the team is wearing a variety of throw-back jersey throughout the season. A good idea, but one that's been done before. Something the Habs are doing this that is a bit different is wearing throw-back equipment as well:
Same pads, different colours. Cool to look at, but not all that interesting. We think Price (and the other goalie) need to wear this for a game:
That's actually Carey Price trying on some real retro gear. Some of Price's comments about the ancient equipment were pretty interesting:
(the complete article can be found at the Financial Post, hat tip to KK for the link)
- "This isn't protection," Price said incredulously. "It's suicide. Can you imagine me going out there like this? For even one practice? No chance."
- [Price] figured that, bone dry, [the old pads] weighed about the same as his own pads. Impressive, until you consider that Price's virtually waterproof pads are at least one-third larger, and that these old ones would absorb a litre or more of moisture during a game.
"If I ever took a shot in the face," he said, voice muffled by a ventilation hole [in the mask] that didn't quite reach his mouth, "it would split both of my temples."
These players today are soft. Big shout out to Jacques Plante and the boys from yesteryear: