The dude from Indiana with the bastardized french name is on fire right now... we speak of John-Michael Liles if you're having a hard time following us. He's 3+4=7 in his last 3 games and appears to think nothing of the fact that Colorado should be struggling with guys like Stastny and Sakic out of the lineup.
Steve Mason is the real deal... B2B shutouts lowers his league leading gaa to 1.78 and he's started 12 of the past 14 for Columbus (Leclaire gave up 10 goals in the other 2 starts). If you can find a way to get this guy, make it happen.
Chris Drury is having his best run of the season and is 2+8=10 in his last 8 games... this has coincided with a slight decrease in his playing time, not sure what came first or what anything has to do with the other but chew on that for a while.
Updates on three guys that we totally wrote off in our last Breakout Tracker... appears we may have been a tad hasty:
Nigel Dawes is starting to come around... a big shooter as our #7 breakout candidate in the Breakout Bible had an awful start to the year and was a frequent healthy scratch but he's now found a spot on the aforementioned Chris Drury's line and is 3+3=6 and a +6 in his last 6 games.
If your expectations were as high as ours then the name Matt Niskanen might be a dirty word to you. With only 12 points this year, he has been what the french like to call a "dizappointmont". But then comes the last 10 games and our boy is doing his best to make it up to us with 8 points over that stretch and his ice-time has increased to the 20-25 minute range... he looks to be a good add right now.
Kris Russell is 2+5=7 in his last 10 games and although he hasn't cemented his spot in the lineup or as their PP QB, we'd say that things are leaning that way.
The battle for Florida's number one job continues...Craig Anderson let in four on 20 shots last night was pulled and Tomas Vokoun stopped the next eight. We're thinking Vokoun might be a bit undervalued right now. He's playing well enough to warrant 50% of the starts on a decent defensive team in Florida.
For all you people that are all over the Pekka Rinne bandwagon, pointing to his 7-3 record (compared to Ellis' 10-13-3)... sorry to say it but the dude isn't really blowing anyone away, he's had two 5 goal games in his last 4 starts and hasn't been as consistent as Ellis over the past month.
Michael Rozsival returned from personal leave and scored a goal. He's good to start if that's what you would normally do.
Carolina waived Frankie Kaberle and are hoping that someone will take a chance on oft injured vet. If he's not claimed then the Canes will probably keep him but don't expect him to play too much. Avoid this guy at all costs, he's really not fantasy worthy, in fact, we're starting to wonder why we wasted all this precious space and your valuable time writing about this clown. Too late now, the damage is done.
Ty Conklin will get the start tonight as Coach Babcock eases Chris Osgood back into the lineup. On Thursday the Wings play in the Winter Classic and we would be surprised if Osgood got his first start back on the big stage.
Milan Lucic and Per-Johan Axelsson have switched spots on the first and third lines. This shouldn't last too long as it looks like the Bruins are just trying to give Lucic a kick in the pants. You might want to sit Lucic for a few games if you can.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Rick DiPietro couldn't go last night due to his injured groin. Joey MacDonald filled in played well but still let in five goals on 37 shots. Unless Roberto Luongo gets traded to The Island we're not recommending any NYI goalie.
Nik Lidstrom's MRI came back negative. He'll probably miss tonight's game but should be good to go in the Winter Classic on Thursday. That noise you hear is the collective sigh of Lidstrom owners everywhere.
Fabian Brunnstrom missed last night's game due with a UBI. He's day-to-day.
Dougie Weight returned from his groin injury last night and did what he's done for his 5 previous games... be a minus player... he's now a rather frosty -9 for the month of December.
What's distracting us today? We're not sure how we never knew this but we just found out Steve Carell is a big hockey fan:
Hat Tip to Going Five Hole for that video. It's been around on YouTube for a year and a half so we're a bit embarrassed we've never seen it. Maybe we were on vacation that day. Either way it's a great hockey video and worth a look. If you were curious the sketch is from the short lived 'The Dana Carvey Show' ...which was only on the air for one and a half months. Maybe we shouldn't be too upset at ourselves for missing this video.