In what has to be a giant rub to the Wings, they lost 3-2 in OT to Columbus with Datsyuk and Lidstrom sitting out with suspension while Steve Mason backstopped the CBJs. This was the same Steve Mason that skipped the Young Stars game but never missed a game for the CBJs... call it both ways, Gary!
Marek Zidlicky continued his hot streak last night with another assist and now has 10 points in his last 7 games after putting up 16 in his first 35.
Scott Gomez has back-to-back multi-point games and based on our poll results there are a lot of you that agree with us that he may be able to turn around his disappointing season with a boffo second half.
Speaking of hot second halfs... we told you about Marty Turco's habit of turning it up after the all-star break when we presented our All-2nd Half Stars Team the other day... we'll Martin is making us look wicked smaat with a shutout last night to kick off his post-break surge.
The triumphant return of Justin Pogge wasn't so triumphant. The kid let in six goals on only 21 shots. Ron Wilson sums it up (video) better than we ever could. By the sound of it Pogge will be down in the AHL for a week or so but should be back up with the club soon for more seasoning.
Other than Pogge, there were a couple of other spankings last night. Ilya Bryzgalov and the 'Yotes gave up seven goals on 27 shots. The two-headed-Oiler-monster that is Dwayne Roloson and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers gave up an ugly 10 goals on 37 shots. We pray you had none of the above in your lineup last night.
JS Giguere only has 1 win in his last 9 games and it was interesting that in the first game out of the break that the Ducks went with Jonas Hiller... it was his third start in the last 4 and his numbers are far superior to Giggy's so "My Name is" Jonas looks like a de-facto #1 even if nobody will say it officially.
One line switch to watch is in Carolina where Justin Williams has been moved up the 1st line with Eric Staal and Sergei Samsonov. J-Will's ice-time and PP time have picked up as well so he's got a few things going for him in his quest to turn around what has been a sluggish season so far.
With Buffalo's 10 goal game come many big fantasy nights -- like our boy Drew Stafford's hat trick. But we wanted to shine a little light on Tim Connolly today. He picked up two goals and an assist and now has 13 points in 14 games in an injury shortened season. Production hasn't been a problem for T-Con...when he's healthy he gets the points. He is playing and producing now, so if you're looking for some 'C' help go grab him. He is only owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues.
Rick Nash had a hat trick yesterday. He now has seven goals in his last eight games (not counting the ASG). He's good.
Our boy Joe Pavelski, our #1 breakout prospect in the Breakout Bible, is on a 5 game point streak with 6 points over that stretch and is back on a 60 point pace with a good number of shots.
Marty Gerber cleared waivers and is AHL bound. Fabian Brunnstrom was also sent packing to the 'A' for a conditioning / confidence stint. You might want to hang onto Brunnstrom for a bit in deep leagues but definitely cut Gerber loose (as if you haven't already).
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Dan Boyle was out of action last night due to a UBI he tweaked in the All-Star Game? What are his arms tired from celebrating too much? The Sharks aren't saying much on the injury but from all accounts it sounds pretty minor and he should be good to go on Thursday.
Chris Higgins returned from a 19 game absence due to a shoulder injury with zero points in 14 minutes of play. He could help a few of you out there in very deep leagues if he ever knocks it up a few notches. He has only nine points in 21 games...so he has a long way to go.
Sidney Crosby is expected to play tonight. You probably already knew that though. [more]
Henrik Zetterberg missed the third period last night due to a back injury. No word on the severity yet. We'll keep an ear to the ground for you.
Peter Mueller left last night's game with an apparent head injury, no word on the extent.
Teemu Selanne didn't make it back to the lineup yesterday but has stated he'll definitely be back in there by Saturday at the latest. Same deal with Pavol Demitra who should be back after two weeks out with an injured groin.
Kris Versteeg is out tomorrow and potentially for the rest of this week with his injured finger. He should be back next Monday at the latest.
Freddie Modin missed last night's game with a shoulder injury... he's listed as day-to-day.
Alright, a lot of returns last night, try to keep up: Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Ference, Kristian Huselius, Jason Chimera, Johan Franzen, Ville Peltonen, Rob Blake, Paul Ranger and Mike Van Ryn.
What's distracting us today? We saw this video that showed five NHL players coming into Easton head offices to try out Easton's new equipment and give some feedback. The five players were Ryan Getzlaf, Henrik Zetterberg, Dany Heatley, Jonathan Toews and Erik Johnson (which of those doesn't belong?):
Not sure if we're nerds or not (we are) but we were hoping to hear a little more about the players thoughts on the equipment. What does Ryan Getzlaf like in a skate? What does Tazer look for in a good stick? Can Zetterberg get a helmet that reduces the amount of grease in his hair? Oh well, at least it had King Henrik shooting at some foam heads.