Mikhail Grabovski was suspended three games for his antics the other night (video). So let's get this straight. Inappropriate comments to the media = six games, frustrated shove of a referee = three games and BITING somebody = two games? What the? Check out M-Grab's comments on Sergei Kostitsyn: "I think he is not Belarusian now, he is French because I never fight with Belarusian guys ... I don't know why he wants to fight with me. If he wants to fight, we'll go in the street and every minute of every day I'll wait for him and we'll fight." Awesome. So he'll be out till the 16th. Adjust your rosters accordingly.
Steven Stamkos was a healthy scratch last night. Not to worry...he'll be able to get some work in with the Young Stars squad at the All Star Game which he was named to yesterday. [more]
Vaclav Prospal picked up another goal last night. That's eight points in six games for the under-achieving forward. He only has 25 points (after a 70 point season last year) so he's got a long way to get fantasy owners off his back. One of the reasons why Prospal is heating up is because Marty St. Louis is en fuego. He picked up another three points last night and now has 40 points in 41 games. Ryan Malone is another one on TB that's been feeling it lately... 5+6=11 in his last 10 games.
Drew Stafford is a solid add right now as he's reclaimed his spot on the 1st line with Roy and Vanek and has 7 points in his last 7 games.
Steve Mason isn't happy enough with the Calder trophy now he wants the Vezina too. He picked up his 14th win and 6th shutout last night. He stopped all 45! shots Washington threw his way...including 12 from Ove.
Sticking with the Jackets...Jared Boll picked up two points on the power play last night. We always recommend guys who get PP minutes for this exact reason. However, in this case...Boll is out there with the man advantage because of Columbus' injury woes. Don't expect games like this very often. Nikita Filatov played less than 9 minutes last night, so despite all the injuries, Hitchcock has more use for Boll than his does Nikky. On the plus side the injuries did give Jakub Voracek a chance to play more as he saw a season high 16:32 of ice-time, had an assist and is quietly a very solid +10 on the season.
Brian Elliot was recalled by the Senators. Since Elliot is a goalie and his competition is Alex Auld and Marty Gerber it's quite possible he could walk in and steal the number one job. He was 18-8-1 with a .926 SV% and a 2.31 GAA in 30 games in the AHL this season.
With only one point in his last four games it looked like Devin Setoguchi was slowing down a bit. We were worried with Jonathon Cheechoo heating up he might get bumped from the first unit. Guch finally broke through with a big three point game. He now has 40 points in 39 games.
Washington scratched Michael Nylander last night to make room for Sergei Fedorov's return. Rough season for Nylander as its pretty obvious that Coach Bruce has no use for this guy. If you're a gambling man you might think about trying to acquire this guy and hope that he gets traded at the deadline cause he can still produce if given the chance.
A goal last night gives TJ Oshie points in four straight since returning from that ankle injury recently. Another one on St. Louis to watch is David Backes, especially if you need help with goals and PIMs, as he's 7+2=9 with 34 PIMs in his last 12 games and has already passed the 100 PIM level this season.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Michal Rozsival left last night's matchup in the third with a upper body injury. Hopefully this won't keep him out too long he's been playing much better lately.
Tim Gleason picked up a LBI on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day.
Viktor Tikhonov (the player not the hard-ass coach) has a hand injury and is out indefinitely.
Returning to action last night from the injured list was: Tim Connolly, Sergei Fedorov and Chris Clark.
What's distracting us today? When you've been following hockey a long time sometimes you think you know it all. Today we were humbled...we now know there is much to learn about this great sport.
What were referring to is today we came across our favourite video of the new year. This is probably old news to any of our readers from Carolina but for the rest of you check out the scoreboard after every Hurricanes goal:
The Nature Boy Ric Flair...is that not one of the greatest things your eyes have ever seen? Here's a better look:
It's awesome and bizarre all wrapped up together in one neat little package.
If that wasn't enough the News Observer created this hilarious video on the Flair / Hurricanes relationship:
(Hat Tip to Stanley Cup of Chowder where we saw the last video which started us on our fantastic Ric Flair journey)