Claude Lemieux has been recalled to the NHL and is expected to suit up for the Sharks on Tuesday. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! Come on man, what's wrong with you? The guy is 43 years old and will be on the fourth line. What are you thinking?
A little extra MO last night for Brad Richards as he returned to Tampa Bay and he delivered with 2 points against his former club. If we go back over his last 15 games, Richards has 17 points but he's been been running hot or cold this year... if past history tells us anything its that Richards' play always picks up in the 2nd half so he's a good buy low candidate right now.
Remember when Mark Parrish had that hat-trick in his first game with Dallas? Wow... good times, well Dallas is starting to realize that there may have been a valid reason that Minnesota is paying him not to play this year as he's only had 3 points in his last 23 games and has been relegated to 4th line duty.
Vincent Lecavalier continued his post-trade-rumour-hot streak last night as he picked up two goals and an assist. That's 10 points in six games. It's a-very nice. Vaclav Prospal is hot as well, he scored an empty netter last night and now has 12 points in 11 games.
One more Tampa note... Cory Murphy was claimed on waivers by the Bolts. Murphy is a PP specialist who was the MVP of the Finnish league a few years ago. Injuries and Bryan McCabe killed his chances in Florida but now he's been pretty much been handed the power play QB job in Tampa. His plus-minus won't be pretty, but he's a good add in very deep leagues. He played over 23 minutes last night, picked up a PP assist and led the team in PP minutes.
Enough with the Lightning... on to Brendan Shanahan. Brendo scored a PP marker in his first game back and played 13 minutes with 1:10 on the PP (NJ only had four minutes of PP time). Impressive, but keep your expectations in check... he's old and hasn't played in months. He's also lining up with Bobby Holik and Mike Rupp, and that's not a good thing.
Jamie Langenbrunner is enjoying the spoils that come with playing on a line with the sublime Zach Parise and a hot-lately Travis Zajac as he's put up 7 points in his last 6 games. He is a staple on the PP as well and we don't see Shanny's addition changing that.
Around FHS headquarters, we've given one of our new favs a new nickname... David "F**ckin" Backes, cause this guy just continues to knock our socks off game after game... yesterday it was a goal, assist, 2 PIMs and 5 shots... in his last 17 games he's 10+3=13 with 42 PIMs and 61 shots. Grab him.
Marek Zidlicky scored two PP goals last night and tacked on an assist, a +2 and two PIM's for good measure. He had a really bad stretch in December (12 games with only two assists) but it seems the new year is treating Zids well (eight points in eight games). Expect around 40 points from Minny's PP QB this year.
Toronto is talking about giving Justin Pogge a run of games after the all-star break, partially cause Toskala's been bad and mostly cause they want to see what they have. So watch for this and if he gets hot then maybe he'll grab the #1 job for the rest of the year as Toskala could be shipped out at the trade deadline.
We said last week's 5 pointer by Jason Blake against Carolina was a giant F-U to Paul Maurice. Well Mo gave the big bird-flip right back to Blake and the whole organization by coming into Toronto and shutting them out last night... although, we're sure in Jason Blake's mind he remained hot with 5 points in his last 6 games... you do the math... what a clown.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Brent Johnson got hurt in practice a few days ago and the team made the call that he wasn't fit enough to even sit on the bench yesterday, so he's on the shelf for a few days but they expect him to be ok by the time the all-star break is over.
Johan Franzen skated yesterday but is not expected to suit up tonight. Expect him back after the All Star break. This information would have been helpful if it was brought to our attention yesterday. Hopefully, your crystal ball told you to sit Franzen this week. Valtteri Filppula is expected to take Franzen's spot on Pavel Datsyuk's line on Tuesday.
Ville Peltonen already had a broken foot but he gutted it out and played on Saturday... only to have his knee taken out by the beast on skates that is Evgeny Artyukhin... now VP will be out for a while, extent TBD.
Chris Campoli couldn't go for Monday's afternoon game, word is he's an addict for General Hospital and just couldn't miss an episode. Well that and something about a groin injury that may keep him out day-to-day.
Manny Legace left yesterday's game with a groin injury, it doesn't sound like a serious issue but bad groins and goalies go together like toothpaste and orange juice... so beware.
Keith Tkachuk returned to action from the injured list yesterday after missing two games with a concussion that Keith says wasn't a concussion, or maybe it was, he can't remember and now he has a headache... but it wasn't a concussion.
What's distracting us today? Nothing much interesting out there today (just like the last few days) so we'll do what we always do in this situation... go into the vault. Today we're going waaaaay back in the vault. We found this video introducing the Wales Conference players in the 1985(!) NHL All-Star Game. Just to give you an idea of how long ago that was... Chris Chelios was a rookie. It's not the best quality but what do you expect, it was 24 freakin' years ago!
The game was played in Calgary and in 1985 the NHL's idea of being cutting edge was to get the players to wear a cowboy hat. It's pretty much worth watching the video to see how uncomfortable Pelle Lindbergh looks with his hat... they must not have many cowboys in Sweden. And that Rod Langway... what a character!
It's pretty rare you find a video this old on the old interweb, so we hope you enjoy the retro-distraction today:
The Wales Conference ended up winning the game 6-4 over the Campbell Conference. If you want to check out the lineups and box score (wow, you have even more time on your hands than we do) have a click here.