Atlanta over the Habs, the 'Yotes beat up on the Red Wings and the Sens beat the Caps? What's happening in the NHL? Just when we thought we had it all figured out. So what's going on with Atlanta, Phoenix and Ottawa?
- In Atlanta, it's all about the Pevinator. Rich Peverley scored what turned out to be the game winning goal and now has seven points in his last three games.
- In Phoenix, it's all about the d-men. Both Ed Jovanovski and Derek Morris scored a goal and an assist and were each plus three in the game. It was the first time all season that either Morris or Jovo had a plus rating of more than two...and they did it against Detroit? Crazy.
- In Ottawa, it's all about the Heater. After going ten games with only one goal Dany Heatley now has four in his last two. He has 43 points in 44 games but we were expecting him to be at a 1.2 PPG pace.
Ales Hemsky is back, in a big way... 4 points last night after his triumphant 2 point return the other night and going back pre-injury, he's had 10 points in his last 5 games. We've always kinda disregarded him cause he just refuses to shoot the puck but he's starting to turn us around as, despite missing 10 games with injury, he's on pace for career highs in goals, points and shots.
Zach Bogosian picked up a goal and an assist last night in 19 minutes of action. He's played 12 games this year. First ten games, zero points. Last two, four points. Looks like he's definitely over the leg injury (this was only his fifth game back) that sidelined him most of the year. He's going to be a fantasy stud...although probably not this year.
Niklas Backstrom got pulled before the third period last night. On Monday, he played off his face so it's a bit of a shame he couldn't keep it going into the break. Don't worry too much here...the Wild defence never showed up as they allowed 26 shots in the two periods Backstrom was in net.
One Wild-man? (what is the plural of Wild anyway?) that did show up last night was Mikko Koivu with 2 points and he's got 9 points in his last 6 games... Koivu's been pretty streaky this year (well not Brian Savage-like streaky) but a little streaky... anyway, he's on one of his hot streaks right now so give him a go after the All-Star break.
After allowing three or more goals in five straight games, Cam Ward was looking like a terrible fantasy start. Well he's turned things around very quickly. First, he shuts out Toronto and then last night he allows one goal on 33 shots to the Pens. Nice work Cammer! At the other end of the ice, Marc-Andre Fleury was pretty good as well...he stopped 38 of 40. It's too bad the Penguins don't have any offensive players to support him.
Jason Williams had 2 points last night, still playing on the 3rd line but manning the point on the PP and leading the team in PP ice time... have a little patience, he should be moving on up to the top lines fairly soon.
Antoinette Vermette is having a brutal season (on pace for 31 points) but he does have 9 points in his last 8 games playing mostly on the 3rd line. Maybe his improved play, along with the Senators improved play will get Tony some better linemates and he can keep this run going.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
In the most unsurprising news of the year...Rick DiPietro has been shut down for the season. If you own RDP you've probably already made alternative arrangements. Don't feel too bad things could be worse...your replacement could be Yann Danis (his NYI uni was available but we still put up this Hamilton Bulldogs jersey because that's where he should be playing...snap!)
Pascal Leclaire is having surgery on his ankle and that will keep him out 10-12 weeks and if our calendar math is any good that targets an April return, just in time for the playoffs?!? Don't talk about playoffs?!?
Pavel Datsyuk left last night's game with a hip pointer. It doesn't sound serious and hopefully he rests it up over the All-Star break.
Pavol Demitra has a sore groin, well he typically has a sore everything but he's using the groin as the reason that he can't play, he'll be out a week, at least.
Carey Price made his surprise return from injury. We were expecting to see him tomorrow night but he came in relief of Jaroslav Halak last night. He stopped 9 of 10 in just over two periods of work. By all accounts everything went fine and we expect to see him in the blue paint tonight.
Sami Salo returned from a broken rib last night after fifteen games on the sidelines. He played 20 minutes and scored zero points. In his ten year career he's played more than 70 games just twice. We guess he's an okay short term solution but don't expect anything other than another injury.
Steve Mason looked pretty average (that's us being nice) again last night. That's two straight nights of un-Mason like performances. He's been suffering from back spasms (which will cause him to miss the YoungStars game) so that might have something to do with it. He's expected to start again tonight so we'll keep a close eye on him.
Robert Nilsson returned last night after missing 5 games with a concussion, I'm sure we're all glad to have his under-achieving 13 points back in our lineup.
What's distracting us today? Often we'll find more than just one video or article we'd like to share with you...like today for example. Normally we'd just throw the links up but we've been thinking we needed a snazzy title when we do this...kinda bring it all together.
First we were thinking puck pourii (a la pot pourri in Jeopardy) but quickly realized that it sounds pretty gay. But we really wanted to stick with the Jeopardy theme because Alex Trebek is Canadian and guest starred on Cheers...making him awesome X 2. So welcome to the slightly less gay sounding Hockey Hodge Podge
HOCKEY HODGE PODGE
The Coyotes like to give each other nicknames. Does Kyle Turris look like Screech from 'Saved By The Bell'? We sure hope so. (thanks to Puck Update for the link)
Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury debate: "Too fight, or not to fight?" Looks like Pierre wanted to punch Milbury out by the end...although we guess that would have cost him the debate. (hat tip to Barry Melrose Rocks)
Okay this isn't a hockey video...but the only thing separating this from hockey are a pair of skates. Wow. (shout out to regular reader CamNeely and Deadspin)
Jeremy Roenick is guest starring on some show called 'Leverage' tonight. Loads of good Roenick quotes in there including: "I’m actually a half-witted security guard. I get duped by a beautiful woman while the thieves are upstairs doing their job. She gets me away from the monitors while they work upstairs. It’s pretty realistic." (thank you, Puck Daddy)
And finally, we did our little FHS-style tribute to Glenn Anderson a few days ago because his jersey was retired by the Oil last Sunday. Normally, these ceremonies are pretty dull. A few speeches, some clapping and if you're lucky you'll get a grown man crying. Well Glenn Anderson's ceremony was awesome. You didn't see it? Check it out:
That's right...Anderson did the whole ceremony in full equipment, complete with the 'OT winner'. We always liked Anderson but now we love him. (Are we ever glad we read NHL Fanhouse and saw that video)