It's time we ate a slice of humble pie. We've been poking fun at Yann Danis and the Islanders the last few days. They showed us. The Isles picked up a 2-1 win over the much more talented Ducks and Yann was particularly amazing as he stopped 39 out of 40. It was his first win in eight starts with NYI. Good on ya Yann!
After going pointless in seven straight games, Lee Stempniak picked up a goal and an assist last night to give him three points in three games. The change might be due to his new linemates...Jason Blake (2 points last night) and Dom Moore (2 assists). Based on the past, we can't see this trio continuing their hot streak but stranger things have happened.
Mike Ribeiro had the hat-trick last night and even more surprising was that he fired 7 shots on net, this from a guy who was averaging 1.8 shots per game coming in... keep 'em coming Ribsy!
Bobby Ryan continues to amaze... what a season for the rookie and as good as he's been, he just keeps getting better... he's got 9 goals in his last 10 games and although he's slowly worked his way up the lineup, mostly playing with Brendan Morrison these days, he's doing it all without playing with the big guns.
Cory Murphy scored a goal and an assist and was named the first star last night. We told you about Murphy on Monday and with another good game under his belt you really need to start paying attention. His plus-minus might be rough but he should continue to rack up the points with all of his time on the power play.
The big fella, Zdeno Chara, scored a power play goal last night and now has seven points in his last seven games. After a very ordinary October, Zdeno has really turned it on. He's one of the top five fantasy rear-guards in the league.
Manny Malhotra extended his point streak to 7 games... wow... don't bother picking this guy up, it can't last, we only mention it cause its just shows that anyone can go bizonkers at some point over their career.
One dude on Columbus that we will recommend is Kris Russell, he's quietly had 4 points in his last 5 games, mans the point on the 1st PP unit and seems to have earned Coach Hitchcock's trust with a nice run of games lately.
TJ Hensick in Colorado is another one to keep an eye on, big-timer scorer in college and has continued that in the AHL and he's on a mini-hot-streak right now with 5 points in as many games. If you remember, he had a similar hot streak right around the all-star break last year with 7 points in 6 games.
If you're really desperate for a dman who can give you assists and PP points and not much else, oh and he's very injury prone, did we mention that?... if you're still reading then you must be desperate... well Carlo Colaiacovo might be your man. He's on a 4 game assist streak with 6 in his last 8 games (5 of them on the PP) and doesn't offer much else to speak of.
Similarly, Adrian Aucoin has 7 assists in his last 6 games and offers a little more in terms of shots and PIMs than Carlo does, but not much, and he's a rather frigid -8 in his last 9 games... so buyer beware.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Kristian Huselius slit his wrist on Tuesday night, apparently not in anticipation of meeting up with Mike Keenan again, and that kept him out of his glorious return to Calgary. It doesn't sound serious so we'd expect Juicy to be back right after the break.
Both Nick Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk won't be suiting up for the West in this weekend's All-Star game. The Wings aren't telling us much about the injuries but from the sounds of things they should both be ready to go for the Wings first game after the break next Tuesday.
On the other hand...Sidney Crosby is also a bit banged up but he will be playing in Montreal this weekend. Let's hope he doesn't get injured.
Kris Versteeg left last night's game with a hand injury and he'll be re-evaluated today.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Saku Koivu, Todd Bertuzzi and Nikolai Kulemin.
What's distracting us today? It's been a(nother?) rough year for Leaf fans. Since we have one of their biggest fans on staff at FHS we thought we might take a moment to remind him (and the rest of Leaf nation) that there is always hope...
Although we'll see what Yann Danis and the Islanders have to say about that (can we still make fun of Danis after last night's game?...Yes We Can!)
Hope is great and all. But what are you Leafs fans going to do the rest of this season? Well, you could wallow in depression with the guys at Down Goes Brown where you could read gems like their mid-season value ranking. From Leaf saviour Luke Schenn to Leaf goat Jason Blake...they are all there. Surprisingly, 18 players scored above zero (and we thought this team was no good)...playoffs next year for sure.
The real reason we wrote this little Leaf post is we wanted to work in this Leaf fan video from
(hat tip to Stanley Cup of Chowder)
Wouldn't it suck if you were going to have to make a video on your favourite team and the players you had to choose were Luke Schenn, Jeff Finger, and Mikhail Grabovski? The added touch of having to use Bryan McCabe (no good players on the team left we guess) should also sting Leaf fans a tad.
We almost feel bad for fans of the blue and white. Well we would...if we weren't enjoying this so much.