Rick Nash is apparently taking the CBJ's little playoff push pretty seriously as he's gone off to the tune of 4+10=14 +9 in his last 9 games. I guess five years with no playoff games will do that to a guy who's one of the best players in the world.
Alexander Semin's return (see below) didn't bump Viktor Kozlov from his 1st line spot... so good news for those of you who have been riding the K-train lately (10 points in his last 10 games), although Coach Bruce may have just been easing Semin back into the lineup so Kozlov's days could be numbered.
Joe Thornton is doing what he does best... making goals, he's 1+10=11 in his last 6 games. But most of us need a little more than just assists from our #1C and despite being on pace for almost 100 points, he's only on pace for 19 goals and less than 140 shots, so he's not having a terrific fantasy season for GMs in standard leagues.
Brian Rafalski loves playing outdoors, obvious from his 3 points in the winter classic, but he's not too bad indoors either... another point last night gives him 7 in his last 4, 10 in his last 10 and 15 in his last 15.
Not to be outdone, Mark Streit has a 5 game point streak going, has 11 points in his last 10 games and leads all dmen in scoring with 32 points (one more than Boyle and Rafalski).
The opposite of streaky is Alexei Ponikarovsky. Well, I guess the opposite of streaky would be consistent and Poni hasn't been that, its more like patchy... a few points here, a few games without and so on. But he has put together a run of 9 points in his last 9 games and is quietly on pace for 25 goals and almost 60 points this year.
Another goal last night gives Erik Cole 4 in his last 7 games and 7 points over that stretch. He's still getting time on the #1 PP unit and has found himself on a line with a rejuvenated Sam Gagner (8 points in his last 8).
All the injuries in Dallas have given James Neal an opportunity to show what he can do and what he can do is 6 goals in his last 7 games playing on a line with Modano and Lehtinen and getting some time on the #1 PP unit.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Phillipe Boucher has an undisclosed injury that has kept him out of the last 2 games. He's listed as day-to-day. Ditto for Paul Ranger, actually his injury is rumoured to be a UBI... now we're getting real specific.
Claude Giroux took and elbow to the head from Corey Perry the other night. Giroux is on the shelf with an undisclosed injury and missed last night's game. Perry got a 4 gamer for his efforts.
Alexander Semin came back from a back injury but wasn't back on Nicklas Backstrom's line. Alright, that was fun.... maybe just for us. Semin had an assist last night in his return and also got you 15 PIMs (see his "fight" below).
Also, the following guys returned to action last night: Niclas Wallin, Tyler Kennedy, Carlo Colaiacovo and Chris Osgood.
What's distracting us today? We were watching a lot of the WJHC yesterday (Bring On the Swedes!) so we just caught the hi-lites of this pretty pathetic fight involving Sidney Crosby and some dude who apparently doesn't mind getting "dish-ragged" by Sid (aka Brett McLean)...
But pathetic doesn't even come close to describing Alexander Semin's fighting style... which I guess could be called "Going Apeshit" perhaps?...
Hopefully both these guys are honing their skills for the big showdown on Jan. 14th.