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Daily Dosage - Feb. 5, 2009

Daily Diarrhea   

Stafford Thomas Vanek picked up the natural hat trick (and an assist) last night.  Although, since it was against the Leafs shouldn't it really only count as 2.5 goals?  You already know Vanek is good (32 goals now), but don't forget about Drew Stafford who scored a beauty goal and added an assist last night.  We've been talking this guy up for ages...and 24 points in his last 27 games tells you why.  He's probably gone in your league but keep him mind for next year...he's ready for a big breakout.

We owe Andrew Brunette a thousand apologies after we called him out recently for his 1 point in 11 games stretch... apparently Andy takes it personally cause he's lit it up since then with 10 points in his last 9 although his 2 PIMs and 8 shots over that stretch would get him benched if he was on our fantasy team.

Christian Ehrhoff started off the season hot with 16 points in his first 20 games, then went into a major frost with 1 point in his next 22 and was probably dropped in a lot of leagues.  Well he's starting to thaw out with 5 points in his last 5 (4 of those on the PP) and although it may have something to do with Dan Boyle being out, he might be worth a pick-up to see if he can regain his early season form.

Hossa After a pretty ordinary December (8 points) Marian Hossa got back on track with a big January (16 points).  So far, February is looking even better as The Hoss has four goals in two games.  We have a hunch he could be in for a big second half.

Keith Yandle picked up two assists last night and now has eight points in his last nine.  We're not ready to give Yandle the FHS endorsement as he's too inconsistent (prior to his hot streak, he went 12 games without a point) but if you're looking for a flyer give him a try and hope the hot streak continues.

Justin Pogge got his 3rd start of the season but the Leafs didn't seem too interested in helping him show off his stuff as they left him out to dry and he gave up 5 goals on 32 shots.  Brian Burke wants to give him some action to get a feel for what he's got with the kid but the only thing Double B can feel after that game is that his team is awful and they may still have a hope of landing Tavares.

Satan Could it beeeeeee Satan?  No, it can't.  Miroslav Satan was a healthy scratch last night.  With only six points in his last 19 games it's no wonder why.  Those of you in shallow to medium leagues might want to think about cutting bait on this guy.

If Satan was bored during the game he should have given Mikhail Grabovski a call as M-Grab was also a healthy scratch yesterday.  Unlike with Satan, Grabovski shouldn't be spending too much time in the press box.  The Leafs need one of their few young talents to continue to develop and this benching was likely a kick in the rookie's tail.  However, Ron Wilson is a bit crazy, so you never know.

Niklas Backstrom picked up his sixth shutout of the season last night.  He now is sporting a very spiffy 2.26 GAA and a .925 SV%.  He's as good as they come between the pipes.

Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):

Streit Mark Streit left Tuesday's game early and is out with a UBI... no word on the extent but it doesn't appear too serious as he traveled with the team for their game in Florida tonight.... either that or he just really has a fixin for the dog track?

Owen Nolan missed last night's game with muscle spasms which could be back spasms, perhaps?  Team says its not serious so he's only out day-to-day.

TJ Oshie missed Tuesday's game with a LBI which could be related to the ankle injury which put him on the shelf for 24 games earlier this season.  He's listed as day-to-day but this doesn't make you feel good.

Braydon Coburn didn't suit up for the Flyers last night because of the flu.  Man that is one nasty bug as he missed Saturday's game as well. We'll assume he'll get over his flu in enough time for his next game on Saturday.  Coburn must have been sharing the wealth cause Mike Richards and Scotty Upshall missed last night's game with influenza as well.  

Smith, mike Speaking of Saturday returns, it's looking like Mike Smith will be coming off the IR and will be between the pipes for the Bolts.  That's good news for Smith owners, but even better news for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Rod Brind'Amour might be implementing a new strategy to slow down his plummeting plus minus (now at minus-30).  Brindy will be missing the 'Canes next two games...against the Sharks and the Coyotes.  Paul Maurice said it's because of a lower body muscular injury but we know the truth.

Phoenix activated Viktor Tikhonov from the injured list and sent him down to the AHL.  Not sure what they'll do without the 3 goals he's contributed this year.

Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Henrik Zetterberg and Jeremy Williams.

Distraction of the Day      

What's distracting us today?  We always like to give you a heads up when the NHL has a famous fan.  We're not really sure this guy is famous but he's cool so we'll take it.  He's definitely a better fan to have in our ranks than this one.

He's a pro skate boarder.  He's in a hardcore (Revolution Mother) and a punk rock (Mike V and the Rats) band.  He sang for Black Flag for a short time.  He was even one of the skaters in the video game 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater'.  If that's wasn't enough he's also a big Anaheim Ducks fan. 

Take a look at Mike Vallely talking up the Ducks and taking us through his top 10 tough guys in the league: