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Daily Dosage - Mar. 18, 2009

Daily Diarrhea

Malkin Geno Malkin was questionable for last night's game with the flu but sucked it up and only managed five points, ho-hum... damn, infect me with whatever virus he's got cause that must be the good stuff.  This means that Geno is the first player to crack the 100 point barrier this year and gives him a 10 point lead over Sidney Crosby in the Art Ross race.  

Ryan Kesler hit the 50 point plateau last night and that means his breakout is official in our eyes.  This scout went out a grabbed him last night right before another scout named him our "Pick Up of the Week".  Kesler's a great add right now with 12 points in his last 9 games and he's firmly entrenched on the Sundin line and the #1 PP unit... and don't overlook the fact that the Canucks play four games in each of the next two weeks.

Four point night last night for Kyle Turris and maybe Wayne has started to figure out what to do with his young players... PLAY THEM!  Turris is finally getting some decent ice-time and playing on a scoring line (with Doan and Mueller) and hopefully can have a confidence building end to the season.

We've been waiting for a Jonathan Cheechoo revival all season and although we're not convinced this will last Cheech did play on the 1st line & #1 PP unit with Thornton and Marleau last night and managed two assists in 18 minutes of ice (which is more than he's played in a long time)... so keep an eye on this situation as it could help you down the stretch and in a playoff pool.

Backes Another goal for David Backes last night gives him 6+4=10 in his last seven games and although we've been promoting him as a good points and PIMs option (he's on pace for 179 PIMs) he's showing that he's a decent option in points-only leagues as well as he plays on the 1st line and #1 PP unit in St. Louis. 

One of Backes' linemates, Brad Boyes, is also one to get into your lineup these days as he's on of his notorious hot streaks.  Remember that Boyes points come in bunches, he had a 13 in eight run in early February followed by a one in eight slump and is currently on a nine points in seven games hot streak.

Here's a fun exercise... try to name anyone on Tampa's defense-core.  Time's up... well you should have at least got Cory Murphy as we've been talking him up for a while but don't feel bad as GM Brian Lawton only got 3 out of 6....check out the rest of these clowns... Krajicek, Welch, Smaby, Lashoff and Petiot. Bonus points if you can name any of the dmen on Tampa's opening night roster... Carle, Meszaros, Heward, Niskala, O'Brien and Mihalik.  Oh yeah and Koules and The Gang have this all under control... right. 

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

Richards_B Brad Richards is back practicing and looks to be ahead of schedule to return from his broken wrist.  The original timetable had him out until April but it looks like a return sometime next week is in the cards. 

Tomas Holmstrom missed last night's game with a knee injury... he says its just a strain and that its a day-to-day thing... Homer is pretty much day-to-day permanently.

Ruslan Salei missed last night's game with a foot injury, either that or he's got a little Irish in him and was out consuming vats of green beer... either way he's day-to-day.

Zach Bogosian left last night's game in the 2nd period with a leg injury... no word on the extent yet.

Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Jere Lehtinen, Bryan McCabe and Guilliaume Latendresse.

Distraction of the Day 

What's distracting us today?  We're all about the breakouts here at FHS so today we thought it would be nice to take a more in depth look at Steve Mason...one of the biggest breakouts of the season.

Check out his numbers in junior (thanks to HockeyDB)

RS Scoring RS Goalie Stats PO Scoring
Season Team Lge GP A PIM Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct GP A PIM
2005-06 London Knights OHL 12 1 0 497 22 0 0 2.66 5 3 0 299 0.931 4 1 0
2006-07 London Knights OHL 62 8 16 3733 199 5 2 3.20 45 13 4 2123 0.914 16 3 2
2007-08 London Knights OHL 26 2 4 1569 73 1 2 2.79 19 4 3 800 0.916 - - -
2007-08 Kitchener Rangers OHL 16 1 0 961 33 2 1 2.06 13 3 0 357 0.915 5 2 2
2008-09 Syracuse Crunch* AHL 3 0 0 184 5 0 0 1.63 2 1 0 74 0.937

So our lesson today kids is never give up.  Look at those average numbers with the Knights and now he's Top 10 in the NHL in wins, gaa, sv% and first in shutouts.

If that's not enough Mason-love for you he also seems like a nice guy:

Imagine how much we would love him if we were lucky enough to have picked him up in a fantasy league.