O'Reilly, O'Realy?... Clarkson on pace for Backes-esque season... appreciating Jason Blake (for real)... a Green scare... using Stanley to sell GICs
Lets say it again, we don't know where the offense from Avs rookie Ryan O'Reilly is coming from but I guess we should stop hating and start embracing it as the kid doesn't look like he's slowing down. Two more goals (and six shots in 20 minutes) last night gives him 3+7=10 & a plus-10 in his last 10 games.
Not a strong showing for Antti Niemi last night as he gave up three goals on eight shots through the first two periods and then took the OT loss to Colorado... that's not inspiring a lot of confidence.
Another productive outing for David Clarkson last night as he had a PP assist, seven PIMs and six sogs. Although we're not fully convinced that he's for real, he's turning himself into this year's version of David Backes & Alex Burrows, two guys who helped a lot of fantasy GMs win their league's last year. Clarkson is currently on pace for around 60 points with 150+ PIMs and 200+ shots.
Brian Pothier stepped in for the injured Mike Green (see below) last night and put up 1+2=3 in 25 minutes of action. He's been a productive player at times in the past but don't bother with this guy as he only managed one point in the 13 games prior to last night.
Jason Blake did his best Phil Kessel impression by firing eight shots on goal last night but he did manage a goal (plus an assist) and that gives him 1+6=7 in his last six games. Despite hating this guy and finding him very difficult to look at, we can appreciate Blake as a fantasy contributor as he should top 300 shots for the fifth straight season and will probably come in around 60 points... which makes him pretty useful on a lot of fantasy teams.
Jonas Gustavsson was very solid for the Leafs in stopping 34 of 36 to get the win and run his streak to five straight starts without a regulation loss. We'll say this again, if for some reason you're a Toskala owner, replace him with Gustavsson, the Leafs already have.
Cory Schneider got the call for the Canucks last night and kept them in the game with 39 saves on 40 shots through the first two periods but ended up losing after giving up two goals on 47 shots overall. Tough break for the kid and how is this fair... Schneider's faced 45.4 shots per 60 minutes in his appearances this year whereas Andrew Raycroft has only faced 25.2 in his appearances... Razor must be buying his teammates more lapdances on the road trips.
We mentioned Mason Raymond the other day as a player that's been impressing us with his play and now he's starting to be rewarded with some production. He scored last night and now has 4+2=6 in his last five games and his ice-time has really ramped up over his past 10 games (he played 22 minutes last night).
Kevin Bieksa has been seeing some action at forward lately as the Canucks have more D than they know what to do with and a number of injuries up front. We're not telling you this cause we expect him to turn into the next Tony Tanti but more as a FYI. He did manage an assist and five shots last night.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Mike Green left last night's Caps game with a UBI but it doesn't appear to be serious as he said after the game that he wants to play tonight... he'll be re-evaluated today but it sounds like a day-to-day thing.
James Neal missed last night's game due to a groin injury... this could keep him out another game or two but it doesn't sound like a long-term thing either.
Dave Bolland missed last night's game with a sore back... he's been dealing with back problems for over a year now and occasionally it keeps him out of the lineup, not sure if it's getting worse or if he just wanted to rest it.
JM Liles missed seven games earlier this year with a shoulder injury and now he left last night's game with a shoulder injury... no word if its the same shoulder or same injury... but be warned.
Patrik Elias got into his first game of the year after recovering from pre-season groin surgery. Pat is one of this scout's favourites as, despite being a little brittle, he's very consistent and, dare we say, even reliable. Over the past 10 seasons he's averaged 66 points a year and his lowest total was 45 points in 2005/06 (which he managed in only 38 games). He's never been a minus player over those 10 years and is a very good bet to top 250 shots.
Also returning to action from the injured list last night was: Tuomo Ruutu.
What's distracting us today? Random links...
Ummm.... how about the fact the NHL is whoring out the Stanley Cup? Does this bother anybody else or is it just us?
Bored this weekend? Maybe you should go and purchase the official Hockey Hall of Fame Board Game. It's just like the HHOF but without all the good parts.
How about this very creepy Craigslist post courtesy of the guys at Flyers Goal Scored By. Classic.
Finally, we'll post another Bloge Salming video up in this space. What can we say, we love these guys: