The JLE inflicts Parise... Steen up and EJ down... not convinced re: Pouliot & Gomez... Gagner & Salo = cheap eats... Instructional: How to Spot a Dive
Could we be seeing the Jacques Lemaire Effect finally starting to impact Zach Parise? He came charging out of the gate this year with 29 points in his first 23 games but he's cooled off with 19 in his last 25 and has gotten pretty chilly with only 3+3=6 in his last 11 games. Shouldn't come as a big surprise as Lemaire's Devils are 19th in the league in goals scored and in his last 12 seasons behind the bench, he's only had two players break the 70 point barrier (Gaborik & Rolston each did it once).
We initially thought that Alex Steen's role might get minimized under new coach Davis Payne but it has actually increased as he has 4+3=7 in nine games under the new coach while averaging around 17 to 18 minutes a night. The Blues have a pretty full schedule for the next few weeks so give The Steen-Engine a look.
One guy on the Blues who still can't get out of the funk is Erik Johnson as the young dman is 0+4=4 in his last 20 games. The only positive is that he's picked up his physical play with 37 PIMs over his last 20.
Benoit Pouliot remained hot with two goals last night and that gives him 8+1=9 in his last 11 games. We've been saying that this can't continue as his shots are going in 26% of the time but he fired a season high seven shots on net last night and if he can continue doing that then maybe he can keep this run going... we're still skeptical.
The assists keep coming for Scotty Gomez as he has 2+13=15 in his last 13 games... this scout considered picking him up recently but he's really only contributing in one category, assists, as everything else is subpar. Wtf happened to his shots??? He's on pace for 152 this year from a guy who's averaged over 250 in the four seasons since the lockout.
There's been a lot of talk about Henrik Sedin lately, and deservedly so as he leads the Art Ross race but did you realize that he's scoring at 2.0 ppg over his last 13... 6+20=26... bizonkers. Not surprisingly, Hank's brother Danny is tagging along and has 6+16=22 in his last 13.
Alex Burrows extended his point streak to nine games with another goal last night and he's been nothing short of fantasy gold lately with 12+2=14, plus-9, 28 PIMs and 29 sog in his last nine.
Sami Salo is playing well with 2+5=7 and a plus-8 in his last six games, just watch out for his next injury, its right around the corner.
Nothing earth-shattering but Sam Gagner has 2+5=7 with 35 shots in his last nine games... so he's shooting the puck a lot more than he ever has and lets hope he can put together a 2nd half like he did two seasons ago.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
No new injuries to report last night... that's a first.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Stephen Weiss and Steve Bernier.
What's distracting us today? We're on such a roll ranting about the referees and how video replay sucks that we figured we'd keep going... another of our big beefs is that the refs seem to have forgotten what a dive is. When was the last time, other than Stephane Auger on Burrows, that you saw a ref call a penalty for diving??? Its become such a rarity that you're more likely to see Halley's Comet then a diving call these days... and don't try to tell us that there's no diving any more cause that's just fibbin'.
So given that, we'd like to share this little instructional video with everyone (especially refs who may be reading... yeah, that means you Kerry):
btw, I think the guy not talking in the video is Alex Kovalev... or at least it looks like him.