Higher frequency for Harding... Spezza scoring... Elliott & Ward extend runs... Steve Mason extends his misery... Erik Johnson misses... one for you nostalgia buffs (circa 1991)
HEADS UP: Our weekly 'Fantasy Five' article is available for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure) over at HockeyDraft.ca.
M'sota's Josh Harding has been used a little more frequently lately, partly cause Nik Backstrom's back is acting up and partly cause he's been playing really well... he stopped 29 shots last night to record the shutout over Colorado and he's 3-1-0 with a 0.97 gaa & .970 sv% in his last six appearances.
Jason Spezza has goals in all three games since returning from injury and while this is a good sign, the dude's still having a brutal year and we don't think he's out of the woods yet.
Brian Elliott's streak continued as he stopped 30 of 31 to pick up his sixth straight win and has only given up six goals during the run. We think Elliott's fine play could be turning into an issue for Pascal Leclaire... more in Crease Conflicts later today.
Yes, we're mentioning Cam Ward again as he stopped all but one of the 27 shots he faced to pick up another win and he's on a real roll having won four of his last five and seven of his last 11 while only giving up more than three goals in one of those 11... start him with confidence... well, actually their next game is against Chicago so we'd be a little concerned about that one.
We've got a soft spot for Joe Pavelski after he was our #1 breakout candidate in the Bible last year and while this year hasn't quite been going as well, he has shown flashes that remind us of why we love this guy... right now is one of the those flashes as he had two goals last night and has 5+6=11 in his last six games.
Troy Brouwer had two big goals, including the OT winner, in the Hawks clash of the titans with the Sharks last night. Brouwer hasn't been lighting it up but these goals give him 5+2=7 in his last seven games and he continues to see a lot of time on the top line with Toews & Kane and the #1 PP unit, so he's a useful guy as long as that lasts.
Steve Mason got shelled again last night as he gave up four goals on 18 shots to take the loss... its pretty unreal actually as the kid has given up four or more goals in 14 of his 40 games this year... so one in every three games, he gets worked.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Erik Johnson took the pre-game skate last night but was held out of the game with a UBI... it doesn't sound like anything serious... what is serious is the fact that this dude only has three points in his past 22 games... yikes.
Tyler Kennedy missed last night's game with an undisclosed injury and no word has been given on the extent.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin.
What's distracting us today? A good read from Zambonic Youth that will take you back to a time when Damien Cox still had hair, Alan Bester was a cult hero and cassingles were blowin up your ghetto blaster... great for you nostalgia buffs.