Burrows starting his surge... Neuvirth worth a look... Mason and Pavelec worth a drop... Satan & Bishop both get the call... Pietrangelo back to the O... Kunitz out 4-6... WJC highlites
Alex Burrows with the hattie last night and he's been stuffing the stat sheet lately as he has 4+4=8, plus-7, 8 PIMs and 18 shots in his last seven games. This guy has picked up his play in the 2nd half the past two seasons so we'll be hoping for more of the same this year.
Patrick Kane extended his point streak with a goal last night and he's up to #5, with a bullet, in the scoring charts after putting up 8+7=15 during the nine game streak.
We talked a while back about Patric Hornqvist and how his shots (on pace for 240) were starting to go in, well he's up to 8+4=12 in his last 11 games and he could be turning this into a breakout season as he's on pace for 27 goals right now.
Michal Neuvirth has started six of the past seven for the Caps and expect that to continue for a bit as Varlamov is a week or two away from returning. Neuvirth won again last night and that makes him 4-2 with a 2.35 & .918 sv% in his last six and outside of a rough outing in San Jose, he's allowed two or less goals in five of those six games.
Another howler last night for Steve Mason as the kid gave up six goals on 17 shots before getting pulled in the 2nd period... in 33 games this season, Mason has 11 wins and has also given up four or more goals on 11 occasions... so when considering the risk vs reward of putting this guy in your lineup, the risk is winning out, big-time.
Speaking of goalies shitting themselves, Ondrej Pavelec is giving Atlanta some serious ECHL level goaltending right now and that might be an insult to goalies in the E... he's had a gaa in excess of 4.00 in each of his last eight games and his averages are out of this world: 5.58 gaa & .857 sv%... don't let this guy go anywhere near your lineup right now.
The Bruins wanted to give Miroslav Satan more time to get into shape but were forced to throw him right into the lineup last night. He played 14 minutes on the 2nd line, so if you're a Satan-worshiper then go ahead and get him in there... we won't be going anywhere near this guy.
Blake Wheeler is a guy for the Bruins that we usually come away impressed with when we catch a game and so we're just waiting for this guy to put it together and bust out... could this be the start?... with 2+1=3 last night he's had 3+4=7 and a plus-6 in his last six games.
The Blues have called up goalie Ben Bishop from the AHL and while neither of Chris Mason or Ty Conklin is hurt (as far as we know), both have been struggling lately so look for new coach Davis Payne to give his guy some starts to see if he can spark the team... should be an interesting situation to watch, Bishop is 12-6-2 with a 2.60 gaa & .906 sv% this year and he's been very hot over the past month or so.
Reports say that the Blues are sending dman Alex Pietrangelo back to junior for the remainder of the season. It's confusing to me why they waited so long to do this... keeping a 19-year old dman up in the NHL for half the season and only playing him in nine games is bizarre, but the kid showed at the WJCs that it hasn't hurt his development as he was named the tournament's top dman.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Chris Kunitz had abdominal surgery yesterday and that will keep him on the shelf for 4-6 weeks.
Cam Barker missed last night's game with a UBI, he's day-to-day.
Owen Nolan also missed last night's game with a leg injury, his is just a day-to-day thing as well.
Patrice Bergeron's diagnosis wasn't as bad as some expected, he has a broken thumb but should be able to return in 2-3 weeks.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Ryan Getzlaf and Dion Phaneuf.
What's distracting us today? Classic WJC finale last night... crazy game that had it all as both goalies were pulled and Canada had a furious comeback with some heroics by Jordan Eberle before the US takes it in OT... extended highlights below for those that missed it (shame on you):