Spezza firing... Hiller steals... Pommer's habit... skeptical of a boost for Kovy... thoughts on Hitchy's firing... its a shame about Ray... NBC goes retro (or just old)
Jason Spezza is really feeling it, with two goals last night he extended his scoring streak to seven games... he has eight goals and 30 shots during the streak for an average of 4.3 shots/game whereas before the streak he had three goals and 70 shots in 28 games for an average of 2.5 shots/game... hmmm.
Two goals last night for David Backes gives him 4+9=13 in his last 14 games, he's been laying off the fighting and the PIMs lately (zero in his last five games) but we'll excuse him as long as the points are flowing.
A hat-trick last night for Curtis Glencross but don't go thinking that he's ready to bust out... before last night he had one goal in his last 15 games and is still on pace for a sub 40 point season. He was playing on the 4th line last night (see FantasyHockey911).
Jonas Hiller stole another one for the Ducks as he stopped 46 of 47 to beat the Wings... he's rhymed of 11 wins in his last 14 games and has only given up two goals in the three games since he signed his big fat extension. He's pushed his sv% up to the .920 level, which is just about his career average and everything he's doing is even more impressive as the Ducks haven't been very good defensively, allowing the 3rd most shots in the league (33.0 /game).
Jason Pominville is on a nice run lately (playing with Connolly has certainly helped) with 4+7=11 and 31 shots in his last nine games... he's producing a little behind his typical pace but we like this guy to put up some nice numbers the rest of the way as he has a habit of finishing strong.
The Thrashers have told Ilya Kovalchuk to expect a trade... what?... were they afraid that he was going to be caught off guard by this??? Now, we're not positive that a trade is going to mean a fantasy boost for Kovy as while he'll probably be playing with some more talent, the ThrashCans are a pretty free-wheeling offensive team (6th in the league in goals) and he's enjoyed a lot of success playing in a weak Southeast Division (1.17 ppg against the division vs .97 ppg against everyone else over his career)... but let's wait and see where he ends up (we'd bet on LA).
Michael Ryder is, apparently, on the trading block... we're not sure why any GM (real or fantasy) would go anywhere near this guy but I guess it's feasible that he could stumble upon some motivation and start potting some goals... let somebody else deal with this mess.
So the CBJs finally canned Ken Hitchcock... finally (oh, we already said that, oops)... its about time as they should have done this months ago. We give Hitchy a hard time cause he one of the least fantasy-friendly coaches out there (ranked 26th in our latest Coach Rankings) but rather surprisingly it wasn't the offense that was the problem this year as they were higher than usual at 20th in the league in goals and 7th in PP%... it was the defense that let him down as they were 27th in goals against and dead last in ES +/-. So what to expect from the CBJs going forward?... well we don't know too much about interim coach Claude Noel, other than he was a pretty successful AHL coach in Milwaukee, but you'd have to guess that some of the younger kids like Brassard and Voracek (and eventually Filatov) will be given bigger roles under the new regime. We wouldn't expect Steve Mason to turn it around as dude just looks lost this year.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Ray Emery couldn't go last night due to a groin injury... its only listed as a day-to-day thing but this is a guy who missed 17 games in December/January with abdominal issues so you may want to get a little nervous if you're a Ray-Ray owner.
Cody Franson has a broken rib and will be out for at least two weeks.
Antti Niemi was supposed to start last night for the Hawks but he came down with a nasty case of the flu and wasn't even able to backup Huet.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Joe Corvo, Dave Bolland and Carlo Colaiacovo.
What's distracting us today? Ok we're officially pumped for this weekend's big tilt:
(stick tap to Puck Daddy... cause we definitely don't visit NBC's site often)
(If the clip is of something different, its because NBC blows, check it out on Puck Daddy)
We're not sure how... but this has to be Bettman's fault.