Not impressed by Kovalchuk deal... streaks abound in Ottawa... random randomness... Tom Poti's incredible stat... Harding's unreal hip shattering save... Donny Wads spins
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So the Ilya Kovalchuk deal went down (surely you've seen the details everywhere else) and while we won't get into the analysis of the deal (other than saying that we're not sure how Don Waddell is still employed), lets take a look at the fantasy impact... Ummm, this should be quick, take a look at what we said yesterday regarding Kovy not getting a boost from a trade and then add to the fact that he'll be playing for the trap-master Jackie Lemaire and we'd be selling on Kovy. In addition, we don't see any of the guys going to Atlanta getting boosts as they're just not that good.
Streaks all-round in Ottawa as the Sens won their 11th in a row, Brian Elliott won his ninth in a row and he's allowed two or fewer goals in each of those nine and Jason Spezza potted another and has goals in eight straight.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 45 of 47 for the second consecutive game... both wins... this guy just keeps getting better.
Big fantasy night for Olli Jokinen in his 2nd game with the Rangers as he was 1+1=2 with six PIMs and seven shots... maybe he can get back to his statsheet-stuffing days like with Florida.
Steve Mason stopped 22 of 23 shots last night to beat the Stars and had the shutout going through 59 minutes in his first game with a new coach... not sure if its just random or if he's glad to have Ken Hitchcock out of his hair.
Semi-random four point nights for Vinny Prospal, Jason Arnott and Jack Johnson. Prospal had 2+2=4 but only has points in five of 13 since returning from a knee injury (although four of those five were multi-pointers). Arnott only had three points in his previous nine games so his 1+3=4 came from out of nowhere. Johnson only had two points in his last nine coming in but his 1+3=4 gets him up to 24 points on the year and he's on pace for a 34 point breakout season in our eyes (just watch out for the plus/minus as its an ugly minus-17).
Definitely not random was 1+4=5 from Nicklas Backstrom... he has 3+10=13, a plus-9 and 24 shots during a six game point streak and he is turning in a stellar fantasy season as he's really looked for his own shot more this year (on pace for 34 goals and 220+ shots).
Tom Poti's been seeing a lot of PP time the past few games with Mike Green suspended and he has 1+3=4 in his last three games and while that can't last, check this out... Poti's a plus-18 in 17 games since January 1st... bizonkers.
Jason Demers has 2+3=5 with four PPP in his last four games... he's handling PP duties and filling a hole on D while Dan Boyle is out but Boyle should return soon and Demers will probably head back to the AHL.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Josh Harding has been battling with a hip injury over the last little while and he was able to start last night and made this unbelievable save but it nearly killed him, he had to leave the game and he'll be re-evaluated in the next few days.
Mike Modano's 39-year old knee is giving him problems, so he sat out last night's game.
Erik Karlsson left last night's game with a UBI, no word on the extent.
Petr Sykora doesn't have a team and now he's out for the rest of the year after having surgery to repair ripped abs (yes, that's correct)... so it's probably safe to drop him for the rest of his life.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Jaroslav Spacek.
What's distracting us today? Kovalchuk. Wow. Well done Devils. Sucks to be a Thrashers fan now. Actually that should say 'sucks even more to be a Thrashers fan now'.
Did you see the open letter GM Don Waddell wrote to the fans?
"...we offered Kovy several lucrative packages in an effort to meet his financial objectives. One offer that we extended to Ilya would have made him the highest paid NHL player on a per year average with $10 million per year for seven years. Another offer totaled $101 million over 12 years, and it, combined with the previous contractual commitments that were made to Kovy, would have earned him more money than any other NHL player in the history of the league.
If we had met Kovy’s ultimate demand, we would have jeopardized our ability to build a competitive team around him and retain our other young players as they became eligible for new contracts in the seasons ahead. At the end of the day, we couldn’t close that gap and simply reached a point at which we couldn’t reasonably go any higher" - Don Waddell
Do you think he sounds a little bitter? We have to agree with Wadds on this one though, you can't hope to compete in the NHL if you're throwing 20% of your payroll to one player.
You'll always have the memories Thrashers fans... remember that one time you made the playoffs? That was sweet.