Deuces for Ryan & Rene... should the Pens be worried?... two surprise starters, one surprise result... lowering expectations on Schroeder... Samuelsson out 2-3... Trottier talks dirty
Two goals last night for Bobby Ryan and that's 6+5=11 with 38 shots in his last 10 games... although his 2nd season isn't really getting the hype that his rookie season did, he's having a very similar year production wise and will likely finish in the 35 goal and 65 point range with around 90 PIMs and 250+ shots... all numbers that we'd take on our fantasy team any day, especially from a guy that just turned 23 yesterday.
It was also a two goal night for another one of our favourites as Rene Bourque has a new career high with 22 goals and reached the 50 point breakout barrier last night. He had been pointless in his prior three games but does have 4+5=9, 10 PIMs and 28 shots in his last eight games.
Milan Hejduk has goals in three straight and 5+1=6 and a plus-6 in his last six games... he's doing his part on a dynamite line with Duchene and Mueller lately.
So when do the Penguins start to get worried about their goaltending?... MA Fleury gave up four goals on 13 shots before being pulled last night and he hasn't looked very good over the past month with 4-3-3, 3.24 & .891 numbers over his last 11 games. How's this for some inconsistency, Fleury doesn't have a shutout this year but he has 14 wins where he only allowed one goal but also 15 games in which he allowed four or more goals.
Vesa Toskala was a bit of a surprise starter for the Flames and he came through with 32 saves to beat the Avs in Denver. In three appearances for the Flames he has two wins, a 1.53 gaa & .944 sv%.... wowzers, didn't see that coming.
Even more of surprise was that Corey Crawford got the start for the Hawks after just being called up as a replacement for the flu-infused Cristobal Huet. Crawford wasn't bad, giving up three goals on 35 shots although he gave up a bad one when he wandered too far out of his crease. We wouldn't be holding out hope that Crawford is the answer to the Hawks goalie problems as he hasn't had a very good season in the AHL and has been particularly awful over the past month. Antti Niemi will go tonight.
The Canucks have signed their 2009 1st round pick, Jordan Schroeder, to an entry level deal... he'll join Manitoba shortly and will try to impress down there. The kid had a great freshman season with 45 points in 35 games last year at Minnesota and we were very bullish on his fantasy prospects (he was our #3 ranked fantasy prospect in our 2009 fantasy draft rankings) but this year he took a major step backwards (9+19=28 in 37 games) and he now has us puzzled as to which Jordan Schroeder will show up in the pros. If you own him, then we wouldn't bail yet but we would lower your expectations.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Mikael Samuelsson has picked up a shoulder injury and it's expected to keep him out for 2-3 weeks... bad timing here as he's been red hot lately with nine goals in nine games since the Olympic break. We'd expect to see Burrows back up on the top line with the Sedin's for the next little while.
Brent Seabrook left last night's game with an apparent concussion after he was hammered by James Wisniewski (who could/should draw a suspension)... we'll see how he feels today. Seabrook already had a concussion earlier in the year that kept him out of a couple of games.
Paul Martin has recovered from his broken arm and played his first game since October last night... this guy's a 30 point dman so he could be a nice add if he's on your waiver wire but he's not typically one of our favourites as he just doesn't give us enough other than assists and some PPP.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Teemu Selanne and Marian Hossa.
What's distracting us today? Not much out there... come on interweb, do your thing.
We did see this video of the Canucks playing pick-up football in what appears to be a vacant lot (h/t to the Kurtenblog):
Yawn. We pride ourselves on giving you more entertainment than watching a bunch of guys drop a football... so it's time we bring out the big guns.
We've posted this video before, but it's our all-time number one YouTube clip, seriously. Stevens meet Bellows, Bellows meet Stevens (very NSFW):