J-Vo in the flow... big year for Clowe... we'd sell high on Kulemin... an argument against Howard not winning Calder... Rob Blake out... hockey cards + alcohol = drunk & lame
The points keep flowing for Jake Voracek as he had 2+1=3 last night and that brings him up to 49 points on the year (on the cusp of a breakout in our eyes) and he's been cruising since Hitchcock left with 8+13=21 in 17 games.
One of the more under-reported stories this year in fantasy circles has to be Ryane Clowe as the dude has managed to stay healthy and is having a helluva season. After having major injury problems during his first three NHL seasons, he was fairly healthy last year playing in 71 games but he's proven very durable this year as he hasn't missed a game yet. His numbers this year are excellent: 19+34=53 with 110 PIMs and 170 shots and they'll look even better if he can keep the recent hot streak going (4+6=10 with 16 PIMs in his last 10 games).
Big fantasy night for Erik Johnson with a PPG, seven PIMs and five sogs and while he's been pretty inconsistent this year, he's putting the cap on a solid season with a strong finish, 2+3=5, 15 PIMs and 18 sog in his last seven games.
With a goal last night, Ilya Kovalchuk has 3+5=8 in his last four games and may finally be finding a groove with the Devils heading into the playoffs.
It's been a nice stretch recently for Nik Kulemin with 5+9=14 in his last 12 games and while he could be useful to you in the short-term (and we do like his game), we'd sell high on this guy in keeper leagues, see if you can find a Leafs fan willing to overpay based on his current form. Even during his recent run on the 1st line, he's not contributing enough in plus/minus, PIMs, PPP or shots to be a valuable fantasy player in our opinion.
Brian Boucher stopped 32 of 33 to pick up only his sixth win this year versus 18 losses. The Flyers keep trying to give the starting job to someone else but those guys always end up hurt and they have no choice but to keep coming back to Boucher. Throw him in there if you're desperate for starts and have a large supply of TUMS handy.
Despite giving up three goals on 10 shots and getting pulled in the first period yesterday, Jose Theodore kept his lossless streak alive as the Caps came back to make it respectable and Jose ended up with the "no decision". He can't seem to lose lately despite not playing that great (2.99 & .910 over his past six) as he's now 17-0-2 in his last 20 games.
Read a pretty ridiculous statement on another site stating that Jimmy Howard should not win the Calder because he's just benefiting from playing on a strong Red Wings team. Whether or not he wins it, who knows but this Red Wings team is a far stretch from their previous powerhouse teams... last year they led the league with 3.52 goals per game, this year they're 14th at 2.69, last year they were 2nd in the league by only allowing 27.7 shots per game, this year they're 14th at 29.9 and last year they were 4th in the league with a 1.20 5on5 plus/minus but this year they're 23rd at .92... all signs that this is not the same Red Wings squad as year's past and the only reason that these guys are even in playoff contention is Howard. And if Steve Mason was a worthy winner last year then why shouldn't Howard win it since his numbers are even better than Mason's were last year (outside of shutouts) while Howard faces a lot more rubber?
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Rob Blake sat out last night's game with an undisclosed injury, not sure on the extent... too bad as he had been playing well lately with 1+5=6 in his last three games.
James van Riemsdyk picked up a knee injury on Saturday and it kept him out of Sunday's game. He doesn't have a point in his last 14 so you may not have even noticed that he was missing... he's listed as day-to-day.
Brendan Morrison missed yesterday's game due to a leg injury, he's listed as day-to-day.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Peter Mueller and Matt Carle.
What's distracting us today? A couple of web shows that we thought you might be interested in...
You might have seen YouTube videos featuring people opening up packs of hockey cards. It's pretty much the most boring thing imaginable. But (like most things in life) if you add alcohol to the equation things get more entertaining. Check out the Hockey Card Show featuring Justin and Darren (Dink) talking hockey, eating 20-year old gum and gettin' drunk:
You might want to also check out Beer League Hockey aka The Ramsay Downholers. As their site says: "Beer league hockey isn't about the hockey. It's about the room. Guys who play will understand. Those who don't, will try." Check out the trailer and you'll get the idea: