Backlund helping... eyes on Couture... check Byfuglien's position... Omark coming... RJ knows... Mueller hurt... time to rub or get rubbed
Mikael Backlund added another assist yesterday and the Flames rookie now has a four game assist streak going with five in total. We're not too high on this kid as his production has never lived up to the hype but chipping in on the scoresheet during a critical time in the season is encouraging.
We've been watching Logan Couture pretty closely lately, mostly with an eye on next year... we thought that when Thornton returned that Couture could be bumped from the top 6 but he hung in there last night and played most of the game on the 2nd line with Pavelski & Clowe. In the past 10 games he's seeing a regular shift playing between 11 & 15 minutes a game, without much PP time, and has 3+2=5 in his last nine games.
Chris Osgood got his first start in over two months yesterday and it showed as he was beaten early (17 seconds in) and often (four times on 25 shots) and took the loss. In case you needed any more reason to like Jimmy Howard, this is it.
Dustin Byfuglien has been lining up on defense lately with all the injuries in Chicago and he potted a goal last night. Likely his eligibility isn't going to change from forward this season but check out how position eligibility is determined for your playoff pool or for your league next year as likely he'll be back at forward shortly and you may be able to exploit this.
Reports have the Oilers signing their 2007 4th rounder, Linus Omark, to an ELC... same Omark that was the a youtube sensation after this goal. Omark finished third in SEL scoring in 2008/09 (as a 21-year old) before moving to the KHL this year where he was third on Dynamo Moscow in scoring (behind Weinhandl & Hudler) with 20+16=36 in 56 games. While he's only a small dude, listed at 5'9", but putting up the numbers that he has, we'd think that he can jump right in and put up some modest numbers in the NHL, say 40-50 points, right away.
Apparently, RJ Umberger is angling to have a analyst job during the post-season (since he won't be participating) as he knows what it takes to succeed in the playoffs and he doesn't think the Caps have it. He even goes as far as to say, "They play the wrong way"... wait, what!?! This is the most exciting team in the league, by far, and while that may not win them Cups, give it up you Hitchcock-puppet, nobody cares what you think.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Big game for the Avs last night and Peter Mueller came through big-time with 2+1=3 and now has 5+4=9 in his last six games. Mueller got taken into the boards from behind by Rob Blake late in the game and was helped off the ice, no word on the injury or the extent yet.
Joe Thornton returned last night after missing three games with his ankle injury... he looks to be fine as he recorded two assists and should be well rested for another choke-job once the playoffs start.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Dan Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson.
What's distracting us today? Distracting us... today? Are you kidding? We've been frantically refreshing our browsers to see if we won in the playoffs (in our H2H leagues). Some of our teams made it through, others weren't as lucky.
So if you're a winner... then maybe rub a little salt in your fellow leaguemate's wounds and send him this clip: