Backstrom better than good... C-Mason on fire... Penner with a barbell season... lots of injury news... Bushkorn & Salming make gold
HEADS UP: Our 2010 Playoff Pool Guide is in the works and will be out by April 12th, at the latest... so come back soon to grab it (only $4.00), as we all could use a second opinion on our picks.
One of the more under-reported fantasy stories this year is just how good Nicklas Backstrom has been... dude's having a fricken unreal season. Last year he was pretty much only a stud in assists and PPP, but he's gonna set career highs in pretty much all categories this year and is shooting the puck more (on pace for 219 shots), scoring more (on pace for for 32 goals) and chipping in with a few PIMs (50 already). He sits fourth in league scoring, 11 points back of Henrik Sedin, but we have him at #4 on our top fantasy player's list as he's giving you more in categories like PPP & shots than Hank is.
Chris Mason won last night for the fifth time in the last six games and he's pretty much been the hottest goalie over the past two weeks with a 1.49 gaa & .948 sv% as he's keeping the Blues wafer-thin playoff hopes alive.
With an assist last night Jake Voracek hit the 50 point breakout barrier this year but we're really expecting him to take off next year... he's had 8+14=22 in 21 games since Hitchcock was fired.
If you're desperate for some help on LW (this scout is) then grab Andy McDonald, he's 2+2=4 in his last three games and the Blues play three more times this week.
Overall this has been a fine breakout season for Dustin Penner, with two goals last night he's reached 31 goals and 60 points but its been a real barbell-shaped season, heavy at both ends without a lot in the middle. 19 points in his first 13 games and 12 points in his last 13 games leaves only 29 points in 53 games for the meat portion of the schedule... baby steps, I guess.
The Wild threw recently signed college free agent Nate Prosser into the fire last night and he emerged with an assist and four PIMs in his NHL debut. He put up 28 points in 39 games as a senior at Colorado College this year but we wouldn't get too excited as his numbers indicate that he's a longshot to be a fantasy contributor.
... although Tom Gilbert was also a longshot and he's doing pretty well for himself... he's not going to come close to the 45 points he had last year but if he continues his current pace then he might hit 30... he added two more assists last night and now has 2+8=10 in his last eight games.
The Canucks have signed 22-year old Swedish goalie Eddie Lack (doesn't sound Swedish?)... he's been Jacob Markstrom's back-up in Brynas this past year, which was his first in the SEL after a few solid years in the Allsvenskan. This is just a depth move, we'll see how he does in the AHL next year.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Rick Nash sat out last night's game due to a stiff back & neck... it's only a day-to-day thing.
Dennis Seidenberg has a wrist injury that kept him out of last night's game, he's day-to-day.
Christian Ehrhoff suffered a knee sprain on Sunday night and he's probably out for a few games, maybe longer.
Phil Kessel picked up a muscle strain in the Leafs last game and could miss a game or two.
Pretty much everyone on the Wild is hurt... Marek Zidlicky couldn't go last night as he has an arm injury (day-to-day), Owen Nolan missed with a leg injury, Guillaume Latendresse started the game last night but had to pack it in early with a back injury and Marty Havlat left the game with a LBI.
Cory Stillman has a bad back and is likely out for tonight's game.
Mike Green is not injured, he was a scratch last night as the Caps are resting guys... beware if you own Crapitals.