Walt calls it a career... Versteeg breaks slump... beware of Buff... Penner & Gilbert shine when it matters most... Hornqvist hurt... there's crazy, then there's this
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 cheap as they come.
Keith Tkachuk announced last night that he's retiring at the end of this week, he sat out last night's game with a LBI but he's expected to play before the season is over. We'll probably give Walt an official send-off but for now we'll throw up the old Jets jersey and as we do here at FHS, highlight his best fantasy season... for that we take you back to 1996-97, the Jets first season in Phoenix, where Walt put up 52+34=86 with 228 PIMs and 296 shots... unreal. These days, we get excited if a guy with 50 points adds 100 PIMs but to have 50 goals and 200+ PIMs is outrageous.
The Blues Chris Mason must have been a little choked up about hearing Tkachuk's announcement as he only stopped one of the first four shots he faced last night before being pulled. Mason's been very solid in the 2nd half of the year but this is also outrageous.
Kris Versteeg helped with Mason's misery as he was 1+3=4 last night... big night but after a great rookie season where he had 53 points, he seems to be having a sophomore slump this year as before last night he only had 6+2=8 in his last 32 games. Not playing as much with Toews and Kane will do that to you, I suppose.
Dustin Byfuglien had another nice game on the blueline for the Hawks as he had two assists, was a plus-3 and added 15 PIMs... beware though, the PIMs were the result of a slash administered to Andy McDonald which could draw him a suspension.
Erik Christensen had two big goals for the Rangers to keep them alive in the playoff race... good timing as he hadn't scored in 12 games. He seems to have found a regular spot in the line-up under Torts after starting the year going pointless in his first 17 games with the Ducks/Rangers but has still only produced 24 points in 39 games since so we wouldn't get too excited about his relative success. Also note that he left the game in the 3rd period but says that he just had the wind knocked out of him.
Dustin Penner continued his strong finish when the games really matter as he had three more points last night and is 5+3=8 during a four game point streak.
Ditto for Tom Gilbert as he added two more assists last night and now has 2+10=12 in his last nine games.
JM Liles should pick up a few more PP responsibilities with Mueller out and he's been producing already with 1+2=3 and 10 sog in his last three games.
The Coyotes have quite a few pointman options on the PP now but we still think Keith Yandle is the best... he added two assists last night and now has 2+9=11 in his last 15 games despite only one of those points coming on the PP.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Marian Hossa left last night's game after taking a hit from Brad Winchester but everybody was saying after the game that it's nothing serious and that he's fine.
Patric Hornqvist got hit with a Shea Weber bomb and he's probably still feeling it as he left the game early with a UBI... no word if this is serious, he'll be re-evaluated today.
Blake Comeau's injury from Tuesday is a broken foot, so he's out for the rest of the year... I had a brain fart when I was reading this thinking, "Does that mean the playoffs as well?"... then I realized this is the Islanders we're talking about here.
Filip Kuba's back injury now requires surgery and that will keep him out for four weeks... if only he had the surgery like four weeks ago when he was original hurt (during the Olympics), then he might be back by now.
Lubomir Visnovsky has a broken hand and he's done for the season.
Dennis Seidenberg will have surgery on his wrist and is out for eight weeks... if the Bruins make it to the finals, then I suppose... let's be real, his season's over.
The Oilers are also shutting Sam Gagner down so he can take care of his hip injury.
Heads up that the Avs are resting players now that they've clinched a playoff spot... Craig Anderson, Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk (personal reasons) all sat out last night.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Kris Russell and Jason Arnott.
What's distracting us today? First up we saw the entertaining "The 15 Fans at Every Sporting Event" on Sportspickle. Not only is the list pretty funny but you also get a classic YouTube clip for each type of fan. For example, under "#2 - The Unhappy Significant Other" we get this gem:
Next up, another crazy YouTube fan video. We only do this occasionally so you know this guy will definitely be bringing the crazy. Normally, we'd give you a quick tease on the content of the video but we really can't figure out what this guy is talking about... did we mention he's crazy? The money quote? After complaining about (expletive) imitators who keep confusing people he says this "I'll stand here and report your ass for copyright infringement, because what I do here is copyright protected, even if YouTube won't admit to it". Whoa... if he proves he owns the copyright for ranting into a camera it could mean the end of YouTube: