Staal a pool-winning monster... why no talk of Rask?... Quickly wilting... magic run over for Stempniak?... Kovalev hurt... a shift only Jaromir Jagr could love
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Absolutely monster night for Eric Staal as he had the hat-trick, added two assists, was a plus-4, had a PPG, the GWG and added eight shots. Combine this with his last game and he's 5+4=9 and a plus-8 in his last two... if you had him in your lineup this week then congrats, cause you gotta be winning.
Serious kudos are due if you had Chad LaRose in your lineup as he's had 3+4=7 in his last two games, feeding off of Staal's scraps... 26% of his production this year has come in the past two games, so if you saw this coming, you're a fricken genius.
Jack Johnson is on a little run lately as he scored last night and now has 2+3=5 in his last six games... he's even been working on his plus/minus and with a plus-5 over his last five he's improved that to a less awful minus-14 on the season.
Not too many people are mentioning Tuukka Rask as a goalie that could carry his team on a playoff run... perhaps that's because the Bruins can't score worth a damn but if I'm one of the top teams in the East then I'd want to avoid this guy in the first round as he leads the league in gaa (by far) & sv% and has been nothing sort of unconscious over the past month with a 7-4-1 record and 1.58 & .941 averages over his last 14 games.
One goalie who seems to be wilting down the stretch is Jon Quick as he lost again last night (in the SO) and doesn't have a win to show for his last seven appearances and his numbers are pretty weak, 3.27 gaa & .877 sv%. If this scout was Dean Lombardi, I'd have Jonathan Bernier on the bench so he can be inserted into the net on a moment's notice.
Has the magic run out for Lee Stempniak?... after 12 goals in his first 12 games with the Coyotes, he's only had one goal in his last five and hasn't even managed a shot on net in his last two games.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Alexei Kovalev fell awkwardly after taking a hit last night and he seems to have hurt his leg as he had to be helped off the ice... he'll be re-evaluated today.
Jochen Hecht has a UBI that will keep him out of the rest of the Sabres regular season games but he's expected to be ready to go once the playoffs start.
Josh Bailey took a pretty nasty hit from behind via Alexei Ponikarovsky and he left the game... not sure on the extent but he could be finito.
Tomas Vokoun was relegated to back-up last night as he has a back strain which isn't thought to be serious.
The Wild's Niklas Backstrom got hit in the neck with a shot last night and left the game but everyone said afterwards that he's fine and will likely play in their game on Saturday.
The Thrashers are basically shutting down anyone who has a headache right now... Nik Antropov is done due to a nagging hip injury, Todd White & Pavel Kubina have been out a while and they ain't coming back either.
Victor Hedman returned last night after missing three games with a hip injury... he then got into a fight with Mike Fisher in the 2nd period and left the game.
Returning to action from the injured list last night was: Jonas Hiller, Brenden Morrow, Chuck Kobasew, Bruno Gervais and Milan Michalek.
What's distracting us today? From Oiler's blog Copper & Blue:
"Jason Strudwick plays a shift that lasts 1:55, then after a 90-second rest, he and Taylor Chorney get caught out for a shift that lasts 3:45 without a whistle, the longest shift since Eddie Shore in 1929. In those agonizing 225 seconds the official play-by-play records 17 events, every last one of them in the Oilers zone. By the time Deslauriers finally manages to pounce on the puck, the overmatched duo has each recorded a Corsi rating of -11 on a single shift. 41 and 43 are a prime pair if I've ever seen one. (Sorry for the math joke.)"
That is mental. For those of you that enjoy watching two guys suffer, have a look at the video below:
Thanks to Kukla's for the heads up on a new docu about the Broad Street Bullies to be aired on HBO on May 4th. Even though this Scout is a bit of a Flyer hater it still looks pretty good:
Finally, from Stoeten at theScore, it may not be about hockey but it's too good not to post. This is a video the Pittsburgh Pirates play before they have their "hot dog shoot" at home games: