Sorry we're a little late today, we have plenty of excuses but know you don't want to hear 'em... alright, onward...
Matt Stajan moved up to the top line for the struggling Flames and sparked the offense with a three assist night... he set up Alex Tanguay for two and Tanguay, in-turn, set up Jarome Iginla for his first of the season. Let's hope the three can keep the chemistry going. Olli Jokinen was dropped down to the second line and managed an assist but losing this job isn't going to help his bounce-back chances.
In a spicy decision, Pens coach Dan Bylsma went back with Brent Johnson last night and he delivered stopping 29 of 30 in a win over Philly. That's three strong performances for BJ and now we expect the coach to ride him for a while... take note Fleury owners as adding Johnson, if you can, would be wise.
Tim Thomas also got his second straight start for the Bruins and stopped 31 of 32 for back-to-back victories. This doesn't mean that he's got his #1 job back but it's further proof of what we've been saying for a while, that Rask owners should take the insurance and grab Thomas. It's not that Rask has played bad (in one game so far), it's that Thomas is a good goalie who wasn't that bad last year so he could force his way back into the argument.
The always intense Battle of FLA went to the Panthers last night as Tomas Vokoun pitched his second straight shutout and Bryan McCabe dropped a four assist bomb on Tampa. It's only four games so no time to rush to judgment but the Panthers seem to have a new commitment to defense this year as Vokoun's faced an average of 26.6 shots/gm this year after getting shelled for 33.8 /gm last year. As for McCabe, we'll always recommend him as he's underrated, likely due to bad vibes from Leafs fans but he's a 40+ point dman who'll also give you PIMs, shots & PPPs.
Magnus Paajarvi had his first NHL goal and first two points last night. Taylor Hall was a minus-3 and is sitting on one assist so far. We still think Hall will pick things up and like him for around 50 points (and MPS for around 40) but we'll be watching this one closely as some people think Hall's going to top 70 points this year whereas we're on record as saying that we'd rather have MPS long-term.
Robin Lehner made his debut NHL cameo last night as he played four minutes to start the third period while Brian Elliott was adjusting his equipment. Not really noteworthy but for those of you that have Lehner in keeper leagues... FYI, the seal is broken. Not a great night for Elliott as he was beaten four times on 37 shots but from what we saw he was very solid in the third period and his defense didn't give him much help. We're still liking Elliott long-term this season but the team needs to get it together as they were outshot 29-8 over the final two periods last night.
The Ducks sent dman Luca Sbisa down to the AHL... they only put him in the lineup for two of five games and he didn't play much. He should be back later in the year after gaining some confidence in the A but it looks like Fowler has passed him on the depth chart and will get the plum assignments.