Marty Turco started off with two losses but has now tore off four wins in a row with a 36 save one-out of the Canucks last night. We were pretty confident that he'd racked up the wins this year but thought the averages would be mediocre... well so far they're stupendous (2.42 & .929), this despite the Hawks giving up a lot of shots (Turco's faced 34.1 /60 minutes so far).
1st NHL goal last night for Jeff Skinner and he now has points in four of his last five games. The kid has looked really good from what I've seen and has the confidence of his coach as he played a season high 17:30 last night. He hasn't had any trouble creating chances either with 18 shots through six games, we just wish he was playing with some better linemates as Ruutu & Cole aren't exactly Gretzky & Kurri.
Andrei Loktionov also had his first NHL goal last night (the GWG) as he banked one in off of the goalie from the corner, a real beauty. He's seeing some nice ice-time (around 17 minutes a game) mostly playing on the top line and had four minutes on the PP last night as well. We'd keep your expectations in check for this season although he could surprise as people likely didn't expect much of anything from him... but definitely an encouraging sign for his long-term prospects.
Two assists last night for Sabres dman Chris Butler and he led the team in PP time with 6:33. We can only really recommend this guy in deep leagues if you're desperate for any production from your D as he's just too unreliable... you don't know if he's going to be in the lineup or playing much and when he does play he won't give you much other than assists & PPP as he doesn't shoot, take PIMs or put up a good plus/minus.
Uh-oh... Nikita Filatov's ice-time was under 11 minutes last night as he only saw two shifts in the 3rd period. We don't think it's anything to worry about as they were trying to protect the lead so the coach went with the safer options. He saw around 13-14 minutes in earlier games and has two assists so far, we'd like to see a little more of both from the talented Russian but we'll be patient.
Caught some of the Hawks game last night and Jack Skille was flying around out there... just a warning to not get dazzled by his speed, the kid doesn't have much game. He's not seeing much ice-time (less than 10 minutes on most nights) on the 4th line and has never really been a big scorer in college or the AHL. Let somebody else pick him up and brag about his blazing speed... and then be disappointed when he doesn't produce.
Niclas Bergfors was a healthy scratch last night for the Thrashers, for the second time in three games, and when he does play, he's not seeing many minutes. Sure this guy is no world-beater but he's one of the few players on ATL that has some talent and he likes to shoot so when you sit him in favour of clowns like Modin, Eager & Stewart, this is why you get outshot 42-18 on home ice and lose 4-1 and nobody shows up to watch you... wow can't believe we linked that all back to a Bergfors scratching, not sure what's gotten into us today?
Reports say that the Avs have sent rookie Mark Olver to the AHL. Shame as he's looked good so far, with two assists in four games while playing less than 14 minutes in total! (averaging less than four minutes a game). He's a guy we're watching (ranked #246 in our fantasy prospect rankings) as he put up some nice numbers at Northern Michigan over the past three years and obviously impressed the team enough to crack the roster out of training camp.
Owen Nolan has not retired yet (he should have five years ago, IMO) as he's going over to Switzerland to play there with the hopes that an NHL team will take notice and give him a chance later this year... so if you're holding onto O-NO in a keeper league, keep hope alive!
I was joking yesterday when I suggested you panic about Roberto Luongo's slow start and think about picking up Schneider. I didn't think anyone was really panicking.... well apparently experts like Dobber & Scott Cullen (TSN) are feeding the hysteria. Here's Dobber from yesterday:
One game after Cory Schneider stops 32 of 33 shots for the win, Roberto Luongo stops... 12 of 18 shots for the loss. And to rub salt in the wound of Luongo owners, Schneider came on in relief and kicked aside all six shots he faced against the Wild. Now what we have is a highly-paid goalie who is signed for another 50 years, give or take, who seems to have lost a step 21 months ago when he injured his groin. Maybe it's a mental edge, or maybe it's something physical, but Luongo was the best goalie in the NHL and now he's merely above average. Meanwhile, you have Schneider who has the talent to take that crown for himself. It's very early still, but I would be wary of a Thomas/Rask situation here, but worse - since last year Thomas was injured, whereas Luongo is still healthy. Something's gotta give - Luongo owners need him to get into the zone.
So, does this mean that 31-year-old Luongo has lost it?
Much too soon to say that, but considering he's under contract until 2022, there will be more of these slumps before all is said and done and in the meantime, Luongo's poor play could open the door for Cory Schneider to see more time in the Canucks' net.
There have been suggestions that Schneider might see as many as 20-25 starts this season and as long as he plays well when given the chance, Schneider (at least theoretically) will have a chance to earn more starts.
Ok, instead of being vague, we'll be clear (as I thought we were yesterday)... starts like this are par for the course for Luu and in each of the past three seasons he's been nearly unbeatable in November and gone on to be a top 10 fantasy goalie, and we don't expect anything less this year. So don't panic and if you have the chance to buy low from an owner who is panicking, then we recommend you jump all over that.