Saturday was a heavy night on the sked so we'll speed through some highlights, try to keep up...
Big news of the night was that Ilya Kovalchuk was a made a healthy scratch by the Devils... likely some kind of power struggle going on with coach John MacLean that we won't know the full details of for a while. We'll see if Kovy is back in the lineup today (we bet on yes) and we expect him to produce as that's what he does.
Another night with a bag full of hat-tricks... we'll mention the one by John Tavares as he's feeling it with points in each of the four games since he returned from that concussion (5+2=7 in four games). Shock hat-trick of the night from Brad Richardson of LA as those were his first goals of the year... we like this kid as a depth guy in a very deep league as he was a good scorer in junior but don't expect many (if any) more nights like this.
Two goals last night for Andrei Kostitsyn and he has 4+2=6 in his last six games. This guy's best asset is his shot (13.9% sh% over the past three years), so we've never been big fans cause he doesn't shoot the puck enough (averaged only 2.2 /gm over past three years) but he is shooting the puck more so far this year as he's averaging 3.0 /gm right now.
Sizzling start to the season for Jaroslav Halak as he posted a 31 save shutout of the Penguins last night and is 4-1-1 with a 1.81 & .929 to start the year... and he hasn't been playing cupcakes as he's beaten Pit, Chi & Phi already this year. From the minute he was traded to StL, we said he'd be a top 10 fantasy goalie this year and Halak is making sure we weren't liars.
I don't really care for this guy but have to give it up for Andrew Ladd right now as he's had a nice start with 3+5=8 in his first eight games and is embracing a larger role with ATL than he had with the Hawks... I'm still skeptical but maybe that's just me.
Someone (I think it was Dobber) was talking some shit about Milan Hejduk the other day and how he was washed up.... well he's had 3+3=6 with 17 shots in his last three games. I don't think he's washed up and I don't even think he's injury prone (he struggled with injuries last year but I don't think that's chronic)... I'd still take him on my team, dude can score.
Kyle Turris had his first three points of the season (2+1=3) last night for the Coyotes... it's a start as he needs to work his way into Dave Tippett's good books and get himself onto a better line & a PP unit more regularly.
PA Parenteau had points in four straight and 2+7=9 in eight games on the season as he tries to pull a Matt Moulson this year for the Islanders. He's seeing solid ice-time (15-16 minutes a night) and some PP time so the AHL scoring wiz could keep this going for a while but we wouldn't bet on this lasting long-term, just not enough talent to play with on the Island.
Speaking of talent on the Islander & wizzes... THE Wiz, James Wisniewski, is off to a flying start with points in each of his six games so far (1+7=8) and he's getting her done on the PP as every one of his points has been on the PP... we're fans, just beware of plus/minus, injuries & suspensions.
Antero Niittymaki got the call again for San Jose and he has back-to-back wins and while it's early, he's outplayed Antti Niemi so far... we still see this being a time-share for a while but it's an encouraging start for those of us that are betting on Niitty.
Mathieu Perreault was called up when Marcus Johansson went down injured and the little man started strong with two assists & a plus-3 in 11 minutes of action centering the 2nd line last night. Not sure how long he'll be sticking around for but if he keeps this up then it's going to be tough to send him back down.
The Kings sent dman Jake Muzzin to the AHL... he was a surprise to make the team out of camp and played in the first six games of the season but was just keeping a spot warm for Matt Greene, who returned last night. Muzzin had a big year in the OHL last year and was named the league's top dman, so we'll be watching his progress in the AHL this year.