Brian Boucher with his third straight start and win for the Flyers last night and he's outdueled two of the hottest goalies in Thomas & Fleury over the past two games. He's actually 5-0-1 with a 1.79 gaa & .940 sv% over his last six starts and has put the Flyers in a dilly-of-a-pickle here as they probably have no effing idea what to do with their three tenders now that Leighton is back.
Evgeni Malkin returned after sitting out four games due to his knee injury but he shook it off last night and had two PPGs & eight shots... hopefully this will get him out of his funk. He lined up with Crosby last night, we'll see how long that continues. He's also been getting chances but just not burying them as he's only converting on 8.1% of his shots so far whereas he came into this year with a career sh% of 13.3%. Keep shootin' Geno, they'll start to go in.
Phil Kessel might be going streakin' as he has goals in B2B games and 2+3=5 over his last five games. He's been picking up his shooting pace lately as he's averaging 5.3 spg over his last 10 vs 3.4 over his first 20 games this year.
Canada made their final cuts for the WJC team and there were a few mild surprises and disappointments... surprising was that goalie Calvin Pickard was let go in favour of Coyotes 1st rounder Mark Visentin and we're a little disappointed that we won't get to see 2011 draft eligibles Ryan Murphy & Ryan Nugent-Hopkins show their stuff on the big stage... but they went with size & experience over high-end skill. This does mean that Jaden Schwartz, who is a favourite of mine, has made the squad... watch out for him.
Uh-oh, our boy Andreas Nodl (actually we're not big fans but did pick him up in one league) has cooled off with just 1+1=2 over his last nine games. He's still seeing decent minutes (around 15/gm) and is lining up with Richards but there's not much to show for his efforts lately.
Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 19 games with another two assists. Even more impressive is that he's had multiple points in 13 of the 19 games... so this ain't no John Olerud streak of singles.
Paul Martin has 2+1=3 in his last 10 games and while he's on pace for 35 points all you can hope to get out of him is assists, some PPPs & a decent plus/minus... I don't think I've ever owned him on any of my teams... ever.
On the other hand, Alex Goligoski has a four game point streak going (1+3=4) and is a plus-8 over his last five games. He's similar to Martin but you get more goals, a better plus/minus, more PPPs and a decent number of shots.
Mikhail Grabovski with another goal last night and he has 4+1=5 with 18 shots over his last five games. He's an even player, so he won't hurt you there and has added a few more shots to his arsenal this year as he's on pace for 210 right now.
Kris Versteeg with two points last night and he has 4+3=7 with 24 shots over his last eight games. Watch out for the plus/minus with him as he's a minus-5 over that span and and a chilly minus-12 for the year.
The Devils put Brian Rolston on waivers... not a shock as he has just two goals this year, I would be shocked if someone picked him up though. He's not likely headed to the AHL either as that doesn't give the team any cap relief... another one of Lou's brilliant signings.
The Sabres sent Luke Adam back to the AHL as Connolly & Stafford are ready to return. Adam was having a strong AHL season before he was brought up, so we'll look for that to continue.