It was the Matt Duchene vs Jamie Benn show last night in a crazy 7-6 barnburner. Duchene went for 3+1=4 in a game that should get some people off his back and Benn did it all with 3A, plus-1, two shots, a hit, a blk & 10 FOWs. He had a four-point night but his goal was eventually changed to Stephane Robidas. Speaking of Robidas, he had his typical busy night with 1+2=3, two PIMs, two shots, four hits & one blk.
Another two assists & plus-3 for Marc-Andre Bergeron last night and he is not slowing down with 6A & plus-6 over his last five games. The real surprising thing is that only four of his 15 points have come on the PP, you'd expect that ratio to be a lot higher given how productive he's been.
Steven Stamkos with a hat-trick and Martin St.Louis with 3A... zzzzz.... you know they'll get their points but there are a couple of other guys who are profiting from favourable line combos right now. Brett Connolly scored for the second straight game while playing with Vinny & MSL and I'm really liking the Stamkos & Teddy Purcell duo as Purcell has 3+5=8 over his last eight games. Purcell is an underrated setup man and you won't find a better finisher than Stamkos.
Cody Eakin with his first NHL goal and an assist last night in just his second NHL game. He played with Johansson and (sometimes) Semin on the 2nd line but saw less than nine minutes of ice-time, so he's gaining the trust of the coaching staff slowly. This kid is a gamer, keep an eye on him.
Brian Elliott was back in the net for the Blues last night and stopped 28 of 30 to improve his record to 5-1-0 and his rate statistics are a very solid 1.72 & .941. The team is doing a nice job of keeping his workload manageable as he's facing 29.1 shots/60 so far.
Nice night for T.J. Oshie with 2+1=3, plus-3 & 3 shots. It has been a slow start for him but it's been a healthy start, which is key, so let's hope he keeps this going.
Troy Brouwer was a little banged up last game but he was able to play last night and with 1+1=2 he now has 2+4=6, plus-4 & 15 shots over his last six games. But I'm still going to advise that you don't bother with this bloke.
For all the flak Alex Ovechkin is taking, you'd think he was playing like Jeff Finger or something... hell he has 4+5=9 & 23 shots over his last six games.
Erik Cole is starting to rev things up a little as he had a goal last night and has 3+1=4 & 25 shots over his last five games. His linemate David Desharnais also has a four game point streak going (1+4=5).
Just 3A on the season for P.K. Subban but I'm still high on him as the peripherals look good, on pace for 157 PIMs & 245 shots. The underlying numbers are also encouraging, so I think this is just a temporary rough patch that he should snap out of soon.
I'm quietly keeping my eye on (that's right) Lars Eller as he had an assist last night and has 1+3=4 & plus-4 over his last six games. This is just for you deep leaguers though and understand that he's only seeing 3rd line duty which could change once Gomez returns.
David Rundblad was a healthy scratch last night.
Here are your AHL snakes & ladders: Andy Miele (snake), Corey Tropp (ladder), Robin Lehner (snake) & Eric Wellwood (ladder).