Not sure what opened the floodgates but the trades came pouring in yesterday...
The Leafs sent Francois Beauchemin to the Ducks for Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner... not a fan of Beauchemin's as he's just not very good and doesn't play tough anymore but I do like Lupul and this should be a good move for him as he wasn't playing much for the Ducks (13:13/gm this year). Look for Lupul to see a boost in his production just purely by getting more ice-time and PP opportunities. Gardiner is a decent looking prospect at the UofWisc but I'm not sure he has huge upside. I would like to see a little more production from him but he has been playing behind some solid prospects on the blueline like Jamie McBain, Brendan Smith & Justin Schultz the past few years so let's see what he can do in the AHL next year.
In another big deal, Michael Frolik is headed to Chicago (along with Alexander Salak) for Jack Skille, the monumental bust that is Hugh Jessiman and prospect David Pacan. Not sure what Florida was thinking here other than that they must have really wanted to get rid of Frolik for some reason. Skille is a bust as well and hasn't shown nearly enough in college or the AHL since being the 7th overall pick in 2005 to get us excited. I'm a big believer in Frolik and have been waiting for a breakout from him for three years now, I like his chances in a new situation in Chicago, playing with a lot more talent. His minutes (16:04) & PP time (2:04) were down this year but he could still top 50 points, not bad for a 3rd year guy who is only 22-years old. Salak might be the guy who benefits the most from this trade as the Panthers didn't have much use for him but he played well in the AHL last year and might be the best goalie in the SEL this season (2.04 & .925 in 30 gms). The only goalie the Hawks have signed for next season is Cristobal Huet (and I don't think he's coming back) so there's a chance Salak is an NHLer next season.
Another trade involved the Sharks & Devils but it was nothing but minor leaguers that have no fantasy value.
And then there was this one... the Islanders, in desperate need of a goalie, decided that they'd dip into the AHL and grab a guy that may be the worst goalie in the AHL over the past three seasons, former Ranger 6th overall pick Al Montoya from Phoenix. I mean, really? Couldn't Garth Snow at least pretend like he's not tanking the entire season?
I left Nathan Horton on the bench this week as he's been pretty useless lately with 2+5=7 over his last 23 games and I shall pay for it as he put up 1+4=5, plus-5, six PIMs & six shots last night... I hate myself.
Not a bad line for Milan Lucic either with 2+1=3, plus-5 & 16 PIMs. Hadn't noticed him too much lately after a hot start but he does have seven goals in his last nine games and is on pace for 35 goals & 125 PIMs this year.
P.K. Subban was stuffing the boxscore last night with 1+1=2, 2 PPPs, minus-3, 10 PIMs & 4 shots. He has a four game point streak going (2+4=6) and is now 5+9=14, 37 PIMs & 46 shots over his last 16 games... he's turning in a big 2nd half, good thing I grabbed him in the 2nd Half Draft.
Two goals for Max Pacioretty last night and he has 5+4=9, 12 PIMs & 28 shots over his last eight games.
Tim Jackman has traded in his stonehands for a new pair lately as he had two goals last night and has 6+8=14 & 43 shots over his last 20 games. Not a bad run for him and he even jumped up to the top PP unit (in Tanguay's place for a bit last night). But his new role, apparently, means he's above the rough stuff as he only has six PIMs in his last 20 games.
Three points for Anton Babchuk last night but he had 1A to show for his previous 11 games coming in... so this doesn't excite me too much.
I've been trying to be patient this year with Jimmy Howard but this is getting a bit much... he's 4-3-0, 3.87 & .881 over the past month (nine games) and has been very prone to implosions as he's given up four or more goals in eight of his last 20 games.
It's been all or nothing this year for Sergei Kostitsyn as he's had two 5+ game point streaks but then they've each been followed by a dry spell. He's back on right now with two points last night and has 4+5=9 in his last nine games.
Kristian Huselius has points in three straight (3+2=5) since being a healthy scratch last week.
Radim Vrbata is not a guy that shoots a high percentage (career 8.7% s%), he gets his goals by shooting in volume and so it's notable that he's ramped up the shots lately with 29 over his last five games and that's led to four goals (three on the PP).
Tyler Seguin missed last night's epic game as he was a healthy scratch.