Only a couple of games last night, including Ryan Callahan's return to action. He showed up, with an assist, two shots, six hits and two blocked shots in 18:43 TOI. Activate if you haven't already...
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 23 of 25 shots in losing 2-1 to the Ducks, and despite Hank's 4-6 record, the peripherals are drifting back to status quo. 2.56 GAA and .914 save percentage on the year now.
Keep your eye on Ryan McDonagh. Picked by many for a potential breakout year, he managed only two points in his first eight games. Since then, he has 1+3=4 in six games. No points last night, but he did have four shots, three hits and a blocked shot. More notable is his recent PP time. After seeing very limited minutes to start the year, in his last five games McDonagh has played 5:15, 3:25, 1:11, 3:21 and 3:27 with the man advantage.
The winning goalie for the Ducks was Jonas Hiller...no, Viktor Fasth....no wait, Frederik Andersen! For chrissakes, how many decent goalies does a team really need anyway? Andersen has been excellent in four games thus far, allowing only four goals on 105 shots for a .952 SV% and 1.36 GAA. Last night he stopped 32 of 33 in the win. Hard to believe the Ducks also have blue-chipper John Gibson in the pipeline as well. Gibson is off to a flying start for the AHL's Norfolk Admirals this year, with a record of 5-1-2 and 1.61 / .951 peripherals.
Corey Perry scored his ninth goal, and he's really rolling this year with 9+7=16, plus-9, 14 PIM and 61 SOG.in 16 games.
Over in Winnipeg, the Wings were busy hanging Jimmy Howard out to dry. It's tough to watch a team as good as the Wings mail it in, but mail it in they did last night. Howard allowed four goals on 47 shots and was the only thing standing in the way of a massive blowout.
Let's give the fantasy line of the night to Andrew Ladd, who contributed across the board with one goal, one assist, plus-1, two PIM, four shots, two hits and a blocked shot. He has 1+7=8 and 28 shots in his last seven games.
Bryan Little also had a goal and assist, and he's up to eight goals in 16 games now. Don't expect the 40 goal pace to continue, but he might be able to get close to his previous high of 31 (2008-09). Worth noting though that he shot 18% in the 08-09 season, and is shooting 25% right now, so temper your expectations as he regresses toward his career average of 12.6%.
Michael Frolik also had a goal and an assist last night and he's on a modest two-game point streak after three games with nothing. He took 25 shifts last night, his highest total this season.
Mark Scheifele had a couple of helpers in 18:25 TOI, and he and Frolik were showing off some serious chemistry. Check out this goal.
Can we talk about Al Montoya? Long-time readers may remember that Cam and I had a running dispute back in 2010-11 about Montoya's fantasy value. Ultimately, Cam was right, as Montoya fell apart with the Islanders in 2011-12. Considering his career averages and small sample size this year, and the fact that Ondrej Pavelec has the huge contract, don't expect Montoya's heroics to continue. He had 26 saves on 28 shots last night for his second win in three starts.
Not much going on offensively for the Wings last night. Danny Dekeyser scored his first NHL goal. Pavel Datsyuk continued his splendid season with an assist, plus-1, two PIM, five shots, a hit and two blocks and he currently sits at 12th overall in league scoring. Yeah, surprise surprise.
By the way, if you're a Wings fan, or simply enjoy passionate and informed hockey commentary, make sure you follow George Malik (@georgemalik) on the Twitter. Malik is the Wings' blogger for Kukla's Korner (http://kuklaskorner.com/tmr). Excellent articles and a highly entertaining Twitter feed.
Called up: Sean Collins, Marek Mazanec, Richard Rakell, Adam Almquist, Taylor Fedun, Martin St. Pierre, Nathan Lawson,
Sent down: Brett Sutter, Peter Holland, Ryan Spooner, Joey MacDonald, David Booth