Happy New Year Y'All
The Winter Classic for all it's pageantry and hype has always semed a lesser version of the game I love.
The game in which the quick, creative and elusive and can effectively match up against the muscle and hustle which the NHL game exudes. I enjoy watching Pavel Datsyuk, who on a fresh sheet of ice can put defenders on their heels and dazzle us with magical mitts.
The elements tend to stifle if not destroy that part of the game. I'm glad it's only once a year.
Oh... you say it's not the only?
There are how many more outdoor games scheduled this year?
yeah... I think you know what I think of NHL owners and governors already, so I'll just leave it at it was a game, a sloppy one at that, played in a steady snowfall with gusting winds.
That they found 110,000 people to come out in the near near zero degree weather amazes me, that's about a minus-10 degree Celsius for my Euro listener, here in Texas it was a balmy 65 under sunny skies, so just looking at the game gave me chills.
The outcome was also somewhat expected a couple of fluky goals, a breakaway whistled down in the middle of OT to change ends, and to ice the cake, a shootout which means little to us in most fantasy pools beyond whether a goalie picks up a win, it's only redeeming quality is the visual of a deftly performed move, which is muted by the conditions.
Daniel Alfredsson with a goal on 3 shots has 6 points, (4 goals and 2 assists plus-3 with 15 SOG), over the last 5 games, I predicted a return to the 60 point range this season, he's currently producing at a 70 point pace, and i don't have any reason to doubt he makes it.
Brendan Smith wit a pair of assists had one of his bet games of the season, from an all aaround perspective, he's a kid with a lot of tools that has been terribly inconsistent, though he has been progressing steadily over the last several weeks, unless you are in a very deep pool he's likely not worth an add yet since he sees virtually no power play time, yet the 5 points over his last 10 are encouraging.
Daniel Alfredsson 11 (Assist: Henrik Zetterberg 22, Brendan Smith 7)
James van Riemsdyk 15 (Assist: Phil Kessel 18, Dion Phaneuf 12)
Tyler Bozak 5 (Assist: Dion Phaneuf 13)
Justin Abdelkader 5 (Assist: Brendan Smith 8)
Jonathan Bernier 41/43 .953 SV%
Jimmy Howard 24/26 .923 SV%
Valtteri Filppula continued his hot hand with a goal and an assist on 3 shots, for the second consecutive game.
With 12 points, 5 goals and 7 assists in in his last eight games, the former Red Wing is getting it done for Tampa despite not really increasing his SOG totals. With a total lack of any peripherals he is nonetheless paying dividends for those owners that got him in the middle rounds as a low cost point producer.
Ondrej Palat, with an assist on 4 shots, and Tyler Johnson a goal on 3 shots, are fast becoming a couple of my favorite prospects, they play the game with a lot of speed skill and grit, each extended a point streak to 4 games (Palat - 1 goal and 3 assists) (Johnson - 3 goals and 1 assist) they are lining up with Martin St. Louis over the last several weeks and proving to be up to the challenge.
Ben Bishop was once again very tall in net, The lanky, athletic tender, who was left off of the Team USA Olympic squad showed everyone why it was the wrong decision, in stopping 28 of the 30 shots directed at him.
Valtteri Filppula (15) Assisted by Teddy Purcell, Alex Killorn
Tyler Johnson (11) Assisted by Ondrej Palat, Mark Barberio
Nikita Kucherov (4) Power Play Assisted by Radko Gudas, Matthew Carle
Alex Killorn (10) Assisted by Victor Hedman, Valtteri Filppula
Brad Richardson (8) Assisted by Chris Higgins
Zac Dalpe (1) Assisted by Dale Weise, Tom Sestito
Ben Bishop 28/30 .933 SV%
Eddie Lack 29/33 .879 SV%