Here it is - my Top 10 Fantasy Events of the past decade over at The Hockey News. Mentioned below, Ziggy Palffy and his sudden retirement did indeed crack this list. A must read and a lot of fun to write and research.
Gionta had an assist in his return to the Habs lineup. His return seemed to knock a minute or two of ice time from Andrei Kostitsyn, but AK still managed an assist himself. AK is on a six-game point streak and has 20 points in his last 18 games.
Patrick Kane has 16 points in his last 11, vaulting him in among the top scorers now.
Ryan Callahan has 10 points in his last eight games. Torts really likes this guy and he'll have every opportunity to flourish.
Claude Giroux has eight points in 13 games under the new coach and has seen over 17 minutes of ice time in nine of those games. JVR has one point in that span and has seen over 16:30 of ice time in just two of those games - the first two. Since then, he has hovered around 10-12 minutes.
Ottawa rookie Peter Regin has five points in his last five games. In all five of those games he has seen more ice time than any one of his 28 games prior. So he's another beneficiary of the injuries in Ottawa.
Phil Kessel is pointless in his last six games. He's also a minus-6. The Leafs have been trying Kulemin on that line in place of Poni to try and get it going. He's looked good, but still goose eggs. Kessel's slump has resulted in Stajan also slumping - just one point in six.
Michael Russo updates us - Chuck Kobasew is out beyond 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL and ACL. The MCL will be healed in 4-6, but then the ACL will need to be evaluated and may require surgery. He also reports that Petr Sykora will miss two more games and then likely rejoin the team. Sykora will be back to his 45-point self when he returns, I don't expect anything magical to happen.
Russo also reports that Brent Burns is working out a lot right now (no date targeted) and PM Bouchard is still no change.
The Stars have activated Trevor Daley off the IR. Again, I expect nothing magical to happen here. Just an FYI.
The Panthers have sent Shawn Matthias down to the minors. This was his best cup of coffee in two years, as he notched four points in 10 games and was a minus-1. Just 10 shots on goal though, which he'll need to step up. But still, that's pretty good considering he averaged about eight minutes per game. He is 25th on my prospects list.
Team Slovak (Olympics): Halak, Budaj, Stana; Chara, Visnovsky, Sekera, Meszaros, Jurcina, Strbak, Lintner; Hossa, Gaborik, Demitra (? must want to train the team doctors), Handzus, Bartecko (one of my favorite dark horses... about 12 years ago!), Hossa Jr, Cibak, Kopecky, Palffy, Radivojevic, Stumpel, Satan (who isn't even playing this year) and Zednik. I'd love to see how good Palffy is these days against top competition. Perhaps he'll tear it up and get wooed back to the NHL for one year (it's only one year, he could leave his family for that long, or bring them over). No Marek Zagrapan... that's the only name I think of that is absent.
The word on Justin Williams - 12 weeks.
As I figured, Teddy Purcell was given a chance on the top line with Smyth and Kopitar. He was given a shot there earlier to replace Smyth, but he doesn't play that style of hockey. Replacing Williams makes more sense. Ideally, he would get three or four games there before Coach Murray gives up on him. But that's not the way coaches work in this day and age. He'll be lucky to get three or four periods on that line if he doesn't score (or set up a goal). He played 19 minutes.
The Kings recalled Scott Parse, who had 11 points in 27 games prior to being sent down on the 18th. To be honest, I didn't know he was sent down, I think Angus was covering that day. Anyway, with the injury to Williams, Parse is back up. He assisted on the first goal and scored the last one, but was back in his usual spot on the third line where he has actually been productive in spurts.
I really like what the Coyotes have now for offense. Doan, Upshall and Lombardi are rolling, which is helping Prucha, Hanzal and Vrbata to roll. Now they have reliable scoring, something they have lacked all year. Until now, they were just scoring willy-nilly, with no player ever getting hot.
Eric Staal - FIVE points last night. That gives him 21 points in 16 games since returning from injury
Give Steve Mason a 34 save shutout. Just his second of the season. Not that shutting down the Red Wings has been a tough task this year. But still - 34 saves is pretty nice.
It was the fourth time Detroit has been shut out this month - and the third time in the last nine days. Also, since they were shut out twice in the last week of November, that is six times in 34 days
Andy Greene is up to 19 points in his last 25 games and five in his last five.
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