January 25, 2011

by Dobber Sports


Watch for it - at 2:30 pm ET: Dobber Nation


Still getting the details needed to post the story for the Dobber Nation show, but that shouldn't stop you from listening to it. You can download it here.


No surprise here, but Marc Savard has been diagnosed with a concussion. Extremely worrisome, in my books (and Marc's books too, I'm sure).


The Coyotes have sent Brett MacLean back down and recalled Andrew Ebbett.


Andy McDonald is a game or three away from returning. He is back practicing and working hard to get back.


Tobias Enstrom will be out until around February 10 with a fractured finger.


The Sharks recalled sensational minor league netminder Alex Stalock. If he gets into a game, I'm dying to see how it goes. Potential dark horse for next year.


JP Dumont is out with a neck injury. This will cause even more reliance on the likes of Wilson, Kostitsyn and Hornqvist for the Preds.


Amazingly, the Ducks are 8-3 without Getzlaf this year.


I'm starting to think that hockey fans/bloggers are the biggest whiners. First it's the Guardian Project, an initiative that targets 8-14 year olds via cool characters and online gaming. It's funny to see a forty-something blogger insult something that is not meant to impress their age group, or a twenty-something fan insult the idea that comic books are out of style - when it's not about comic books, it's about online gaming and social media. But I digress. Now I see whining about Clay Aitkin singing at the All-Star game. I agree it's not my first choice, but then I look at the big picture - one of the main stumbling blocks to allowing a man to watch this game is the wife. She'll want to go out and do something as a family, or watch something else on TV. But throw Clay Aitken on as the anthem singer, and suddenly you up your chances of her wanting to tune in for at least the start. If just one wife lets her hubby or young son put the game on because of this, then score it a win. Now stop picking apart every decision the NHL makes! What a bunch of clowns...


Atlanta prospect Spencer Machacek is really impressing me, with 24 points in his last 21 AHL games. They'll make room for him next year. Future second liner.


Evgeni Grachev played just nine minutes for the Rangers last night. But he had seven points in his last four AHL games, starting to turn things around in that league. Too little too late for me, as I moved him for a late draft pick back in January to make room for drafting Sergei Kostitsyn in the midseason draft.


I don't expect Sidney Crosby to be out for too much longer - perhaps another 10 days to two weeks. But they are clearly being very careful with him and there is no need to rush him back since the team isn't going into the tank. What this is doing, however, is bringing some winning fantasy teams back towards the rest of the pack. With nine games already missed, that's a good 15 points that Crosby owners haven't received. And while, as a Crosby owner in one league, I'm not overly concerned, I would immediately become quite concerned if he came back and promptly sustained another concussion. So take all the time you need, Sid.


Malkin is also sitting out and resting his leg as well as a sinus infection (which is brutal - trust me). Missing the ASG will do wonders for him - a full two weeks off could be just what the doctor ordered. In the meantime, we get to see Jordan Staal and Dustin Jeffrey, two players I have been interested in seeing bigger roles from.


Florida has sent Markstrom back down to the AHL.


With Desharnais and Pacioretty up with the big club, Alexander Avtsyn has been putting up big numbers for Hamilton - six points in six games, after just eight points in 23 games. He's two years away, but is an underrated prospect.


Three of my recent slumpers (i.e. guys on my key keeper league team) are showing signs of life, but the main one, Brad Boyes, is the only guy I was able to trade. Should have shown more patience with him. However, I stand by the belief that he will not be a 65-point player while in St. Louis. He needs a new team, whether it be through trade or just by simply working through his contract and signing as a free agent. Boyes has 13 points in 13 games.


Matt Stajan and Andrei Kostitsyn are the other two. Kostitsyn was garnering plenty of interest in early December, but very little interest in early January. Now he's rolling again, allowing me the chance for an "I told you so" or two. AK is a member in good standing of my Windex Wonders.


Stajan, meanwhile, is also a member. He has three points in his last two games and is ice time is creeping back up again.


The logic is simple. If Goalie A loses two of every three games he plays over the past month and Goalie B loses two out of every three games he plays over the past month, and Goalie C wins two out of every three games he plays over the last month - then you play Goalie C until that pattern changes. I don't care if Goalie C is 18 and straight from Junior, or if he's 44 and coming out of retirement. Do what makes sense until it stops making sense.


Goalie C is James Reimer.


Zach Boychuk was recalled yesterday and he picked up an assist in his NHL return. He played just seven minutes though. As long as Carolina is in the playoff hunt, Boychuk won't see the ice time he needs to get decent production.


At this point, it looks as though Atlanta is the only team in trouble and Carolina is the only team on the cusp. Unless Buffalo or Florida surge, there is your playoff race in the East.


Do you want to know my take on Evgeni Nabokov and Peter Forsberg? acquire them cheap if you can. If you own them right now - trade them ASAP. Shop them and deal them. Why? Take a look at my Hockey News article around noon today (features Jamie Benn) and I delve into my reasons.


Yesterday, working with the Guardian Project, I gave away a free NHL jersey. Today I will be giving away, through Twitter (@DobberHockey) a free Guardian Project graphic novel. More details/rules/info here.


The NHL revealed "The Senator" last night. I'll add to the article and give my thoughts, by noon today.


Ryan Stoa, after having a couple of ho-hum games, was rewarded with 18 minutes of ice time last night. He rewarded Sacco with a goal and six shots. He may be one of those deceptively slow players who does nothing but shoot the puck - and that has carved out many an NHL career.


Kevin Shattenkirk has five points in his last four games


Braden Holtby: 2-0-1 since being recalled. With the OT loss coming despite only allowing one goal.


Paging Brooks Laich. Come in Brooks Laich. You are wanted at the office. Your three points in 12 games are terrible.
Laich played with Knuble and Perreault last night, which is a pretty talented mix of scoring (Knuble) and setting it up (Perreault) to go with Laich's all-around game. On paper, it really works. In reality...


Jeff Tambellini's assist was his first point in 14 games. That's a long time to keep him in the lineup for not producing, I'm a little surprised. But only once this season did he notch a point without others following. So expect a bit of a run.


Man, how does Tuukka Rask get a foothold when Tim Thomas keeps either winning or nearly stealing games? Thomas is the only goalie who can keep Rask planted on the bench. Terrible luck for the youngster.
If he's allowed three goals, then Rask has never won this year. His team won't support him offensively, he needs to hold the opposition to two or fewer, or it's a loss.


Alexei Ponikarovsky is down to eight minutes per game. He signed with the wrong team. No chemistry at all with the first line (10% of his shifts) and without that, he's useless. It's apparent that his 55-point production only works on weak teams that lean on him for offense. He bombed in Pittsburgh, too.


Michael Frolik is pointless and minus-4 in his last nine games.


Kulemin vs. Gleason:



MacArthur ragdolls LaRose:



I love this shootout move by Wolski:




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