Still on target for shutting the forum down for an hour or two tonight around midnight ET as we upgrade the forum platform. Yes, it will have a new look.
Although there was just one game on the schedule Monday, it was anything but uneventful. The major news saw Steven Stamkos go down with a serious leg injury and he will have surgery on Tuesday to repair a broken tibia. General Manager Steve Yzerman has stated Stamkos will be out indefinitely and with this type of injury it likely means a few months.
So what does this mean for Stamkos owners? Well you aren’t going to replace him on the waiver wire because he’s just too good of a player, but you can try and stay afloat until he gets back. The natural thing to do would be to look at the Lightning and who might fill his spot. One person you may want to be careful with is Alex Killorn. Before cooling off in his last three games, Killorn had a nice stretch that saw him post six points in four outings. The problem here is he got a significant amount of ice-time with Stamkos, so that certainly contributed to his production. Killorn should get more opportunities with Stamkos out, but don’t expect the world from him.
Valtteri Filppula might be a better option as he has proven he can be a 60-point player in the past. However, your best option may be looking on the wire for players from other organizations.
Dobber has a more in depth breakdown of the Stamkos injury that you can check out here.
Just one final non-fantasy related note on the Stamkos injury and what it does for the Canadian Olympic team. It remains to be seen if Stamkos will make it back in time for Sochi, but if not it will open the door for guys like Matt Duchene and Jamie Benn.
As far as the actual game went, Boston beat Tampa 3-0. The aforementioned Filppula saw over 23 minutes and that was his second highest total on the season. So that may be a sign of things to come.
Radko Gudas continues to do some good things for the Lightning and could be a nice defenseman to add for depth. He led Tampa on Monday with five shots and seven hits.
Anders Lindback wasn’t bad giving up two goals on 25 shots, but the battle for crease in Tampa is no longer a two-horse race. Ben Bishop is clearly the number one guy there now.
The Bruins have picked it up recently and a big reason for that is Patrice Bergeron. He scored again Monday and he now has three goals in his last two games. Before that he hadn’t picked up a point in four straight, so this offensive production is a welcomed change. With that being said, Bergeron has dominated in the faceoff circle this season, as he usually does, so even when he isn’t producing points he still helps you out.
Tuukka Rask got the shutout with 26 stops. His rebound control is unbelievable and he has won four of his last five starts.
Loui Eriksson grabbed an assist and now has points in three straight. Any lingering concussion issues seem to be behind him.
Torey Krug continues to impress and he added another assist on Monday. That’s now four straight games with a point and six in his last eight overall.
Jarome Iginla added the empty-netter and sometimes those can get a player going that has been struggling. It was his first goal since October 30th as he went five contests without finding the back of the net.
Brad Marchand was held pointless after finding the score sheet in two straight. He has battled consistency issues all year and hasn’t been able to pick up a point for more than two straight games yet in 2013-14. He only saw 14 minutes against Tampa and that was his lowest ice-time in almost a month, so something to keep an eye on.
Interesting news out of Edmonton on Monday that Nail Yakupov would be open to a trade. According to ESPN, Yakupov’s agent Igor Larionov said his client would be willing to make a move to any team if the Oilers are unhappy with him. Larionov is reportedly heading to Edmonton to discuss things with team officials. Yakupov has been a healthy scratch a couple of times this season and recently saw his ice-time drop to around 10 minutes a game. His defensive and team play isn’t great, but the offensive ability is still certainly there somewhere, and there are no shortage of teams looking for help in the goal scoring department.
Alexei Emelin has been given the go ahead to return to Montreal this weekend. Monitor his progress in the first few games, as I’ve mentioned before he can add to your hit totals substantially when he’s healthy.
In case you missed it from the other day, NHL.com ran this piece on NHL players and their celebrity crushes, and as to be expected, trying to pull an ounce of personality out of them was painful.
A couple of notes on the St. Louis Blues’ injury front from both sides of the spectrum.
The good news is that forward Brenden Morrow was activated from injured reserve after missing the past five games with a suspected upper-body injury. The Blues sent Chris Porter back down to the AHL to make room for Morrow.
On a side note, it used to annoy me when teams were so secretive about injuries and referred to them as simply “upper and lower body,” but now I enjoy imagining what the actual ailment is. Morrow was reported to have a rib injury, but since the Blues called it an upper body, I’m going to assume he got his tongue pierced and wasn’t allowed to play for a couple of weeks while it healed.
The bad news for St. Louis is that they’ve lost defenseman Jordan Leopold for two months with a hand injury. He will undergo surgery to repair damaged ligaments in the area. If you’ve lost Leopold from your roster then Emelin could be a good scoop.
The Ducks signed center David Steckel to a two-way contract on Monday. He was playing with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate for the last few weeks and will reportedly be staying in Norfolk for the next little while. If the Ducks get hit with some injuries then he would be a good candidate for a callup and is typically a steady faceoff man.
Just wanted to give a quick shoutout to a very worthy Hall of Fame class of 2013 that saw Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Geraldine Heaney, and Fred Shero get inducted.
Here’s hoping that Pat Burns finally gets in next year. It’s long overdue.