November 29, 2009

by Dobber Sports

Kristian Huselius has 11 points in eight games since returning from his UBI. Is it too optimistic to expect him to stay in his zone this time? Yes.


After going pointless in two AHL games, Brunnstrom was recalled by the Stars. He played just 10:42 and was a minus-1 playing with Modano and Petersen.


With David Clarkson out for the next couple of months witha broken leg, look for Vladimir Zharkov to get some opportunities. Zharkov had an amazing camp and followed it up with 20 points in 22 AHL games to lead Lowell. He played 14:40 and was pointless yesterday. Zharkov was a DobberHockey favorite when he was drafted, as we cited his high-end skill and his raw offensive potential. But since his draft day he has been a workhorse on the defensive aspect of the game - to the point where in the last Prospects Report we wondered if he would be able to get into the top six and if not we said he would be an "elite checker". His game seems to be rounded out and it's clear that he hasn't forgotten his offense. It will be a couple of years developing at the NHL level though and he'll need a break such as a top sixer leaving the team (like Bergfor got when Gionta left). Zharkov is ranked 135 on my Fantasy Prospects List and will move into the Top 80 in the next update.


The Avs have lost budding Band-Aid boy David Jones for 4-6 months with a torn ACL. He had 16 points in 22 games. Darcy Tucker's production hit a wall when Jones got back in the lineup, so perhaps you'll see a small uptick in Tucker's numbers now. Not that he'd hit 40 points anyway, but he'll have his moments.


So much has happened in the last few days. It has all been a blur for me - thank you Angus for continuing with the stellar coverage. My wife has been hammering me with the "honey do" list. I moved last month and we have this big party planned for Christmas - picture both sides of the family in your house for a) Christmas, b) housewarming and c) my daughter Avery's first birthday (remember - she was born on Christmas last year). Anyway, the wife's been incorrigible. Fortunately, I've been watching at least one hockey game a day, but it's been tough to squeeze in. And when I get a sec to jump on and check some of the scoring and the summaries/transactions - wow. Lots happening so let's get to it.


First, let's discuss how the fantasy gods have been shitting on my head. I made a pitch for Tim Connolly and Patrik Elias Friday in one of my leagues. Well, Friday night Connolly gets four points. Saturday afternoon - Elias gets four points. How the hell can you work deals with that crap happening? Haha (that's a painful laugh). By the way, Connolly, along with Drew Stafford, saw the most ice time for Buffalo Saturday - including defensemen. They were pointless though.


Milan Michalek has six goals and two assists in seven games. It seems like he has been around forever, but he turns just 25 in a week or so - still not at his prime. If he can up that assist total he would be a 70-point guy this year.


Huge news in Pittsburgh with big repercussions - both Goligoski and Letang returned to the lineup. Right away, they each got two points. The team scored eight times and Sid gets five points. This could be a pretty big run for a few Pens. As Angus noted - Skoula is now useless again, with those two back.


I preached patience with David Backes and how we're seeing the dividends - his third consective two-point game Saturday.


David Legwand has nine points in seven games and is on a five-game points streak.


Some KHL news - Nikita Filatov mentions here that he would consider playing another season in the KHL - basically it's up to Hitchcock. I really hope Columbus trades him. Also, Viktor Tikhonov has fled to the KHL. It doesn't sound like he has Phoenix's blessing and i would assume that he is gone for good. Story is here. UPDATE - it turns out that Tikhonov was loaned by the Coyotes, so he does indeed have their blessing (though they may not have had a choice...)


Matt Stajan has nine points in his last eight games. He'll beat last year's 55 and it looks like they'll keep him with Kessel, so the potential is there for more.


Speaking of Kessel, had he not missed the first dozen games he would be on pace for well over 50 goals and 450 shots. He has seen under 19:30 of ice time just twice in 12 games.


The Wings are starting Howard and Osgood every other game now. It's been going on since November 18 (six games). Howard won Saturday, but in a shootout. So Osgood will be back in I'm sure.


One of the better fights of the year - Orr vs. McIntyre:




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