3/28/12 Studs & Duds
Callahan carries Rangers
Last week, it was Ryan Callahan’s birthday and he scored the game-winning goal for the New York Rangers that same day. Callahan retains his spot as a stud this week as well, coming off a game in which he contributed a goal and an assist, as well as four shots on goal. More impressive is that he played the most minutes of any player other than Henrik Lunqvist, with just over 27 minutes on the ice. That’s right, he played more minutes than Dan Girardi.
York shuts down Detroit
Allen York came in as the emergency starter and made a statement to the Columbus organization. York denied the Red Wings last night, stopping 29 of 31 shots and picking up the win. If the Jackets aren’t able to trade for a goalie, why not sign a veteran and have a tandem with that goalie and Allen York? York has risen through the prospect rankings and shown a lot of promise as potentially “the guy” for the Blue Jackets in the foreseeable future.
Hiller haunts Sharks
The Anaheim Ducks are quite the spoiler in the West and they picked up a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks last night. Jonas Hiller only saw one puck go behind him all game, stopping 28 of 29 shots to pick up his 29th win of the season. Hiller had a rocky start to the season, but has looked every bit like his old self lately. If you’re the Ducks, at least you have a bona fide number one in net going into the offseason.
Datsyuk dominating since return
After having one game in which he was held of the scoresheet against Carolina, Pavel Datsyuk has come back with a vengeance for the Red Wings. In Monday’s 7-2 win over the Blue Jackets, Datsyuk had a goal and an assist. Datsyuk was very effective; he was also a plus-2 in the game and had four shots on goal. Datsyuk was great again last night, contributing two assists and four shots on goal. Datsyuk has played 65 games this season and has 64 points right now, so he’s still very much a point per game player. The only concern with him is durability, he seems to get injured at least once every season.
Quick cools Calgary
It’s becoming more and more clear that the Calgary Flames just don’t have what it takes to make the playoffs this season. They have four games remaining and sit three points back of the Sharks and Kings. Jonathan Quick was fantastic once again, stopping all 19 shots fired his way and picking up his 9th shutout of the season. That ties him with Brian Elliott for the most shutouts in the league thus far.
Schneider shuts down Avalanche
Cory Schneider has been absolutely off the charts for the Canucks this season and it seems as if he’s very much on his way out of Vancouver. That’s too bad, because if you look over his stats this season and pro-rate them, Schneider could be one of the best goalies in the league if he was a full time starter. Schneider’s stats are as follows, 18-7, with a 1.97 GAA, .937 SV% and 3 shutouts. This after his brilliant performance against Colorado, putting a dent into their playoff hopes. Schneider stopped all 43 shots he faced, as the Canucks barely slipped by the Avalanche 1-0. Schneider was the only reason that game was even close; Vancouver had only 22 shots on Semyon Varlamov and the Avs.
Lehtonen leads Stars past Oilers
Kari Lehtonen took some time to get fully healthy and get comfortable for Dallas. They’re glad he did, because Lehtonen has been spectacular in the past month. He’s gone 8-2, sporting a 2.09 GAA, .933 SV% and collected two shutouts. Lehtonen did more of the same on Wednesday night, allowing only one goal to the Edmonton Oilers and picking up his 32nd win of the season. Dallas is one point ahead of the Sharks and the Kings, as they continue to lead the Pacific division.
Lundqvist large again for New York
Henrik Lundqvist is the favorite for the Vezina trophy at this point in time and for good reason. He now has 37 wins this season after beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 on Wednesday night. Lundqvist turned aside 22 of 24 Winnipeg shots and gave the Rangers some more hope if they want to bring home the Presidents trophy this season. St. Louis is tied with New York a top the NHL standings, as each team has 105 points and five games remaining.
Perry puts away San Jose
Corey Perry will always have that killer instinct you want in a player and he buried the empty netter for his 36th goal of the year. It hasn’t been a great season for Perry, but he’s still one of the best players in the league. Heck, it hasn’t been a great season for the Ducks either, so you shouldn’t worry about Perry’s value going forward.
Kopitar keeps rolling for Kings
Anze Kopitar is heating up and this comes at a time when the Kings really need him to produce. He chipped in with two assists last night against Calgary, he was also a plus-3 in the game and finished with two shots on goal. The slick Slovenian forward now has 67 points this season and will look to finish strong in the Kings’ remaining games.
Umberger helps Jackets sink Detroit
RJ Umberger has been terrible this season, but he seems to be trying to show the Blue Jackets organization what he’s made of lately. Umberger finished with a goal and an assist in last night’s 4-2 win over the Red Wings. He was also a plus-2 in the game and had 3 shots on goal. Still, Umberger has a very mediocre 34 points this season and is his plus minus isn’t great either (-15).
Very effective Varlamov
Semyon Varlamov did all he could against the Canucks, but he just couldn’t stop Chris Higgins shot, which would be the only goal of the game for either team. Still, he stopped 21 of 22 shots and continues to prove his worth to the Colorado organization. He got off to an amazing start and then he struggled, but now he’s showing the organization and its fans how good he can be. Varlamov’s success also has to do with his mother moving to Denver to give him more home cooked meals and more company. Hey, if you were a professional hockey player and you were offered that, wouldn’t you be happy?
Ribeiro keeps rolling
Mike Ribeiro had a goal and two assists in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over the Oilers, raising his point total to 62 this season. I’m not going to say that the reason Michael Ryder is having a lot of success this year is purely the fact that he’s playing with Ribeiro, but he’s certainly making Ryder look good.
Kipper keeps Calgary in it
Miikka Kiprusoff did all he could on Wednesday, surrendering just two goals on 30 shots to the Kings. Game in game out, Kiprusoff keeps the Flames in every game, even at the tender age of 35. If there were was any question of him being done, that’s been answered this season and he continues to look great. Its so typical of European goalies to have long and successful careers. Kiprusoff is no different, he’s still one of the better goalies in the league.
If anyone predicted Michael Ryder would have 37 goals and 62 points this season, I want to meet them. I bet even Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk didn’t expect this kind of performance from him, but he’s also reaping the benefits of playing with Ribeiro, as I mentioned earlier. He had a goal and two assists against the Oilers and will need to continue producing if Dallas wants to hold off the Sharks and Kings.
Niemi not good enough for Sharks
Maybe Antti Niemi isn’t as good as he was last year, but this is a game, which he needed to give his team a win. Instead of that, he allowed 2 goals on 27 shots to the Ducks and suffered another loss.
Pavelec can’t shut down Rangers
The wear and tear of a full season is starting to show with Ondrej Pavelec, he seems to be overworked and that was very clear last night against the Rangers. He allowed four goals on 28 shots, as the Winnipeg Jets took another step backward on Wednesday.
Conklin can’t tame Blue Jackets
In my opinion, Ty Conklin just isn’t good enough to be in the NHL anymore. There was a time when he could handle it, but I don’t think he can now. Conklin surrendered four goals to Columbus on just 27 shots last night. He’s fallen behind Joey MacDonald and is no longer the team’s backup goalie. The only reason he’s in net is because the Wings want to rest both MacDonald and Jimmy Howard to get ready for the playoffs.