Studs & Duds - Saturday 2/2
You say "Bo-Nee-No", I say "Bo-Nah-No"
When an otherwise offensively-challenged player steps up to pot a triple while leading his team to victory over a divisional (not to mention, territorial) foe, people take notice. That is why today's 'Studs' sheet is headed by Ducks forward, Nick "I'll Never Be Confused w/Gretzky" Bonino. While netting a hat trick yesterday caused rookie poolies across the land to violate the waiver wire in ways not to be mentioned in this family setting, veteran fantasy GMs stood their ground knowing that - much like Halley's Commet - we'll not witness this twice in our lifetime.
Rick Nash scored a key goal, in the Rangers victory of the Tampa Bay Lightning. I'll never put him in the elite, top-five forward tier that certain NHL talking heads place him, however, he is w/out a doubt a very reliable forward to own. His .875 PPG, 21 TOI, 4 SPG, and 2.4 HPG make him more than relevant in both points-only and multi-cat leagues. He's the type of caliber player that a fantasy GM needs to put his team over the top.
'R' is for...
[R]ask - as in Tuukka. Stops all 21 shots faced by the Leafs to earn himself the shutout. Nice bounce-back, after the loss to the Sabres. That six goal game versus the Sabres was more an anomaly rather than cause for concern. Rask may have a hiccup or two, but in the end will prove to be a highly coveted netminder among fantasy GMs.
Jumping The Shark
Pekka Rinne allowed only one goal, while handing the San Jose Sharks their first loss of the seaon. Despite being arguably one of the premier goalies in the NHL, the wins may be hard to come by for this netminder, unless the Preds can find a way to generate more than two goals per game. His peripheral stats will always be solid, but GMs in Win/Loss-only leagues are duly warned.
The Pittsburgh Penguins earn their first victory at home! Crosby and Kunitz w/ 1G and 2A each.
...and Dustin Brown with 2PPG last night, now has 3 goals in his last two games. The team overall may be slumping, but, hopefully, Brown's "Awakening" is a sign of good things to come.
Speaking of the LA Kings...
Darryl Sutter has the dubious pleasure of leading off the 'Duds' section. Yes, I know your team is experiencing one helluva Cup hangover at the moment, and, yes, I know the Ducks scored two on three shots in the opening minutes, but throwing Bernier to the wolves was a panic move nonetheless. The Kings as a team need to pick themselves up by their collective boot straps, and figure this out. And they will, Mr. Sutter, providing you allow them.
Sometimes the Best Defense is a Good Offense!
Red Wing fans sure as hell hope so because now they can add Brendan Smith to the list of injured Detroit defenders. With Colaiacovo and White already out, and Jimmy Howard doing his finest impersonation of a non-goalie, this Smith injury might be the proverbial straw. True, heretofore, Smith's ice time had not sniffed double digits, but the Red Wings are in no position to lose any dmen. Fantasy GMs will cautiously look to Kronwall and Ericsson for production.
I wanted to avoid a wholesale Sabres rant here, although lords knows it would be easy having lost to the Canadiens 6-1. Despite their much heralded win over the Evil Empire (a/k/a Boston Bruins), the Sabres play generally has been inept. Specifically, defense. And even more specifically, Jordan Leopold and Tyler Myers. At minus-7 and minus-6, respectively their less than desirable play needs immediate correction. Fantasy GMs too expect more out of Myers,w/his breakout season seemingly overdue. Unfortunately, we GMs need to bench Myers for the short term at least as he appears utterly lost and tentative w/each move he makes.
If the Sabres play overall is a an adequate reflection of Ruff's competence then it's time to begin the speculative discussion about a new head coach.