Studs & Duds - Tuesday 2/5
David Clarkson and Patrick Elias each finished the night with 3 points, were a +2 and had 3 and 2 shots respectively against the New York Rangers. Their final hookup was also on the powerplay giving each of them a PPP on the night as well. Clarkson is now tied for 11th in scoring on the season and Elias is tied for 20th. While the other 2/3rds of the EGG line seems to have gone on to virtual obscurity, Elias has managed to find relevance again the last couple of seasons. Meanwhile Clarkson continues to build on his breakout 30 goal season, becoming a more rounded player in the process.
Any Card Player Will Tell You It's Tough To Beat Four Kings
Mike Richards had a goal and assist and added 19 PIMs for a nice well rounded night. Richards is now up to 5 points in 8 games now and working his way back into the good graces of his owners. Justin Williams also had 3 assists and was +3 on the night, he also has 5 points in 8 games now. Owners of both players still yearn for the potential these two have shown in the past, with Williams having a 76 and 67 point season immediately following the lockout and Richards having 75 and 80 points the following two seasons. In a shortened season anything can happen so it remains to be seen if this pair can build on this and finish as point per game players on the season. I would still peg them at 50-60 pro rated though. If you didn't already buy low on them that window may be closing. On the backend Slava Voynov and Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist respectively. Doughty had 3 hits and 3 blocked shots while Voynov had 3 hits and 2 blocked shots giving them nice value in your extended category leagues. Add in Voynov's +2 and 24 TOI and Doughty's nearly 26 TOI and if your league counts ice time you were happy with these defensemen. Many are expecting big things out of these young defensemen but it is early to know if this is a turn for the better.
Where is Chris Hansen When You Need Him
Martin Earat had a goal and two assists and was a +2 on the night. Colin Wilson was a +3 and had 3 helpers. Paul Gaustad's two assist and +1 night might seem pedestrian, but if your league counts FOWs his 20 from last night is nothing to sneeze at. The young gun defensemen also stepped up last night which is what many an owner has been waiting for. Jonathon Blum had two assists and was a +2 adding 2 blocked shots, all of which was pretty incredible considering he didn't top 13 minutes in ice time. Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist for two points as well going a +1 and adding 4 blocked shots, again in limited ice time as he saw slightly more than 13 minutes. It is tough to see the Predators sustaining this kind of offensive pace going forward, but most are hoping this is a step forward for the young defensive pair.
Even Uncle Niemi Was Covering His Eyes
Chicago continued their dominance of the West in part due to Patrick Kane's two goal night. Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews had an assist on different Kane goals and an assist on Brandon Saad's goal as well, each getting two assists on the night, 3 hits and 1 blocked shot along with 17 FOWs rounded out their extended category scoring respectively and each player was a +2 on the night. Marcus Kruger also had a multi-point night with a goal and assist. Kane is now 3rd in scoring only a goal behind Steven Stamkos on the season and is rewarding owners who didn't give up on him after a tough season last year and rumors of off ice shenanigans during the off season.
The Legion of Dumb
The New York Rangers power line of Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and Marian Gaborik were on the ice last night for both of the New Jersey Devils even strength goals. Michael Del Zotto had the dubious distinction of being on the ice for all 3 of the goals against the Rangers. Brad Richards was the only one of the four players to not finish a -2 on the night due to a late game breakup of the line which led to him being part of Chris Kreider's first NHL goal.
ET Phoned Home (And Elliott Phoned It In)
Brian Elliott let up 4 goals on 11 shots not even lasting to the midpoint of the game. His 8.23 GAA and .636 SV% have his owners feeling like they were victims of the probings of little green men and no amount of Reese's Pieces is likely to make them feel better. Elliott is now 3-3 with a 2.95 GAA and .874 SV% on the season. There will certainly be no goaltender controversy in St. Louis this season.
Doing Their Part to Save the Environment
Columbus, Toronto, Bufflo, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Florida, Chicago, San Jose, and the two New York teams combined to go 0 for 37 on the power play last night or powerless play. Shoot the puck, Barry.
Odds & Ends
Less Is More
Tom Sestito of the Philadelphia Flyers had a pair of goals and was a +2 last night. The remarkable thing he did it on 2 shots and with a little over 8 minutes of ice time.
More Is More
Martin Brodeur recorded his 660th win last night. Not only is this incredible because the closest goalie in wins is nearly 110 wins behind him, but it is also incredible because only 29 goalies all time have more starts than Marty has wins.
It's About Time Rookie
About 9 months ago Chris Kreider scored 5 goals in the NHL playoffs. A record since he had yet to play a single regular season game. He was also the first player whose first two NHL goals were playoff game winning goals. Well fast forward to now and he finally scored his first regular season NHL goal last night. A lockout, a slow start, and an injury all conspired to keep it from happening, but Ranger fans and Kreider owners breathed a big sigh of relief last night. Now go get another kid.