Mike Riberiro continues to lead his team in points thanks to efforts like last nights 3 point game. He had a goal and 2 assists to go along with 8 FOWs and 2 hits for those extended cat leagues, the only flaw was his -2 on the night. He is not only 7 points ahead of his nearest teammate with 17 points in 13 games, he also is tied for 4th overall in the league with Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby and Marty St. Louis. The very unsexy yet always steady Mike Ribeiro has finally come into his own. Sell him now in a keeper league if you can, since he just turned 33 and it's difficult to tell if he can maintain this pace for the rest of this season much less the next couple.
Tell Me That You'll Wait For Me
Blake Wheeler had 2 assists, 4 shots and was a +2 against Philadelphia; he continues to be tied with Andrew Ladd in forward scoring for the Jets. Ladd had 2 goals on 2 shots and was a +2 on the night as well. Wheeler also had 1 hit and 2 blocked shots on the night giving a little bit of extra value in extended cat leagues. Claude Noel also tipped off everyone last night that he has Wheeler in at least one of his fantasy pools when he decided to have Wheeler 'serve' the 10 minute misconduct assessed to Noel at the end of the game. This was a real nice bonus for Wheeler owners, I just hope they kept the lights on for him until his penalty was over.
Black And Blueshirts
Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh each had 7 blocked shots last night against the Boston Bruins. Girardi's 3 shots and 1 assist also gave him value in leagues other than extended cat ones. Their total of 14 was better than or equal to the team totals of 14 of the 20 teams that played last night. In fact the Rangers 25 blocked shots was equal or better to the number of saves made by 9 of last nights goalies.
Erik Karlsson's had 9 shots last night and continues to lead the league in shots with 62. He also has twice as many shots as all but two defensemen. Another goal means he continues to lead defensemen in goal scoring.
Jim Slater went 11-0 in the faceoff circle and added a shot, a hit, and a blocked shot. All in only 6:30 of icetime.
Fancois Beauchemin continues to be a nice multi-cat option with 1 assist, 2 PIMs, 3 shots, 3 blocked shots, 6 hits, and a +1.
Craig Anderson turned aside 42 shots for a shutout. He continues to lead starting goalies in GAA and SV%, and he is tied for 1st in wins and is 3rd in saves. His 2 shutouts is also tied for 1st.
Scott Clemmensen put up a stinker last night allowing 6 goals on 29 shots for a 5.95 GAA and a .793 SV%. Florida also went 0 for 5 on the power play and only won 35% of their faceoffs. Niether goalie is playing well in Florida as the team is giving up a league leading 3.83 GA/G. The goalies aren't the only ones to blame as the offense and defense in Florida is pretty bad. Not only is this team not very likely to win their division again they are looking very likely to finish very close to the bottom of the league this season.
Just How Many Men Do They Have Anyway
In 12 games the New York Rangers have been called for 6 Too Many Men penalties. As a Ranger fan to be honest I have no idea if other teams are even close to this dubious distinction or not. Undisciplined penalties continue to plague the Rangers and they are either going to have to figure out a way to stop taking them or to improve their penalty kill. They are unlikely to finish 1st in the East again this season if they can't play more disciplined hockey.
Greatest Love Of All
There are going to be some bumps in the road as all of the kids up there in Edmonton work towards making their team a top contender and last night was one of them. A single goal for the team, 4 goals against, and 0 for 4 on the power play accounted for one ugly night. In particular Devan Dubnyk only stopped 25 of 29 shots finishing with a 4.00 GAA and .862 SV%; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a -1 and only won 3 of 14 faceoffs on the night, he now only has 1 assist in his last 5 games after having 5 in his first 7; finally the Schultz brothers combined for a -5 as a unit. Growing pains for sure and even veteran heavy teams have games like this sometimes, but lack of scoring was not something we expected out of Edmonton and they are currently 27th in the league in goals per game.
Odds & Ends
Up Up And AWAY
The Chicago Blackhawks lost a shoot out last night and once again have yet to lose a regulation game this season. A record of 10-0-3 gives them 23 points and the league lead as well. They are 2nd in goals per game, tied for 3rd in goals against per game and 2nd in PK%. The most remarkable thing about all of that is that they have only played 3 home games so far this season. As long as their goaltending holds up it's hard to imagine they will not finish near the top of the league and be a serious Cup contender again this season.