well, we're going to have another suspension in Philly. Randy Jones forced Patrice Bergeron to do his "bug on the windshield" impression. Bergeron broke his nose and Jones was "remorseful" without saying he did anything wrong. i watched "Behind the Mask" with Kelly Hrudey in the 1st intrmssn of the 2nd game (i believe) and Hrudey says that stuff like that will continue while coaches at all levels teach people to turn their backs to other players as a way to protect the puck. he's right and Jones is going to sit for a bit because of it. i'm betting it won't be much though, 5 games perhaps? Marco Sturm might get 30 goals, Mike Richards too. Richards pocketed his 2nd shortie of the season. if you count SHP in your league then absolutely look at Richards for some help in a very rare cat to find. Joffrey Lupul got one too, i told you he'd been moved up and he'll get lots in the near future. Simon Gagne missed his 2nd straight game with dizziness.
the Blue Jackets sure look to be clogging things up this year. they only gave up 17 shots on the night to a powerful San Jose offense. Joe Thornton got a goal and i can't seem to find anything else interesting to see here. i'm thinking that Pascal Leclaire isn't the "sell high" option that i thought he was when he started hot off the top of the season.
Marc Andre Fleury was ineffective last night against Montreal and Dany Sabourin took the Pens into a shootout only to eventually lose to Andrei Markov. Markov got himself a PP marker and the shootout winner (which doesn't really count) for the win. a lot of people expected that the Habs signed Roman Hamrlik this offseason to offset the loss of the now injured Sheldon Souray but in reality Markov bided his time and he's now the Habs best D. i have him on at least one team and am very pleased that i do. this just in ... Evgeni Malkin and his 3 assists is really good. Petr Sykora went 1 and 1, which is really good too and he should be able to suck at the teet of greater talent all season long.
it seems that all my Leafs needed was to get away from some home cooking. maybe a road trip will develop some defensive chemistry, maybe they all have to start meeting at a Toronto hotel before every home game so they can bus to the game together and give themselves the idea that they're actually on the road, maybe they just need to clear the front of their own net better and cover the off wing. at any rate, they beat the vaunted Ranger offense. Kaberle (the lynchpin) had 2 assists, Kubina and Kilger (nothing to see here, move along) went 1 and 1. the Leafs lead the league in offense and they also lead the league in worst defense. if they keep playing well on the road maybe they'll start insisting they stay on the road. prior to yesterday Brendan Shanahan was leading the world in SOG/game but he's only got 1 goal to show for it. strike while he's cold, those shots are going to go in.
i heard some talk about how Jersey was going to beat Ottawa last night and my reaction before the game was, "fat chance". there is such a huge difference between how these two teams are playing right now. things won't be so lean for NJ this season but i don't care if the season opener or not, you're not going to beat Ottawa with the way you've been playing so far. i don't like that Martin Gerber continues to play so well, he's getting in the way of my playing Ray Emery. it also looks like Mike Fisher potted 2 yesterday and as a C3 option in deep leagues he's an excellent add.
Mike Sillinger got a goal, played 19 minutes and was -6. it wasn't even cold outside yesterday and he's -6. ewwwwww. Carolina took the boots to the Isles yesterday. Rod the bod with a hattie plus an assist, Erik Cole with 3 assists and Ray Whitney with 2 and 2. Chris Campoli did get 2 assists for the Isles (and was -3) and is still a nice option as a D4, particularly now that Bryan Berard is shelved and someone has to man the point on the PP more often.
i had pegged Nathan Paetsch as a sleeper this season. ok, i wasn't the only one pegging him as a sleeper but i still added him to one of my teams. anyway, Paetsch has disappointed so far this season but went 1 and 1 yesterday. if you're looking for a bottom end D who just might explode for some offense a little bit then Paetsch continues to be a possible option. i think Campoli is a better option right now but if CC isn't available then look for Paetsch. Vinny Lecavalier went 1 and 1 and didn't get into a fight, my isn't novelty nice? i'll continue to take the unexpected PIMs though if he wants to throw'em out there. Marty St. Louis has quietly put 11 pts together, still only 2 goals but he's still contributing. Tomas Vanek and his $10M salary scored his 3rd goal on the season. he'll explode eventually.
Vernon Fiddler scored his first 2 on the season and could get up toward 20 if given a chance at some ice time. he's got a great name playing for a Nashville team eh? Martin Erat got over 21 minutes of ice time last night and bears watching in case that time turns into goals coming up. he might be a guy you could trade for that wouldn't cost you too much. Radulov got 2 assists last night and i'm still pegging him as a decent RW3 option. Olli Jokinen and Cory Murphy each had 2 pts last night, go figure. the offense in Florida will filter through one or both of them this season.
Brad Boyes has 8 goals already this season. i actually drafted him as a C3. pretty pleased about that. Mike Green will continue to contribute to the Caps offense this season as long as Brian Pothier and/or Tom Poti can't seem to prove that they can consistently contribute. the Caps can't seem to find a reliable D to play over 20 minutes/game.
in my PPTOI piece last week i noted that Tobias Enstrom is among the league leaders for PPTOI for D this season. he played over 23 minutes yesterday and got an assist. if you're ignoring him still you won't be able to much longer. Ilya Kovalchuk with 3 pts (told you he'd explode, this will continue), Slava Kozlov with 2 goals (should also continue), and Jason Williams had 2 pts (quietly has 10 on the season). Patrick Kane is also pretty good and the diminutive stuff doesn't seem to get in his way, perhaps his coach has given him a couple pointers in that area.
some power forwards to note in Phoenix last night; Carcillo got a goal and 6 PIMs, Doan with a goal and 2 assists, and Brendan Morrow with 3 assists. Mike Ribeiro also had a goal and 2 assists but he doesn't qualify as a power forward. Martin Hanzal had over 20 minutes of ice time yesterday and is definitely worth a look in deep leagues and keepers.
finally, there's a new commercial on Sportsnet that talks about how many out here in the West can't seem to stand the "Toronto Sports Network"'s hockey coverage since they don't seem to focus on Western teams at all. i personally love the focus on Toronto cuz that's where all the teams in the other sports i watch are based and i just happen to be a Leafs fan. anyway, last night the Kings were hosting the Oilers on the back end of HNIC's double-header and i actually found myself cheering for the Kings. i don't know what it is about the Oilers and Flames but i just can't cheer for them. i really can't stand them much at all and i personally get all bothered by Sportsnet's focus on the Flames and Oilers out here. anyway, Jason Labarbera has been showing that he's going to be the guy for the Kings over the last week. ignore all my other prognostications about JS Aubin. my bad. Raffi Torres is playing really well over the recent past. i'm in one informal league with Victoria Matiash of ESPN's fantasy hockey and she named her team "I love Lubomir". now she's a wonderful girl and can really put away the beer and i just want to say that i agree about Visnovsky. i don't think we feel the same about him since i'm not sure she's talking about hockey but still the guy is the Kings best option from the back and he really doesn't get the print he deserves.
my football season is almost over, i only have one more on-field game to officiate. i enjoyed the whole experience and want to encourage you to consider officiating as an option where you are.