Velcome to zee spooktacular Halloween edition of zee BS Hockey Gameday Thread! The Haunted Maple Leafs are in town to face the Undead Blue Jackets! Muh-ha-ha-ha! Pregame: Ahem. Sorry about all that. Let’s start with spooky lines for the Leafs and CBJ. Straight from their haunted house in Toronto, the projected TML combos: Toronto Forwards: Lupul – Kadri – Kessel // van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Clarkson Komarov – Santorelli – Winnik // Ashton – Holland – Panik Toronto Defense: Phaneuf – Franson // Gardiner – Polak // Rielly – Robidas Toronto Goalie: Bernier – Reimer Phil Kessel is great as always, and getting him away from Bozak is a potential big upgrade for the elite winger. In the CBJ corner, a ghastly feature on the injured Blue Jackets by Chris Johnston at Sportsnet, and the Columbus lines from beloved Dispatch ghoul Shawn Mitchell: Columbus Forwards: Hartnell – Johansen – Atkinson // Foligno – Wennberg – Skille Tropp – Chaput – Dano // Collins – Cracknell – Boll C
Michael Finewax reports that the Senators are at home for all four games in The Week Ahead.
(The Sports Xchange) - The Columbus Blue Jackets placed center Mark Letestu and defenseman James Wisniewski on injured reserve Thursday and brought up centers Sean Collins and Brian Gibbons from the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. - - Detroit Red Wings forward Stephen Weiss returned from Grand Rapids to be evaluated for a groin injury. Weiss, who signed a five-year, $24.9 million contract in 2013, played only 26 games last season while dealing with a sports hernia. ...
The banged-up Columbus Blue Jackets were having enough trouble keeping the puck out of their own net, and as might be expected, it got no better in their first game without Sergei Bobrovsky. The injury-depleted team's next opportunity to correct things without its sidelined goaltender - among others - comes Friday night at home against a Toronto Maple Leafs club coming off its most dominant effort of the season. Center Artem Anisimov left the game in the second period after a hit to the head and is day to day with a concussion. Defenseman James Wisniewski broke a finger in the third, landed on injured reserve Thursday and will miss at least a week.
Dobber launched his fantasy hockey website DobberHockey back in 2005 and has been Puck Daddy's resident fantasy hockey 'expert' since 2009. At this point, 40 players are on pace for 80 points. Let's assume that it's not 1984 and this won't happen. In some cases, this won't even be close. Here are some current point-per-game players as October comes to an end, who will be lucky to get 55 points this campaign: Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets - Foligno's upside is very similar to his dad's. And although Mike had an 80-point season, that happened in the 80s - an era in which 70-point players were considered fourth-line checkers. Adjust for the era and Nick is probably going to be a 55-point player. When he returns from his "stinger," his numbers will start to slow when Boone Jenner and the rest of the walking wounded get back. Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings - Nobody's doubting that Pearson is going to have an amazing year. Just not 80-point amazing. Without the chemistry with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, he was probably destined for 40 points. With those guys, Pearson should clear 50 and possibly 55. Tyler Bozak, Toronto Maple Leafs - A favorite whipping boy for Toronto fans, Bozak has long been labeled the misfit of the top line. Meanwhile, he has 69 points in his last 82 games and boasts a 54.8% win percentage at the dot. So I'm a Bozak backer. But that doesn't mean I think he'll get 80 points, or even 70. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues - I say that Shattenkirk will be lucky to reach 55 because he does this every year. He's one of the top scoring defensemen in the league at the 15 or 20 game mark and then ends up with around 45. Studs... These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks... Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings (6-3-8-11, plus-6, 4 PIM, 20 SOG) - After missing Ken Holland's logic in signing Dan Cleary a big chunk of last season, Zetterberg has come back with a vengeance. At 34, bad back and all, Big Z still has plenty of gas in the tank. Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets (9-5-7-12, minus-1, 4 PIM, 20 SOG, 5 PPPts) - Johansen and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin are the only two players who have points in every NHL game so far. That theory where missing camp causes either slow starts or injuries, well it's been debunked. We'll leave out the part about my being the one to float that theory… Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars (6-2-7-9, even, 2 PIM, 12 SOG, 5 PPPts) - So which does Spezza enjoy more - no longer being with the Senators, or playing on a line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin? As fantasy owners, we don't really care. As long as he's no longer stuck with Ales Hemsky.
Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.
Will Arnett does not shy away from being a Maple Leafs fan. The former “Arrested Development” actor, who hails from East York, Ontario got to live his dream – or nightmare maybe – of coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs in the below video. This comes on the heels of Montreal Canadiens commercials where “This is the End” star and Habs superfan Jay Baruchel creeps on some players. The recent actor love for these teams got us thinking. Who are our favorite celeb fans of other Canadian franchises? Ottawa Senators … Matthew Perry: The former “Friends” actor was raised in Ottawa. Though he often claims the Kings, we’ll take the excuse that he can root for Los Angeles in the Western Conference and Ottawa in the Eastern Conference. Thankfully for Perry, they’ve never met in the Stanley Cup Final. Vancouver Canucks … Cobie Smulders: On “How I Met Your Mother," Smulders never hid her love of hockey, or the Canucks, often wearing shirts honoring her team … even after the Canucks crashed and burned in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Honorable mention goes to Elvis Costello who 'pumped it up' for the Canucks in the 2011 postseason. Edmonton Oilers … Kevin Smith: The film director and New Jersey native is somehow an Oilers fan. We don’t get it, but his movies often include hockey scenes, so we dig it. Winnipeg Jets … Neil Young: The rock, and Manitoba, legend famously gave up rooting for the San Jose Sharks to pull for the newly reincarnated Jets. Calgary Flames … Bret Hart: The former and pro wrestler Calgary, Alberta native is the co-founder of the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen and one of its original owners.
Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.
From Hometown Hockey: Following every Sabres game, we’ll be taking a little look at the previous night’s action with a little segment called “good, bad and ugly”. Expect a loooooooot of ugly. The Good There really wasn’t much to be happy about in this one, so I had to get a bit nit-picky to find […] The post Good, Bad and Ugly: Sabres vs Maple Leafs appeared first on Two Pad Stack.
It's becoming obvious everyone is going to have to readjust their assumptions about, and expectations for, the Bruins while Zdeno Chara is out of the lineup. The Black and Gold can no longer take periods off and hope to beat even average NHL teams. They can no longer take for granted two-goal leads in the third period. And they can no longer be assured of controlling the play against teams that have a modicum of talent, or an actual desire to win the game. The Minnesota Wild gave the Chara-less Bruins a sharp reality check on Tuesday night when they scored three consecutive goals in the third period for a stunning 4-3 win at TD Garden. The B's allowed a season-high 42 shots to the Wild -- who were on the second night of back-to-backs -- and once again dropped below the .500 mark they’ve been flirting with for the first three weeks of the season. Coach Claude Julien said he started to see signs of his team’s decline in the second period, but the bottom truly dropped out while getting outshot by an 18-8 margin in the final 20 minutes. “We started playing on our heels, we stopped playing on our toes and being first to the puck, or at least create the battle," said Julien. "We should have been the fresher team tonight. That should have been the case. We knew they were going to compete hard, that’s the way that team plays all the time. It was up to us to push the pace all night long and we didn’t do that. “I guess it’s disappointing to see the lack of tape-to-tape passes and how we’re just mismanaging that puck. And then the same thing in the third period, they were just first on it everywhere, winning the battles, winning the races, and the commitment to win was there a lot more than it was for us.” When a team is outshot by a 42-28 margin in the game and loses the zone-time battle, there’s no shortage of suspects when looking to assign blame. But the Bruin defensemen struggled mightily on breakouts and first passes, regularly got hemmed into their zone, and the pairing of Zach Trotman and Matt Bartkowski was disastrous with a pair of goals allowed -- including the game-tying goal to Justin Fontaine on what ended up being Bartkowski's last shift of the game. Last Saturday's dominant win over the Maple Leafs was at least partially a mirage based on the pathetic effort being put forth by Toronto, and Tuesday night was perhaps a more accurate gauge of where the Bruins currently sit. Even with an impressive effort from 20-year-old Seth Griffith, who showed he might just be the answer for the B’s right-wing problem on the top line, there are holes on the roster that will make it difficult for the B's against the league’s better offensive teams. The biggest hole is the 6-foot-9 crater caused by the absence of Chara, and Boston’s distinct lack of ability to get a crucial defensive stop without him. The B's tried to put on a brave face after the deflating loss, saying his absence shouldn’t matter, but they’re kidding themselves if they don’t think missing the league’s premier defensive defenseman makes a difference. “[Whether] Zee is not here or if he is here, then the game shouldn’t change," said David Krejci. "Our game is to play well defensively and have a good breakout and go from there. But it felt like in the third period we didn’t help out as forwards. Our D’s, the D’s didn’t help us as well, so it goes both ways. We have to be better as a team.” It’s admirable that expectations are the same whether or not No. 33 is in the lineup. But there’s a connection between Chara’s absence and the Wild firing away at will on the Boston net. It even impacted the top shutdown pair of Dennis Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton, who couldn’t hold back Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund in the opening minutes of the third period, which is what started shifting momentum Minnesota’s way. There weren’t any egregious coverage mistakes or major lost battles, but Seidenberg and Hamilton simply couldn’t stop two of Minnesota’s best offensive players. The bad mojo for the Bruins actually started with a careless holding penalty from Brad Marchand to start the third period with Boston holding a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead. But it really hit a fever pitch quickly when Parise dinged the B’s top pair for a five-on-five goal as well. Once the Bartkowski/Trotman pair was scored on two minutes later, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Wild went ahead to stay. “It’s the worst lead in hockey, right?" said Tuukka Rask of the two-goal edge. "That’s what they say, and you let up even for a minute and bad things can happen. We take that penalty there early in the third and they took the momentum and they kept it for the next 10 minutes, got a couple of goals out of it. Then it kind of evens out after that, and a bad bounce [on] the last [goal] ends up costing us the game.” That bad bounce came on the Marco Scandella point shot that took a wild trajectory once it hit Krejci’s stick. But the game was lost long before that. The Bruins usually steamroll opponents in the closing 20 minutes, overwhelming them with their depth, superior conditioning . . . and confidence. But without Chara, who won't be walking back through that door until December, they'll have to accept a new reality where a two-goal lead isn’t a lead pipe lock in the third priod, and good offensive teams will require their utmost attention and flawless execution. Otherwise it could be a long six weeks.