Can’t say I saw this coming but it was a slow week for left wingers. We welcome Alex Tanguay with open arms after coming around during a stretch where Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos cooled off. Tanguay has shaken off the jitters and gotten a few bounces for seven points in six games.
Numbers: four games played, two goals, three assists, five points, plus-five rating.
With Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin out of action and Sidney Crosby seeking better days, is this the year for Anze Kopitar? It has to be given to someone and why not a player who is on target for 126 points? That’s right, we’re talking about the Art Ross Trophy. With his defensive work and effort without the puck growing, Kopitar has been the perfect performer league-wide.
Numbers: three games played, three goals, three assists, six points, plus-four rating.
Three wins for Calgary, three inspirational displays by captain Jarome Iginla who landed a double-dose of game-winners amongst four goals. Big name players introduce themselves in the large moments and Iginla will always be that person for Calgary. While it may not last forever, 2013 is the earliest possibility of a switch.
Numbers: three games played, four goals, one assist, five points, plus-one rating.
You get the feeling that Chris Pronger’s statistics below should include a penalty minute tracker. However, shocking as it may be, he has been behaving in Philadelphia and that’s encouraging to hear. Less infractions equals more of Pronger on the ice which is comforting because he can hurt a person or team in so many ways.
Numbers: three games played, one goal, four assists, five points, plus-five rating.
A year ago, it wasn’t certain if Brian Pothier would be able to continue his career due to concussion issues. But gladly he’s fully fit and looks to be regaining that offensive touch at the timeliest of moments. If Mike Green’s upper body problem sidelines him significantly, Pothier will need more days like these (see below).
Numbers: two games played, one goal, three assists, four points, plus-six rating.
Ray Emery was sharp and smooth giving observers an idea of why his nickname is Razor. The presumed gamble Flyers management took by signing this keeper was swept underneath the rug. A month of games is a suitable measuring stick to indicate whether success lies ahead and Emery seems ready for another playoff run.
Numbers: three games played, three wins, .943 save percentage, 1.66 GAA.
Team of the Week
Center: Anze Kopitar
Left Wing: Alex Tanguay
Right Wing: Jarome Iginla
Defenseman: Chris Pronger
Defenseman: Brian Pothier
Goaltender: Ray Emery
Remember that awful incident Ondrej Pavelec lived when Jeff Schultz beat him from 190 feet away? I know you do. Two days ago, Atlanta got a present of their own as Ron Hainsey mailed a puck towards the net that similarly hopped on Ty Conklin. That tied the game up late in the third period and the Thrashers took advantage winning in the shootout. As ugly as it was, justice was served in Atlanta’s case. St. Louis, losers in five straight and six of seven, can now pass on the curse to their opponents someday.
I’m running out of positive references to Anze Kopitar. Seemingly untouchable, the Slovenian breezed right by a few Penguins who left Marc-Andre Fleury hung out to dry. While he did go down a little prematurely, you’ll notice Brooks Orpik a few inches behind watching Kopitar’s adroitness. It’s ok to be a fan Brooks.
One glance at the intruding physique of Maple Leafs rookie Jonas Gustavsson explains why he has been given the moniker Monster. Going 2-0-1 to start November, his timely saves brought about back-to-back wins including a 5-1 surge over Detroit. Toronto’s getting terrific goaltending; go figure.
Because of Gustavsson’s age (25), we can’t really label him young gun of the week as much as we hoped to. So, James van Riemsdyk joins us. The 20-year-old is in good company trailing only Mike Richards and Jeff Carter by a point and has averaged more than a point per game. John Tavares van Riemsdyk is marching nearest to a Calder Trophy.
Victor Hedman’s probably getting (expletive) irritated of seeing the Ottawa Senators. Earlier in the campaign, he was checked along the boards by Anton Volchenkov. The good news is the defenseman was injured when the two teams collided on the weekend. The bad news was that Chris Neil was still in the line-up.
Two tips for fantasy pool participants before my departure: Tomas Fleischmann and David Jones. Bruce Boudreau has repeatedly stated how Fleischmann’s goal-scoring exploits can take place and five goals in six games has me convinced. He’s also eligible for both wing positions making benching decisions and whatnot more do-able. And Jones was on the first line Monday in Milan Hejduk’s absence tallying yet another goal. Shorthanded points are hard to come by and he can provide those already racking up two of them. Pick up both individuals should they still be available.