1. What kind of effect can Bruce Boudreau have on the Ducks for the remainder of the season? Corey Perry said in an interview that Boudreau didn’t really change much in terms of the system, so we won’t see a lack of offensive production. But what could be interesting is where Bobby Ryan lines up on the powerplay, who is on the point on the top powerplay and how many minutes Boudreau will ride his top stars. Carlyle rode his two big guns (Getzlaf and Perry) for over twenty-two minutes a night, but how much time will they get under Gabby?
2. The Toronto Maple Leafs shook up the lines today at practice : Lupul-Bozak-Kessel; Macarthur-Connolly-Frattin; Kulemin-Grabovski-Crabb; Colborne-Steckel-Dupuis. Not much of a switch but Grabovski moved up from the fourth line to the third and Kulemin has been demoted from the second line. Kulemin hasn’t looked good all season so this doesn’t bode well for his owners.
3. Chicago Blackhawks also shuffled the teams lines up ; tonight look for Kane to be moved back to right wing with Toews and Stalberg, while Marcus Kruger will be upgraded to second line center between Sharp and Hossa.
4. The Washington Capitals had a different powerplay formation than usual last game. Knuble returned to the top unit but was next to Semin, Laich and Ovechkin. Backstrom was on the second unit with Johansson and Ovechkin as he stayed on the ice. Orlov was the lone defenseman with the starting four but Wideman and Carlson were worked in. There is good potential for Orlov as Green is still not close to returning and he sits at 0% owned on Yahoo!
5. Dan Hamhuis has fourteen points in twenty five games this season and is on pace for forty-six points. Hamhuis had one point in his first ten games as he started the year on the second powerplay unit. It’s hard to ignore a player on the most efficient powerplay in the league, but he does only sit 48% owned on Yahoo!
6. Pierre Marc-Bouchard has been playing with Heatley, Koivu, Setoguchi and Spurgeon while on the powerplay and finished up last game with Cullen and Johnson while five-on-five. Pierre-Marc has twelve points in twenty-three games but only three on the powerplay. Last season, Cullen had twenty-one points with the extra man but Bouchard’s only on pace for eleven points on the powerplay? Bouchard has 16 shots in his last six games so keep an eye out.
7. The Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little has been together for six games; six points for Kane, seven for Little and six for Wheeler since the change. Could this be the rise of Evander? Nik Antropov missed last night game. He has three points in his last eight games since his hand injury.
8. Nikita Nikitin is catching the eyes of fantasy poolies all over. He had a three point night last night getting in on all goals and now has eight points in ten games as a Blue Jacket. Nikitin is seeing good powerplay time and has played at least over twenty-one minutes a night since arriving in Columbus.
9. It is no secret that St. Louis’ powerplay is struggling immensely. They are on pace to score to score twenty-four powerplay goals having only seven this season. The law of gravity and the return of David Perron should help that out.
10. How are the top 10 paid UFAs this year doing this season (point per dollar)? From most to least efficient: Fleischmann ($187,500), Cole ($281,250), Ehrhoff ($307,692), Richards ($325,000), Connolly ($395,833), Pitkanen ($409,090), Wisniewski ($500,000), Leino ($750,000), Jovanovski ($825,000), Kaberle ($850,000). What stands out? Kaberle is playing awful offensively, Wisniewski and Connolly are fairly efficient considering they missed almost half of their teams games, and Fleischmann is the best bang for your buck.