Crashing the net: Backstrom catering feast to Capitals' snipers
Named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for the just completed stanza, Backstrom produced two goals and eight helpers in four games feeding the puck to
From 2005-08, Spezza was ninth in the NHL in assists (238) and 14th in points (369). While impressive totals, they were held back a bit by missing a few games here and there with injury, a fact that can be seen in his 1.12 point-per-game mark that was ninth in the league in that time. This season his production waned, partly because of losing linemate
First it was
On nearly every preseason list as a potential breakout star on the blue line this season, Johnson started out on fire with 18 points and a +6 rating in his first 25 games, making those pundits look as intelligent as the visionary that was
A potentially dominant power-forward force, Lucic just hasn't been right since returning to the ice from an injured ankle. Not only has he gone five games without a point, he also has a mere goal and two assists in his last 15 games. If that wasn't bad enough, his feisty nature has also disappeared with a single, yes, one, penalty in those 15 games. For a man who scored 17 goals last season along with 136 PIMs, three goals and 26 PIMs in 25 games is an embarrassing effort. He may not snap out of this slump any time soon as he was placed on the fourth line on Sunday (
The Mule has been out of action since October due to a torn left ACL, and it looks like after months of diligent rehab that he will probably return to the ice on Tuesday. If he skates on a line with
Since being shipped to the Flyers from Tampa Bay, Lukas has zero points, zero PIMs and an even rating. Why mention him at all then? Well, he has been skating on the second defensive unit with the Flyers alongside
Sharp was demoted from the second line late last week as
Look who finds himself in an envious position skating on a line with
The newest of the news with this organization is that Lehtonen is back with the club after a conditioning stint with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL (he was 1-1-2 with a 2.67 GAA and a .899 save percentage). Apparently finally recovered from back woes that required him to go under the knife, Lehtonen is about to make things really interesting in Atlanta, where the previously established duo is going in two different directions. Pavelec may or may not be the Thrashers' goalie of the future, but currently he is playing pretty poorly in net (3.26 GAA over his last nine games). Hedberg is a solid 3-1-1 in his last five starts with a stout 2.19 GAA (he also leads the NHL in third period save percentage) as he has clearly staked his claim to playing time. However, he is the veteran whose future is murky at best. One of the three will almost certainly go by the trade deadline, but that's about the only certainty we have any handle on with this situation.
Emery has missed the past couple of contests with a sore hip, and we aren't quite clear if the injury is going to require extended time on the shelf or not. What we do know is that Leighton will start yet again on Monday as he will be looking to put an end to a personal three-game losing streak. Far from playing poorly in that stretch, Leighton has allowed only three goals in his last two outings, though his overall numbers have dipped since a superb run to end December (he still owns a superb .925 save percentage in 14 games with the Flyers). About all we know for certain at this point is that
The J-S stands for "Just Shutouts" as J-S became the first keeper in the illustrious history of the Leafs to open his career with the team with back-to-back shutouts. Reunited with former goaltending coach
This second-year keeper has been possibly the biggest disappointment in the NHL up to this point of the season. Moreover, the entire team in Columbus has underachieved, and as a result the choice was made to remove bench boss
Looking like he had lost the starting job to Alex Auld, the proud veteran that is Turco has rebounded with a vengeance of late allowing a mere three goals in his last three starts. Turco still has middling numbers this season (2.73 GAA, .910 save percentage) when compared to his career work (2.30 GAA, .911 save percentage), but it sure seems like he has responded the challenge for playing time in net with a vengeance. The question now becomes -- will he remain in Dallas or end up being moved to another squad to help alleviate some potential payroll concerns in Texas?
* Thirteen teams play four games this week: Anaheim, Colorado, Edmonton, Nashville, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Vancouver.
* One team plays only two games this week: Toronto