KK Members Blog
Poor Jiri Hudler. Poor Kid. He has been patient for 3 seasons to get top 6 forward minutes, and just when it was about to happen, Marian Hossa decides to take a pay cut to join the Wings. Which forces Hudler from the 2nd line to the 3rd line. Despite lining up with Valterri Filppula and Kirk Maltby every night, Hudler has 18 points in 19 games! It doesn’t end there. Because of the Red Wings’ depth, Hudler is only getting an average of 12:31 of ice time. Hudler notches a point every 13:22, which is second in the league for players who have played at least 15 games, behind Alex Semin (11:22). Let us understand this: Hudler is a 3rd line winger, getting half the time of any top winger in the league, and is scoring at almost a point per game rate. Whoa. Take that Dan Carcillo (who scores a point every 194 minutes).
Fantastically, I don’t see why Hudler shouldn’t be owned in your league. He is one injury away from cracking that top-6. Tomas Holmstrom isn’t exactly made of steal, Johan Franzen has had his problems, so has Henrik Zetterberg. Injury is the last case scenerio we want to see Hudler getting more time, hopefully his play will eventually force Mike Babcock’s hand in sending Hudler out more often.
Ten games into the season, Ales Hemsky looked like he was going to finish the season at a point per game pace. Satisfying? Not quite. He may have finished the season with 82 points, but it looked like they were all going to be assists… on the powerplay, no less. However, come game 11, not only did he start scoring goals (notice: plural), but he started showing why critics have been so harsh on him in the past: he has the talent to score not just 82 assists, but 82 goals, but has failed to put it together in a full season.
For his opening act, he dangled through Braydon Coburn and then proceeded to give Martin Biron headspins. The second goal of that game was a sequel of the first. The next 3 games, he continued to score. These goals were not cheap either. A rocket over the shoulder Steve Mason, a one handed poke after a steal by Marc-Andre Fleury, and 1 vs 4 against the Devils defense. Four games, five goals (even some even strength!), and 5 TSN Highlight of the Night candidates. I have watched TSN since a child, and I don’t think any other player in NHL history can make this claim: their first 5 goals of the season were all HON candidates.
Hemsky has given the boost that the Edmonton Oilers needed to endure the season long 7 game road streak that they just completed in New York, where Hemsky provided the shootout winner, and kept the Oilers’ within the top 8 in the competitive Western Conference. Not only this, but has also supplemented the scoring that has been missing from sophomores Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner.
We are now at 15 games into the season. Hemsky has 15 points, with 5 goals - 5 more than I expected him to have. He is on pace for 27 goals. The question remains: can he possibly have 27 HON candidates?
With the news that Nabokov was potentially injured, I quickly grabbed Greiss up in my hockey pool, just in case. I then went to check out his stats on the Worcester Sharks webpage and noticed that he had a large red X next to his name. Usually, this means a player has been called up.
If he gets called up later today, this won’t be the first time that a website had been updated way before the press was notified of the transaction. Why is this? Do the GMs really say - ‘quick, call the webmaster in Worcester and let them know we’re calling up Greiss asap. Then, after lunch or when you have time, let the press know.’ Just sayin…....this seems quite odd.
A lot of talk lately about the young guns in the NHL. Its one way to help sell the future of the game in some markets as well as for the league. But forecasting someone’s development is an inexact science.
Here in the valley of the sun, the Great One decided it was best to give one of his potential future stars a night off and a chance to see the game from a different vantage point. Kyle Turris was a healthy scratch against Calgary, a team that has owned the Yotes for a few years now.
But fear not, Turris is expected to be in the line up Thursday night in the “Garage” which might be considered a home game for him. Should be interesting to see how he responds.
The Coyotes’ official blogger has a piece posted where he interviews Turris on this. Check it out: http://coyotes.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=390467
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