DAILY PRIME - FEBRUARY 9, 2015: FROM WHAT I CAN SEE.... primepucks.com 4 years ago

What I've noticed of late is how defenseman Seth Jones has become more involved in the scoring for the Nashville Predators. He has a 4-game point streak and has 9 points in last 12 games.  Pretty impressive stats I must say...

Chicago Blackhawk Marian Hossa has been quiet of late but scored twice against St. Louis. His first points in 6 games.  Veteran players like Hossa know when to raise the level of their game and with the season coming to the stretch run....

Philadelphia Flyer Claude Giroux has been relatively quiet of late but had 2 assists against Washington in a big win for Philly as they cling to playoff expectations. A player like Giroux can go off in a hurry so leave him in your lineup regardless....G Steve Mason had to leave the game with an apparent knee injury. Seems like he could be on the shelf for a while so if you expect a lot from the Flyers, pick up and start Ray Emery as you await further word on Mason's injury....

Not much to say about the Buffalo-Islanders tilt other than Jaroslav Halak won the game by making just eight saves during an entire match. Really? That has to be a record. Anyway, his owners will gladly take it..

The Lightning steamrolled the Ducks despite the return of Ryan Getzlaf, getting a huge three-point effort from Valtteri Fillpula(7 points in last 10 gms).Anaheim goalie Federik Andersen left the match after getting hit by a tilted net. Let's hope that the injury is not serious given that Ilya Bryzgalov would be a less than adequate handcuff for Andersen owners..

Jason Spezza has been more of a dominant offensive performer lately, collecting a goal and two assists improve his numbers to 11 points over the last ten games. A point-per-game pace or close to it should be expected for the perennial second-half stud.. Kari Lehtonen's amazing 34-save effort in the win justs adds to the craziness of owning him and not knowing what to expect from start to start. I had all but decided to sit him for the upcoming week but now have second thoughts. So should you..

Mathieu Perreault and Dustin Byfuglien get the Winnipeg Jets back in the winning column with three points apiece. "Big Buff" has been moved back to forward but as long he maintains eligibility on the blueline, keep starting him on defense..

Behind Carey Price's 34 saves, the Habs completed the season sweep of the Boston Bruins in a low-scoring affair. Tuuka played well but Carey was just a tad better..

DAILY PRIME - DECEMBER 29, 2014: CAT SCRATCH FEVER IN FLORIDA primepucks.com 4 years ago

The highest scoring team in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were outscored by one of the lowest scoring teams, the Florida Panthers in a 6-4 shoot'em out battle in Miami, Florida. The Leafs had built a 4-2 lead going into the 3rd period but the Cats clawed back as they scored 4 unanswered goals as Roberto Luongo (18/22 SV) outlasted James Reimer (28/33 SV). The regulation win kept the Panthers close to a playoff spot....James van Riemsdyk, with a goal and assist, and Joffrey Lupul (2A) were the offensive sparks for Toronto while Dmitry Kulikov (G, A) and Jussi Jokinen (2A) were their counterparts for Florida....

Heading over to the West Coast, it was the Anaheim Ducks prevailing over the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in overtime as G Frederik Andersen turned aside 12 of 13 SOG getting a relatively easy night in back-to-back starts. Andersen has now started 20 of 21 games for the Ducks and it looks like backup Ilya Bryzgalov will only be seeing spot duty every now and then....D Cam Fowler scored the game-winner and now has 7 points in 13 December games. This may be a good "buy-low" situation on the Anaheim defenseman.

DAILY PRIME - DECEMBER 20, 2014: HUTCH IS CLUTCH AGAIN primepucks.com 4 years ago

Perhaps this is the time to start thinking about "buying low" on the New Jersey Devils as they have played 21 of their 34 games away from home so far and with some players returning to full health should be able to make a run with a lot of games coming up at home. New Jersey plays 12 of their next 18 games at the Prudential Center. Devils G Keith Kincaid earned his won his 1st NHL victory against the high-powered Tampa Bay lightning who seem to have hit a rut lately by losing 6 of their last 9 games. Both usual starters, Ben Bishop and Cory Schneider, were out for different reasons but should be in net for their respective team's next starts....Patrik Elias scored his 4th goal on the season and just 3th point in 28 games this season well below his career average. Could be a solid acquisition from here on out as he should return to normal scoring levels....

Ilya Bryzgalov got his first start in his return to the Anaheim Ducks and was smoked for 6 goals by the Ottawa Senators. Expect Frederik Andersen back in net for their next game.  Bobby Ryan seems to be heating up with 8 points in 8 December games after contributing two assists in the game. You just might be able to obtain Ryan on the cheap.  If you remember, Ryan was at a point-per-game clip before playing with an injury last year, his first in Ottawa....

Jaroslav Halak and the NY Islanders continued their strong season with a 2-1 victory in Hockeytown over the Detroit Red Wings who lost G Jimmy Howard to a lower-body injury during the first period. Hopefully for the Red Wings, Howard won't be out long as he was having a nice comeback season.  Halak earned his 17th win on the year....

Michael Hutchinson continues to show what he can do at the NHL level with a 30-save, 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Hutchinson raised his record to 7-2-2 with outstanding metrics and should be considered the undisputed starter but Winnipeg continues to platoon both he and Ondrej Pavelec who is having his best statistical season by far but the team seems to win more with Hutch in net.....

The Dallas Stars scored twice early and held on for a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames, raising G Kari Lehtonen's record to 13-7-5. For the Flames, that was their 7th loss in a row  as they are quickly fading from a solid start to the season.  

DAILY PRIME- DECEMBER 19. 2014: FOLIGNO ON "FIRE" primepucks.com 4 years ago

Thursday night welcomed the return of Sidney Crosby to the Pittsburgh lineup, but goalie Marc-Andre Fleury "stole the show" with his career-high sixth shutout of the season in the 1-0 OT win over Colorado. Poolsters, judge MAF always by his elite numbers during gthe regular season- 18-4-2, .930 SP, 2.01 GAA- and let others worry about what he does in the playoffs..

Where has Nick Foligno come from? The Columbus winger recoreded two goals and an assist in a losing effort, raising his totals to 30 points in 30 games. I would love for him to keep up this ferocious scoring pace, but it seems unlikely given his past track record- his career-high in points was 47 in 2010-11. His 16 power-play points so far is more than in his previous three seasons combined. Sell high if you can..

The King's trio of Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, and Marian Gaborik collected a combined 12 points in a thrilling come-from-behind 6-4 win over St. Louis. This was a welcomed sight for their fantasy owners considering how poorly the LA offense has performed lately. Many have bailed on Kopitar but don't be so quick to quit on the normally consistent Slovenian. These are the type of nights that get stars back on track..

Huge "trap game" for the streaking Maple Leafs and Carolina'a Cam Ward made them pay for it with the superb 25-save effort in the crease. The Canes won 4-1 and Ward snapped his four-game losing skid. Remember that Toronto has already played half of their home games this season, so a road-heavy schedule awaits them the rest of the way. ..

Federik Andersen won his eighth game in his last nine starts as Anaheim prevailed over Montreal on the road 2-1. The "Great Dane" has showed no signs of relinquishing his starting job anytime soon so keep riding him with confidence. BTW, John Gibson has been reassigned to Norfolk(AHL) for conditioning purposes. He will probably stay there for awhile as Ilya Bryzgalov was paid alot of money to back up Andersen..

Sergei Bobrovsky's seven-game winning streak was snapped as Washington prevailed 5-4 over Columbus in overtime. Washington's Braden Holtby also struggled in the contest, but both goalies are trending sky-high as fantasy options moving forward..

DAILY PRIME - DECEMBER 6, 2014: DOWN PERRY-SCOPE primepucks.com 4 years ago

Most important news of the night was that Corey Perry left the game with an apparent knee injury on a check along the side boards. The seriousness of his injury is not known at this time but after a sensational start to the season, Perry will continue to travel with the team, so the eseverity of his injury might not be that bad.  This injury, and his recent bout with the mumps and I'm sure Perry can't wait for the new year to begin....

Anaheim Duck G Frederik Andersen (21/25 SV) didn't have his best game but managed to play well enough for his 13th win on the season. With the recent tryout of one-time Duck Ilya Bryzgalov and rookie John Gibson still recovering from a lower-body injury, it appears that Andersen will be manning the crease for the foreseeable future.  If, and when, Bryzgalov signs, Gibson seems to be headed for the minors to develop his game once he returns from injury....

Minnesota G Darcy Kuemper (13/18 SV) didn't have his best game either as he was pulled after letting in all 5 goals in the Ducks 5-4 win over the Wild. Kuemper's play has been off-and-on lately going 3-3-0 in last 6 starts.  The Wild need consistent play form their net minders and with Josh Harding lurking in the AHL, Kuemper's days as the undisputed no. 1 in Minnesota may be drawing to a close....

The good thing to come out of this game was the play of Ryan Kesler who had 2 goals and an assist. Kesler will need to bring his ‘A' game as Perry could be out of the lineup for a period of time depending on the severity of his injury....

Winnipeg G Michael Hutchinson (20/22 SV) is not making it easy for the Jets coaching staff not to play him more regularly as he put in another superb performance by allowing just 2 goals or less in a game for the sixth straight start. Ondrej Pavelec owners need to grab him as a handcuff pronto.....The line of Bryan Little (3G, A), Andrew Ladd (G, 2A) and Blake Wheeler (3A) were the offensive stars of the game. Perhaps the Colorado Avalanche were exactly what the doctor ordered for the Jets' offense and is a sign of things for Winnipeg forwards....

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on a last minute goal by Brandon Saad who now has 3 points in the last 3 games showing signs of breaking out of an early season slump....Kris Versteeg continued his resurgence as a Blackhawk with another power play assist, making that 8 points in last 5 games and 22 points in 22 games. Perhaps the imminent return of Patrick Sharp will slow ...

BETWEEN THE PIPES: OILER'S GOALIE SITUATION TOO SLIPPERY primepucks.com 4 years ago

When the Edmonton Oilers made those two trades last year to acquire Viktor Fasth from Anaheim and Ben Scrivens from Los Angeles, I thought that they were on the right track since the Devan Dubnyk experiment was a disaster. I had thought that Fasth would take over as the number 1 goaltender even though Scrivens played better upon arrival, but neither has shown any resemblance of an NHL starting goaltender.

Comparing the numbers, Scrivens is just 4-7-1 with a 2.94 GAA and a .899 SP. Fasth on the other hand is much worse with a 2-3-1 record, a 3.63 GAA (whoa!) and a .885 SP. If the Oilers want to save their season, something needs to be done and quickly.  It's nice to have all those young offensive weapons, but they need a goalie who can take over as a true No. 1, with a little help from the defense of course.

In fact, Minnesota just put Josh Harding on waivers and with Edmonton sitting near the bottom of the NHL, Harding might be the ideal candidate for this young team. Harding has the talent, and the experience now, to be their guy.  He doesn't cost much against the cap at $1.9 million, and if he doesn't work out, he's an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year.

Other options include Martin Brodeur but I don't believe he would want to go anywhere except a Stanley Cup contender. They've gone down the Ilya Bryzgalov road last season and that didn't pan out. Tomas Vokoun could be a decent option but he hasn't played much over the past few years and is up there in age at 38. There are slim pickings out there that is why Harding makes so much sense.  He may have health issues, but he did sport a 1.65 GAA and a .918 SP in 29 games last year. Not too shabby and better than what they are getting now.

Harding is worth a shot for a team that is trying to establish themselves as a true NHL contender. Harding wouldn't cost them a young talented player and the cap hit is very palatable. How bad could this be?  Harding just may cause the Oil to stop slipping.

POST MARKS: SHARK BITE--Hats off to Troy Grosenick who got his first NHL start the other night and posted a 2-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes. Young troy faced 45 SOG and turned every one aside.  Nothing could be finer than to shut out Carolina for my fir-r-r-r-rst win!.....STEALTH JET--Michael Hutchinson burst onto the NHL scene as the end of last season and opened a lot of eyes with a 2-1-0 record, a 1.64 GAA and a .943 SP. Can't get much better than that huh?  Well, so far this season he is 2-1-0 ...

BETWEEN THE PIPES: INTO THE WILD GOALTENDING primepucks.com 4 years ago

One thing you have to say about the Minnesota Wild in their attempt to be competitive in the Western Conference is that they have really transformed their team over the past few years by acquiring some top-level NHL talent along with mixing in their fine young talent which was all supposed to complement their strong point, their goaltending. Who would know that their goaltending would come apart at the seams last year with last year's starter Niklas Backstrom falling to injury, and Josh Harding succumbing to his MS illness? Harding in fact had been posting spectacular numbers with a 1.65 GAA and a .933 SP until he was stricken again.  It all was going right for the Wild until they lost Harding.  Backstrom had been playing decent when Harding went down but re-injured himself opening the door for rookie Darcy Kuemper.

The rookie goaltender had only 6 games of NHL experience in 2012-2013 before being thrust into the role of Number 1 with the injuries to both Backstrom and Harding last year. His play wasn't consistent enough for the Wild as they pushed to make the playoffs, thereby forcing the Wild to trade for a veteran goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov who had signed on with the Edmonton Oilers in November.  In his new role as the Wild's No. 1, Kuemper posted a 2.43 GAA and a .915 SP which weren't terrible, but as I've said earlier, he lacked consistency which is something you would expect from a rookie goaltender.

Fast-forward to training camp 2014. Minnesota was all set to start the season with Backstrom and Harding and let Kuemper work on some things in the minors.  However, Harding broke his foot and was suspended by the team making way for Kuemper to start the season with the big club.  The thought was to platoon the two until either one got on a roll.  Kuemper was chosen as the starter for the home opener against Colorado and pitched a shutout. In fact, he played so well that he got the nod in the back end of the home-and-home series with the Avalanche and proceeded to blank them again.  To begin the season with two shutouts against last year's darlings, the Colorado Avalanche is very impressive indeed.  Wow!

Even before pitching those back-to-back shutouts, the road was paved for Kuemper to be the number one goaltender in Minnesota when Harding went down to the broken foot. Backstrom only had two good years with the Minnesota Wild and that was back in 2007-2008 & 2008-2009. In those two years he posted 33 and 37 wins respectively, with good metrics.  He...

Released: The Wild have released Ilya Bryzgalov from his profession... dailyfaceoff.com 4 years ago

Bryzgalov was brought in on a tryout when Darcy Kuemper was unsigned and Josh Harding was hurt. Now that Kuemper has signed, the Wild will enter the season with a goaltending tandem of Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom.

DAILY PRIME-SEPTEMBER 28, 2014: HELLO, GOODBYE & GUIDE UPDATES primepucks.com 4 years ago

Darcy Kuemper signed a 2-year deal and after his storybook season last year, if he can establish himself early, he should be the number 1 in Minny unless the coaching staff believes they want a veteran like Ilya Bryzgalov who is trying to make the decision a tough one for management. With Niklas Backstrom getting the win over the Jets last night, the Wild just might have to stick with Backstrom and Kuemper leaving "Breeze" as the odd goalie out. Josh Harding is out for a period of time with a fractured foot. Harding has the skills but can't seem to catch a break, no pun intended.....The St. Louis Blues locked up Jaden Schwartz in a 2-year deal after the LWer broke out with 25 goals and 56 points last year, his second full season in the NHL. Expect similar results, if not a little jump up in production, as Schwartz will be counted on more in the Blues offense.....Florida waived Dan Ellis and Vancouver waived Jacob Markstrom as teams begin to pare down their rosters for the beginning of the season. Ellis was kind of expected but Markstrom comes as a surprise since he was a highly-touted prospect.  With his talent, he will land somewhere, hopefully a place where he can develop properly.  Eddie Lack will serve as Ryan Miller's backup.....Pittsburgh's Beau Bennett was in line to scoop up some prime minutes playing among the top two lines but an injury to his knee sustained during drills will keep him out of the lineup for up to six weeks. Will he ever get a decent shot?....The 2014-2015 PrimePucks Fantasy Hockey Draft Guide has been updated with the latest in signings and injuries. Check your files for the latest developments highlighted in yellow and red.

Tryout: The WIld and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov have agreed on a pro... dailyfaceoff.com 4 years ago

Josh Harding broke his foot on Wednesday and Darcy Kuemper remains unsigned so the WIld will bring Bryzgalov into training camp and give him a look after he went unsigned in free agency. Bryzgalov went 7-1-3 in 12 regular-season games last season with a 2.11 goals-against average. In the playoffs, he was 3-6 with a 2.63 GAA.