James O'Brien

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Friday, November 11, 2011


Brad Marchand looks to be Tyler Seguin’s running mate in Boston, so if you’re kicking yourself for passing on the surging sophomore, go for his running mate. Marchand won’t score as much as Seguin, but he should be reasonably close and will likely fill up a lot of different categories with his pest-like behavior. He already has 31 PIM on the season, for instance …



It’s miserable in Columbus right now, but as of this writing, nothing major has happened (unless you really like Kris Russell’s game). Chances are that you shouldn’t expect big changes, then, at least from guys like Steve Mason.


Aside from an obvious pick in Rick Nash (who almost depressingly hit career point 500 on Thursday), there are a few guys worth looking at in Ohio. The first is Vinny Prospal, who might be a wing in some leagues and improbably has more points (13) than Nash’s 12. The second guy is Grant Clitsome, who has eight points and a last name that’s a double entendre waiting to happen. (I’d probably put Clitsome on a watch list instead of adding him right now, though.)


The last is the most intriguing one, at least in a couple weeks: Mark Dekanich. He was supposed to serve as a backup for Mason but suffered an injury that scuttled the Blue Jackets’ plans. Considering how terrible things have been for Mason, it’s not crazy to think that Dekanich could steal some starts and maybe even make a name for himself in the equivalent of “garbage time.”


Dekanich might even be this year’s answer to Johan Hedberg – a goalie who puts up nice numbers while his team is hopelessly out of the playoff race. Make note of him now even if he's a wild card at the moment.



Things were looking pretty dire for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Ben Scrivens might have a chance to be a solid backup for James Reimer (who reportedly isn’t far from skating again). Scrivens isn’t really a long-term answer in net, but he might be good for a few spot starts over the next week or so as Reimer tries to make his way back from injury.


Of course, Scrivens’ rise could lead to complete irrelevance for Jonas Gustavsson,  which hopefully won’t be of much consequence to Daily Dose readers.



As some point, the logjam in the New York Islanders’ net will be settled. Rick DiPietro is about as trustworthy as Tim Connolly’s health, so the two guys to watch are Al Montoya (47 saves on Nov. 10) and Evgeni Nabokov. If “Nabby” gets traded to the right place – or even the wrong place, like Columbus – it could be a nice low-risk, medium-reward situation in net. I’d be weary regarding Montoya just because the Islanders seem to be a few strides short of where they really want to be, though.



Tomas Plekanec gave fans and owners a scare when he left the ice after falling awkwardly into the boards, but he returned to the game so the Habs center should be OK … Judging by Devan Dubnyk’s most recent performances, the Edmonton Oilers might be forced to play 38-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin more than they’d like, which is both good and bad news fantasy-wise … Milan Hejduk (10 points, 50 SOG) and Kyle Quincey (12 points as a defenseman) are two Avalanche players you should strongly consider if you can stomach the plus/minus risks.



Jussi Jokinen could be available for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight … Chris Neil is expected to miss a couple games, but Daniel Alfredsson is expected to return for Ottawa … Sorry, but Sidney Crosby won’t return this weekend … Michael Cammalleri wasn’t able to play on Thursday … Dave Bolland is day-to-day with a foot injury. (Click here for the full injury list.)

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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
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