James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Vlad the Improver

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Now, not every mode is as should-be obvious as picking up a talented rookie on one of the NHL’s best teams who is tied for the league lead in points.

Take, for instance, Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris. The relocated Phoenix Coyotes first-rounder already has three goals this season after scoring two on Monday. So, should you give him a shot?

I lean slightly toward trying him out - as long as it doesn’t cost you waiver priority, which is actually pretty precious right now.

One thing I really like: Turris is firing shots on goal like a guy who is very confident. He has eight SOG in the early going, so it’s not like he’s just getting lucky. There’s no way his 37.5 shooting percentage will sustain itself, but he’s on an Ottawa team that could very well be a strong offensive presence.

Still, keep your expectations in check. His trade from Phoenix actually provides a rare sample size that matches this season because he played 49 games for Ottawa in 2011-12. Here’s what he did:

49 GP, 12 goals, 29 points, +12 rating, 27 PIM and 133 SOG.

You’d like to see better numbers from a forward in this shortened season, especially since he’s unlikely to put up stellar peripherals. If nothing else, monitor his promising progress.


Alex Tanguay (15 percent) - How much do you expect for Jarome Iginla? That’s really the question you should ask in regard to Tanguay, his regular running mate with the Flames.

If you’re big on Iggy - and there’s some reason to feel that way because he’s in a contract year and isn’t as old as you think at age 35 - then Tanguay is an intriguing pickup. He’s consistently been a strong assist guy, but he’s playing center quite a bit so far.

I wouldn’t nab Tanguay as a LW, but if he gets C/LW designation then he becomes awfully enticing. He’s not a great peripheral guy, mind you, but riding shotgun with Iggy is appealing. Watch list him at minimum.

Damien Brunner (19 percent) - Like Tanguay, multi-position potential puts Brunner higher on my radar than he would normally be. In his case, Yahoo already lists him as a C/RW, so there isn’t the guesswork involved with Tanguay.

Brunner will be on some peoples’ minds because of his absolutely brilliant shootout goal. That’s probably unfair to the matured 26-year-old product considering his situation.

In case you missed it, Brunner is running shotgun with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in Detroit. That hasn’t shown with his goose eggs in goals and assists, but he’s had his chances; Brunner already has nine shots on goal so far.

Honestly, I wouldn’t bring Brunner into the mix until he starts producing. Still, he’s given us all reason to pay attention.

Ben Scrivens (3 percent) - Look, it’s great for Scrivens that he played in Toronto’s first two games. Maybe he even is beating out James Reimer. His .929 save percentage shows that he earned the chance.

Even so, I’d advise against adding Scrivens. He’s on an average-at-best squad with a still fairly low percentage shot at besting Reimer long term. There’s also the undeniable possibility that Roberto Luongo gets traded to the Buds, possibly pushing Scrivens into the minors or street clothes.

Instead, for all that’s holy, add Tomas Vokoun … or even Michal Neuvirth.

So to review: wait until Tanguary gets dual position designation, wait a while on Brunner and stay away from Scrivens.


The Calgary Flames traded Henrik Karlsson to Chicago. He might just give Ray Emery a push for backup duties while Leland Irving gets a shot with the Flames. I wouldn’t invest heavily in either … Matt Greene’s season might just be over with a back issue … Dennis Seidenberg and Roman Cervenka are day-to-day with leg injuries … Jonathan Ericsson is one of quite a few Red Wings who are day-to-day, as well … Chris Kreider is banged up after taking a big hit on Sunday … Mark Jack Hillen down as week-to-week … Jake Gardiner claims he’s ready to return. We shall see.

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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