James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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In Praise of Parise

Wednesday, January 30, 2013




UNDER 50 OWNED DEBATES

Here’s a look at a few waiver wire considerations.

Nikolai Kulemin (12 percent) - Whenever there's a 30-goal scorer under 30 years old on the free agent heap, you have to at least consider him. He had that nice campaign (57 points overall) alongside Clarke MacArthur and Mikhail Grabovski in 2010-11 before regressing sharply in 2011-12. The Russian winger is intriguing - especially in a hits league, as he piles up more than one per game, but his other peripherals aren't too endearing. Even in 82 games in 2010-11, he only had 173 shots on goal. He has just eight in six games so far. Kulemin also peaked at 26 penalty minutes, so it's really just about points. Even with five assists in six contests, his side work suggests that he doesn't bring enough to the table to sustain good stats if he isn't scoring.

Peter Mueller (three percent) - The injury concern has been piling up an appetizing amount of shots on goal so far (18 in six games), and that hard work is finally starting to pay off with a goal in two straight games. The Florida Panthers are really hurting for offense, too, so he has a great chance to prove himself. He's shown the ability to be a quality scorer in the past, even though concussions linger as a huge worry. In fact, that worry - and a lack of great peripherals beyond SOG - make me weary of the former Av/Coyote. Still, he's pretty intriguing.

INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS

Do check out Kevin Brown’s column - which discusses David Backes worrisome statistical start. It's well worth reading … It looks like Ryan Callahan hurt himself in a fight with Maxime Talbot. Expect an update from the New York Rangers on Wednesday, but the team’s captain appeared to hurt his left arm. Not a great sign, and another bullet point for why you don’t want to see star players drop the gloves … The Anaheim Ducks carried much of the play last night, yet Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski (the goal) factored into San Jose’s tally in a 2-1 shootout victory. Antti Niemi has been deserving of more credit that he’s been getting lately, and he really showed that in this win … Theo Peckham is day-to-day with a hip issue … Jason Spezza is banged up with an upper-body injury … Dan Boyle missed Tuesday’s game but it sounds like he’s just sick … Two matchups to watch Wednesday: Chicago at Minnesota (the Wild are on a back-to-back) and Vancouver hosts Colorado (the Avalance are a mess right now) … After getting trounced 4-1 by the New York Islanders, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 0-2-0 at home and 3-1-0 on the road so far this season. Odd. We’ll see if Tomas Vokoun gets a start after a tough go by Marc-Andre Fleury, who was pulled in the loss … It looks like Mike Smith should still be on the shelf tonight, so it’ll be interesting to see if Chad Johnson starts again after barely doing anything to shut out the Nashville Predators. He might be worth a one-week flier, although I wouldn’t overextend to add him just yet … Sounds like P.K. Subban’s teammates weren’t doing back flips upon hearing about his return, but his fantasy owners should be.



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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 two years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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