James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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The more things change ...

Monday, February 11, 2013


HOCKEYTOWN AND Z-BERG

While the Devils have a few interesting guys to ponder, you probably know the Detroit Red Wings are worth looking at. (If not, and Damien Brunner is available, you should probably get on that though. Johan Franzen is also worth snatching if he’s inexplicably on the wire.)

Instead, I’d like to take a moment to promote the work of Henrik Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard, two quality players often overshadowed by Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and other headliners.

Zetterberg pushed his season points total to 18, putting him in third behind Thomas Vanek (23) and Patrick Kane (19). He’s a great peripheral guy (45 SOG, 194 FW) and is C/LW eligible in some instances. As long as he stays healthy, he’s a nice small steal, not unlike Patrick Marleau.

Howard outclassed Jonathan Quick on Sunday, stopping 45 out of 47 shots. The ginger goalie doesn’t have great overall numbers (6-4-1 record, .906 save percentage and 2.78 GAA), but he's on a two-game winning streak and could potentially be heating up along with the Red Wings. Oh yeah, he’s also in a contract year, so his outlook could improve.

QUICK HITS

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s red-hot offense finally hit the wall, and Cory Conacher’s production did with it. I wouldn’t count either die out too much, but both might have also peaked … Lubomir Visnovsky finally played for the New York Islanders on Saturday. The negative side: he’s reluctant to play for them. On the bright side, he has a contract to earn. Josh Bailey is in a similar situation, only he got his knee scoped … Ales Hemsky is really heating up, with five points in his last five games … Braden Holtby pitched a shutout, so it seems he has the leg up on Michal NeuvirthR.J. Umberger finally scored his first goal of the season. Disappointing stuff from a guy who’s been a regular scorer … Both James Reimer’s and Devan Dubnyk’s work paid off this weekend. They seem like they’re approaching legitimate starter status … Things really have come around for Jamie Benn. He has four goals and two assists for six points in his last three games.

INJURY NOTES (FULL LIST)

Kris Letang’s lower-body injury looks like it could be an issue for a while … Jonas Hiller has at least a minor injury, making Viktor Fasth even that much more promising. In fact, this might be a strong time to sell high … Brad Marchand returned from a shoulder injury by scoring a goal on Sunday … Mikael Backlund could be out with a month-plus with a knee issue … Jamie Langenbrunner’s season is probably over, which shouldn’t be too huge of a fantasy problem since this is 2013 … James Wisniewski returned to action on Sunday … Sounds like Dustin Byfuglien is just about ready to return, so stay tuned … Jaroslav Halak should play after missing some games with a groin injury. Brian Elliott had a rough go of things, so it couldn’t happen at a better time.



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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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