James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Making a good first impression

Friday, April 05, 2013



The Toronto Maple Leafs stood pat on Wednesday, which many would agree was the right plan. Who knows what they would have done if Joffrey Lupul got hurt earlier in the week, though.


He took a hit that inspired some to throw the word concussion around, which is troubling beyond the universal fears of head injuries. Like Bergeron, Lupul has a history with problems, as he’s had three (by my count) in his NHL career.


Could be a big loss for Nazem Kadri and the team as a whole. Let’s not panic yet, but you’d be wise to survey other options in case this is an emergency.




So, to not that much of a surprise, the Los Angeles Kings decided to opt for safety by keeping Jonathan Bernier. Should they start thinking about giving him more starts as Jonathan Quick struggles with The Great American Goalie Breakout Curse?


Either way, he stopped all 23 Minnesota Wild shots for his first shutout of the season and fourth win in a row. He's 9-2-0 with a .927 save percentage and 1.77 GAA. Meanwhile, Quick is 12-11-3 with a .896 save percentage and 2.54 GAA.


Maybe Quick’s hardware works as a fort for him in April, but what happens if the math above translates to playoff losses? Will the Kings get submarined by too much loyalty then?




Michael Ryder had a fantastic night on Thursday (two goals, one assist to help Montreal beat Winnipeg 4-1), so I thought I’d take another look at the Ryder-Erik Cole trade. Really, the players’ numbers since being moved are sufficient enough:


Ryder's 17 games with the Habs: nine goals, eight assists for 17 points, even plus/minus, two GWG

Cole's 16 games with the Stars: four goals, zero assists for four points, -9 rating, you get the point


Well, hey. Alex Goligoski looked like he’d fetch equal value for James Neal early on (seriously, Neal only had six points in his first 20 games for Pittsburgh) and that turned out the opposite way.


(Oops, I don’t think that made Stars fans feel better. Sorry.)




The Penguins insist that Sidney Crosby is not suffering from concussion symptoms. Instead, it’s just a broken jaw as initially reported ... Henrik Zetterberg came back from a groin injury on Thursday ... Kimmo Timonen suffered a lower-body injury while Zac Rinaldo’s out indefinitely with a high-ankle sprain. Tough year for the Flyers, who actually might still be hovering around the playoff picture, by the way ... Justin Faulk is day-to-day with a knee issue ... P.K. Subban has 30 points in 31 games this season. Outstanding stuff ... A hip flexor is bugging Damien Brunner ... Don’t look now, but Mike Green has a four-game goal-scoring streak ... Keep an eye on Brian Elliott, who might just have a new lease on life ... Tuukka Rask and Cory Schneider also had shutouts on Thursday ... Justin Williams looked a little banged up on one hit, but hopefully that won’t tarnish his two-goal output from yesterday ... Wow, don’t get Evander Kane mad. Alexei Emelin learned the hard way, as Kane went irate and earned 15 PIM attacking him ... East update: the Capitals now lead the Southeast, the Islanders are in seventh, idle Rangers are in eighth while the Devils and Jets fellow to the fringe thanks to Thursday’s events.

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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