James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: Thomas vs. Doubters

Friday, October 04, 2013



  • The Wild signed Jason Pominville to a five year, $28 million ($5.6 million per) deal on Thursday. While we’ve probably already seen the best of him at 30, that’s a pretty fair price for the useful winger, especially if he can convince his buddy Thomas Vanek to go to Minnesota, too.

  • Don’t blame Zach Parise and his ridiculous eight SOG for the loss.

  • Matt Cooke scored a goal in his Wild debut, but … just no.




  • The numbers imply that the Penguins took their feet off the pedal after generating a 2-0 lead early on, but I could be wrong. Feel free to share your take on that one.

  • Either way, Marc-Andre Fleury enjoyed a comforting start to the season, grabbing a shutout (the 24th of his career). He stopped all 27 shots.

  • Cory Schneider didn’t have such a great start, allowing three goals on 21 shots. I still strongly believe he’s New Jersey’s best option, but I’d also expect Martin Brodeur to get the next start (or at least start soon).

  • Ryane Clowe logged 14:37 of ice time (four hits, five PIM), Jaromir Jagr didn't do much beyond getting one SOG in 15:40 of time and Michael Ryder went goose eggs in just under 16 minutes. Not a great start for the Devils' score-by-committee approach.




  • Valtteri Filppula scored a goal - the Lightning's lone tally - in his first game for Tampa Bay, went 10-7 in the faceoff circle and logged 14:59 minutes (2:41 PP). He generated two SOG and missed the net twice more. Not half-bad.

  • Jarome Iginla didn't score, but his linemates David Krejci and Milan Lucic did. Iggy still made his presence felt, getting in a fight, throwing three hits and two SOG. I think he can have a strong year, and I also believe Krejci might finally convert some of that playoff dominance into more reliable everyday production.

  • Anders Lindback got the nod instead of Ben Bishop, but allowed three goals on 25 shots.

  • Loui Eriksson is a talented player and could have a strong season with Boston, but he's not the greatest peripheral guy. He's only reached more than 200 SOG once (214 in 2009-10) in his career and has never generated more than 28 PIM, so it's usually points or nothing with him.




  • Radim Vrbata (25 percent owned) has quietly carved out quite the stealthy-good niche in the desert. He generated a hat trick on Thursday night and has actually been really productive since Phoenix brought him back in 2009-10. Here's his rundown since then:


2009-10: 82 GP, 24 G, 19 A, 43 P

2010-11: 79 GP, 19 G, 29 A, 48 P

2011-12: 77 GP, 35 G, 27 A, 62 P

2012-13: 34 GP, 12 G, 16 A, 28 P


He generally zeroes in at the three shots-per-game mark, too. Not a bad depth sniper, at all.


  • Mike Ribeiro had a quiet debut for the Coyotes, generating only a shot in 19:19 time on ice (2:49 PP). I'm concerned that Phoenix isn't exactly the best place for his skillset, but it's obviously early.

  • Two positives for the Rangers: Marc Staal was their goal-scorer and the fancy stats weren’t as lopsided as the final score.




  • Pekka Rinne was chased from the net after giving up three goals midway through the first period. It’s unfair to place it all on Rinne, but should we be surprised that he’s struggling a bit coming off of hip surgery? I’d be calling Ilya Bryzgalov or Jose Theodore’s agent if I were David Poile.

  • Derek Roy didn't get much time on ice (14:15 overall, 2:17 PP), but he managed an assist. Maybe he got lost in the shuffle with that early lead, maybe he'll be more of a support player.

  • Seth Jones generated three shots, one hit and a surprising +2 rating. He received 18:35 of ice time and almost four minutes on the PP. The Predators' PP didn't look great last night, but maybe things will change a bit once some finesse players (Filip Forsberg, Viktor Stalberg) get off the shelf.







  • There’s not much turnover to discuss among these two teams. The biggest factor is contract years galore: the Sedin twins, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle all need new deals.

  • One new face to watch, however, is Tomas Hertl. I don’t know how long this will last for the 2012 first-rounder, but he started off with Thornton and Brent Burns. Jumbo Joe’s lost a step or two, yet the Thornton boost can be enormous (just ask former Jonathan Cheechoo and Sergei Samsonov owners).


INJURY BITS (full list)


Carl Soderberg was placed on the IR with an ankle injury ... Ville Leino's ribs are bothering him. Also, did you know he's getting paid too much? ... Gabriel Landeskog is day-to-day with a leg injury ... James Neal does seem banged up, despite playing for about four minutes during Thursday's game ... Sami Salo is suffering from an upper-body injury. This is not a repeat.

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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