Around the Rink
In the 2003-2004 season, Martin St. Louis won the Art Ross Trophy with 94 points, the lowest total in a non-strike season since the 1960s. It was considered sort of the nadir of the pre-lockout, trap heavy, clutch-and-grab NHL. Now, this year, it’s looking like there is a real chance nobody will even reach the 94 points mark.
As we head toward the end of the season, nobody even has 80 points at the moment. Big names like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and John Tavares are vying for the scoring title, and the league still has plenty of scoring talent, but the points just aren’t being tallied to the same level as year’s past. Part of that is injuries, as Sidney Crosby is averaging 1.1 points per game, but has missed a handful of outings. The same goes for Evgeni Malkin and Patrick Kane, to name a couple of guys.
This is not the end of the world. It has been an enjoyable hockey season, and it doesn’t necessarily feel anymore “low scoring” than in recent years. Maybe the scoring has just been dished out in a more socialist fashion. There are things that could be done to raise scoring, but it’s not such an issue that the league needs to tear itself down. Sidney Crosby may win the scoring race with 90 points. It’s weird, but it was probably bound to happen sometime.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
Blackhawks (Corey Crawford) at Flyers (Steve Mason) 8:00
Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov*) at Oilers (Ben Scrivens*) 8:00
Stars (Kari Lehtonen) at Flames (Karri Ramo) 10:00
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.
Injury News For Teams Playing Wednesday
Patrick Kane, RW (collarbone) – Out for regular season.
Radko Gudas, D (knee) – Hasn’t started skating.
Steve Mason, G (illness) – Day-to-day, may start Wednesday.
Luke Schenn, D (lower-body) – Didn’t play Saturday, status unknown.
R.J. Umberger, LW (hip) – Out for season.
Patrick Bordeleau, LW (knee) – On injured reserve.
Daniel Briere, RW (foot) – Day-to-day.
Erik Johnson, D (knee) – May return next week.
Nathan MacKinnon, C (foot) – Out 6-8 weeks.
Jamie McGinn, LW (back) – Out for season.
Borna Rendulic, RW (leg) – On injured reserve.
Ryan Wilson, D (shoulder) – Out for season.
Jesse Winchester, LW (concussion) – Out indefinitely.
Viktor Fasth, G (knee) – Out indefinitely.
Andrew Ference, D (upper-body) – Unlikely to play Wednesday.
Matt Fraser, RW (concussion) – Out indefinitely.
Boyd Gordon, C (back) – Questionable for Wednesday.
Iiro Pakarinen, RW (knee) – Out until April.
Tyler Pitlick, RW (spleen) – Out indefinitely.
Jamie Benn, C (undisclosed) – Did not skate Tuesday.
Trevor Daley, D (knee) – May play Wednesday.
Travis Moen, LW (upper-body) – Did not play Monday.
Valeri Nichushkin, LW (hip) – To begin AHL conditioning stint Friday.
Rich Peverley, C (chest) – No timetable for return.
Paul Byron, C (lower-body) – Day-to-day.
Mark Giordano, D (shoulder) – Out for season.
Drew Shore, C (undisclosed) – Did not play Monday.
Ladislav Smid, D (neck) – Out for season.
Scott Hartnell, RW, CLM – Scott Hartnell notched a hat trick against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, helping the Blue Jackets beat the Pacific Division leaders. This gives Hartnell 25 goals on the season, and he has six goals, and an assist, in his last six games. Plus, he has 94 penalty minutes, another typical aspect of Hartnell’s game. He’s been having a good season, but he’s particularly hot at the moment.
Anze Kopitar, C, LAK – Kopitar is having a bit of an off season by his lofty standards, at least in terms of counting stats, but he’s made some amends recently. He had two assists Tuesday, giving him a four game point streak. Kopitar has five points in his last two games, and he’s approaching 60 points on the season. Additionally, with a plus-2 rating in his last game, he’s closing in on zeroing out in plus/minus.
Johnny Boychuk, D, NYI – Boychuk played over 24 minutes against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, but once again he came up empty. He has zero points in his last eight games, and he has two minus-3 games in his recent outings. His addition to the Islanders has been beneficial, but recently he’s been scuffling.
Dustin Brown, RW, LAK – Kopitar is hot, but Brown very much is not. He has zero points in his last nine games, and is a minus-5 in those contests. He does have a bunch of hits, but unless your fantasy league counts those, that’s not going to help you.
Drew Stafford, RW, WPG – Stafford has been a forgotten man in recent seasons, on account of a drop in his play, and also because he was a Buffalo Sabre. However, now he is a Winnipeg Jet, and the move seems to have suited him. He has 11 points in his last 10 games, and he’s playing a lot of minutes as well. Playing with better teammates, in a playoff race, is helping Stafford’s numbers, and he could be helping your fantasy team.