Stuff that caught our eye this morning...
- On New Year’s Eve, the St. Louis Blues were 14-20-3 and looking like they might be renting space in Lotteryville. Since then, the Blues are 23-10-6, have won five in a row to close March, and have climbed over Anaheim into eighth in the West.
- Bill Guerin gets pulled from the lineup in anticipation of a trade, then finally gets sent to Pittsburgh. The Islanders are 7-5-2 since and could pass Colorado for 29th place in the league (they are five points behind with seven to play).
- Speaking of Colorado…26th in league attendance? This was a team that sold out seasons not long ago. Since 2001, their ranking has gone: 10th, 10th, 10th, 10th, 11th (those five years all being 100 percent of capacity), 13th, 17th, 26th.
- Menawhile, Washington (14th) is the only team in the Southeast Division ranked higher than 20th in attendance. It is the only team playing to better than 85 percent capacity (96.8 percent).
- A Tale of Two Marches…Before St. Patrick’s Day: 7-7-14, -1 in eight games. After St. Patrick’s Day: 1-3-4, -5 in seven games. That would be Jarome Iginla.
- Has anyone put together a quieter scoring season than Nicklas Backstrom? Since February 1st, he is 9-21-30, +6 in 26 games. He’s failed to register a point in only five of those games.
- 75 games, 30-46-76, +22, seven game winning goals
75 games, 18-57-75, +19, six game winning goals
Yes, Daniel and Henrik Sedin are twins.
- Miikka Kiprusoff and Marty Turco each have played in 71 games. They are the only goalies with more than 4,000 minutes played this year. Kiprusoff is 43-21-5, but his GAA and save percentage are ordinary (2.85, .903). Turco doesn’t appear as if he’ll make the playoffs, and his GAA and save percentage are wallowing in the same region of the rankings as Kiprusoff (2.84, .897). Without looking it up, can you name their backup goalies? Are Curtis McElhinney and Tobias Stephan really that bad? Well, McElhinney hasn’t won a game this year (0-6-1), and Stephan has one win (1-3-1). We don’t like either team’s chances (should Dallas get into the playoffs) to last past the first round.
- Three of the top five, four of the top ten, five of the top 15, and six of the top 20 players in plus-minus hail from Boston. Meanwhile, Brendan Witt is last, at -31, although he was even for March.
- A guy with a $942,000 cap hit who has 32 goals in 65 games this year, 59 goals in his last 127 games, and who was named “Mule” by none other than Steve Yzerman is going to get a nice payday coming when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. And, he’s a center. And no, I don’t think Johan Franzen will be a Cap…but it’s nice to think about.
- Once upon a time, the Flyers’ Jeff Carter was leading Alex Ovechkin in the goal scoring race. Carter has nine goals in his last 29 games, only two against teams currently in the playoff mix (New Jersey, Washington).
- Chris Osgood shut out St. Louis to open the month. After that, the Red Wings allowed 37 goals in 12 games (3.08/game). The over/under on the Wings seems to be “two” for March. When allowing two or fewer, they were 7-1-0. When allowing three or more, they were 1-3-1. They also allowed five or more goals three times in their last 11 games of the month. Last year, they allowed five or more goals three time – total – in 30 games after February 1st. Something’s not right there.