12 April 2010
Reed at Capials Kremlin on Mike Knuble:
You know that time you woke up on Christmas morning and you got exactly what you wanted and needed? Mike Knuble is that present for the Capitals.
He's been exactly what the Capitals needed to go to the next level: grit, leadership and those oh-so-pretty garbage goals. He's having one of his best seasons statistically and he's a big part of why the Capitals are enjoying their best season in club history.
Knuble is beloved by fans and if I were George McPhee, I'd make it so he retires in Capitals' red. Ovechkin might steal the spotlight, but make no mistake, Knuble is one of the many unspoken engines driving this team.
Sha Sha at The Hockey Bay Blog on Steve Downie:
As much as I'd hate to admit this, Steve Downie has been great with the Lightning this year. It is hard to argue with 22 goals and 24 assists which can be given to his credit for stepping up his game to play with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis. I am still reserved to say if this will be more than a one year occurrence, but if he continues to improve on his skill game as opposed to questionable style of play that he has a reputation for, he will be good for the Lightning in the future.
He's an RFA at the end of this season, and based on his play this year, will be given a new contract by the Lightning.
Jenna at Hipchecks on Scottie Upshall
At first I hated Scottie Upshall but only because he took Carcillo away from Phoenix. Rationally I knew Scottie was a good player, as the Flyers are my other team, but I just had a hard time accepting him. The end of last season in Phoenix was a blur (for me) but this season Scottie has ingrained himself in the Coyotes. He was one of our better players and we mourned the loss of him after his injury, especially Lombo (total bromance/wonder twin thing going on there). We are all looking forward to his return next season as he really seemed to find a place in Phoenix. Slowly, more and more Upshall jerseys are appearing at games, even in his absence.
A29 at the Four Habs Fans on Glen Metropolit
Not only is he named after our favourite mode of transportation, but he can score power-play goals, too! He filled that perennial hole on the Habs’ roster called “3rd line centre” really well early on, but his play deteriorated as the season went on and was no more than a fourth line spare/PP specialist until he got hurt for the year. Habs will likely go younger and cheaper next year. Just like Tiger.
The Royal Half on Randy Jones
All fans needs their whipping boy on defense. And for the 2009-2010 Los Angeles Kings.. Randy Jones is the man for the job. The problem with Jones is that he's actually not THAT bad... but when he screws up... he screws up royally and everyone in the building notices. For a while there, Jones was in and out of the lineup, but as the Kings head into the playoffs (I know, it still sounds weird for me to even say it!) Coach Terry Murray will be using Jones as the 6th D'man, also giving him a good amount of time on the 2nd Power Play unit. The Kings got Jones for free, and with a good surplus of young puck-moving defensemen in their minor league system... if Jones walks away at the end of this season (he's a UFA)... I don't think any Kings fan will miss him one bit.
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Which leaves us with Joffrey Lupul, Steve Eminger, and Andrew Alberts. Let me just get Eminger and Alberts out of the way first - they're never going to last on a team for two consecutive seasons. They're just not good enough and they don't bring enough intangibles that would make up for their lack of skill and presence. If they want to be successful and make some serious loot they should really look into the KHL.
Lupul, despite his lazy attitude, has a ton of skill. I think people in Anaheim were excited to get him back, especially seeing as he came with two first rounders and Luca Sbisa. His injury was unfortunate but if he's healthy he's not going to Hartnell you, he's going to get those points. Plus those cat like eyes, I mean come on - fo-ged-aboud-id. He'll be a key part of the Ducks rebuilding offense next season.
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