Nobody has Benn better across the board this season than Stars captain Jamie Benn. See what I did there? Hilarious! I'll see myself out... Benn had another monster game on Thursday scoring two goals and an assist with six shots in the 4-3 win over the Lightning. That's his third multi-point game in the last four and gives him 36+44 in 72 games with 56 PIM and 229 shots. He's the number 3 skater on the season behind Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin but as of now, I would have Benn as my #2 player on the board going into next season behind Ovechkin. It's been an incredible year for Kane but I can't see him repeating it and Benn's extra PIM make up enough difference for me. Here's what else I saw around the league Thursday night:
He's always piled up the assists but Jason Spezza has never been known as a goal scorer. This year, it's a different story because if he wasn't injured, he'd have set a career high in goals. On Friday, Spezza scored a goal and an assist on four shots against the Blackhawks before Spezza scored for the fifth consecutive game Saturday, burying two goals on seven shots against the Blues. Spezza now has 28 goals and 25 assists in 64 games; his career high is 34 goals. Spezza is now a top 50 skater on the year and with the talent the Stars have, he should be around there next year. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
February was already the best month of the season to date for Filip Forsberg. He was behind last season's pace by a decent margin through January but now, Forsberg is going to easily set a career high in goals and come close in points. The 21 year old Swedish stud scored his second career hat trick, first in the regular season, on Tuesday night against the hopeless Leafs. This puts him up to 23 goals and with the 7 shots on goal, he's back over 3 shots per game. With 9 goals in February already, Forsberg has salvaged his season and can reach his preseason draft value. He's obviously an elite option in dynasties and with his current form, Forsberg should be a difference maker for the rest of the season. Here's what else I saw around the league on Tuesday night:
Goals were extremely hard to come by in the NHL on Tuesday night. Four of the eight games finished 2-1, 3 of which were 1-1 through 60 minutes and needed overtime. Surprisingly, the one game that had a lot of goals was in New Jersey where the Flyers exploded in the 3rd period to beat the Devils 6-3. Their best player, Claude Giroux, led the way with three assists and one shot on goal. After a slow start, Giroux is now in the top 20 in the league in points with 49 (16+33) in 56 games. The first line and first power play unit for the Flyers has been completely unstoppable for the last 4-6 weeks and is keeping the Flyers in the playoff race. If you own any of their big four, enjoy the ride. Here's what else I saw around the league on Tuesday night:
Evander Kane made a huge difference in weekly matchups as he was arguably the player of the week. After his goal and 29 point outburst early in the week, Kane scored twice on five shots and added two PIM on Friday while scoring a goal with three shots and two PIM on Sunday. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was getting some questions in the comment section a few weeks ago about whether Mark Stone should be held or cut. Those questions can be put to bed now. Stone scored for the fourth straight game, tallying two goals and an assist with two shots. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I've always been a huge Peyton Manning fan and thought he was the G.O.A.T. before last night. Even though he didn't play well, it was great to see him win a second Super Bowl. I'm glad he said was going to have a bunch of beers after the game as well, although he should pick something better than Budweiser. Wait, I'm supposed to talk about hockey here. Whoops... The weekend had less action than normal due to the Super Bowl but there was plenty going on. Kyle Okposo had the best weekend of everyone. On Saturday, he had an assist in the blowout loss but on Sunday, Okposo went off with a hat trick, assist and eight shots in the 8-1 massacre of the Oilers. He now has a good chance of setting a career high in points, penalty minutes and power play points which is outstanding. At 27 years old, Okposo is about to enter his prime and as long as he stays healthy, he should be a 60-70 point player for the next couple years. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
Say the title five times fast, you won't! Alliteration aside, Ben Bishop brought an end to the Blackhawks 12 game winning streak on Thursday, stopping 17 of 18 shots to extend the Lightning's winning streak to 7. Despite all of their struggles, the Lightning are only one point out of first place in the Atlantic and they have Bishop to thank. He's top 10 in the league in goals against, save percentage and wins, including 2nd in the leagues in goals against average. He hasn't been mentioned as a Vezina candidate but he has earned the right to be in the conversation. Here's what else I saw the last two nights around the league: