For the 2nd straight year (his first 2 in the NHL) Taylor Hall‘s season will be cut short with injury.  I’d like to think that his “shoulder” injury is some conspiracy to cover up his concussion problems, but labrum surgery (with it’s 5-6 month recovery time) is no joke.  “What do you call liquor in a beaker????   Lab-rum!”  HIIIIOOOOOOOO!  Okay so 1 joke.  But other than that there really is nothing funny about having your shoulder sliced open and tinkered with.  Outside of major league baseball pitchers, hockey players rely on their shoulders more than all other athletes, which means there is plenty of reason to worry……THUD…….  That sound you just heard was was Taylor Hall free-falling down my 2012-2013 draft board.  Luckily Ryan Getzlaf was there to break his fall…

Cam Ward – G (Car):  There is a term that I really like that I’ve never used on this blog, but it fits Cam Ward perfectly.  “Is it mad-def warrior?”  No sorry VTB, what do you know about Cam Ward anyway?  Is he Jewish or something?  No the term is:  Consistently Inconsistent.  Here are his Goals allowed over the last 20 games:  0, 1, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 2, 1, 4, 0, 3, 1, 5, 5, 0.  I mean seriously WTF?  That looks like the number of times I masturbated in a given day since March 8.  Or in other words, prettying freaking sad.

Toronto Maple Leafs:  You didn’t think I’d gloss over the best news of the week did you?  You all know how I feel about the Leafs and how excited I am about their mathematical elimination from the playoffs.  But really, just knowing the fact that they were mathematically eliminated after yesterday’s loss goes right to the heart of my Leaf hatred.  When Carolina or Tampa Bay lose their next game and are “mathematically” eliminated will it be front page news on all the hockey sites?  Of course not.  The Toronto Maple Leafs are the Paris Hilton/Kim Kardashian of the sports world:  Incredible popularity despite years and years (and years) of uselessness. 

Jeff Skinner – C/RW (Car):  We’ll be revisiting this after the season when I take a red-marker to my preseason prognostications, but I’ll give you a sneak peek right now.  Jeff Skinner was one of my busts, and boy did he come through for me.  Here is what I typed to you back in September:  “Now don’t get me wrong, I like Skinner long term but I have zero faith in his teammates (not named Eric Staal).  Bottom line don’t look for anything more than what he gave you last year: 31G/32A/18PPP’s/215SOG/+3..  And that’s only if he plays in all 82 games again this season.”   Yeah.  He will not play in all 82 games meaning the nice and useful 30/30 becomes a nice and worthless 20/20.  In fact September Me may have been too nice.  I don’t even like Skinner long term anymore.

Evgeni Nabakov – G (NYI):  Both Goalies (MA Fleury being the other) left this game early but Nabakov is the guy to worry about.  They are calling it a UBI and with Nabakov that could be 1 of 325,000 different things.  If you have him feel free to drop, and if you need a Goalie feel free to pick up Al Montoya (if available).

James Neal – LW/RW (Pit):  Okay it’s just gotten ridiculous now.  12 Shots on Goal in a single game?  Are you really James Neal or did a 25 year old Mario Lemiuex somehow take over your body? 

Thomas Vanek – LW (Buf):  After 11 Goals in his first 16 games it looked like Vanek could be headed for another 40 Goal season, but since that time Vanek’s had just 14 Goals in 57 games.  He just might be heating up at the right time though, he’s scored in back to back games and is more than capable of putting your team over the top this fantasy championship week (although if you own him you could very well be in the “Consolation Bracket” championship thanks to those 4 months he was M.I.A.)

Steven Stamkos – C (TB):  Saint Stamkos (or St. Stamkos for you abbreviators) is making it nearly impossible for me to put him behind Malkin in next year’s rankings.  I mean I had Stamkos 1st this year and he might score 60 Goals.  How do I downgrade a guy who scores 60 Goals as a 22 year old??? 

Brian Elliott – G (Stl):  Despite my love for Halak (and my voodoo doll of Elliott) the guy just keeps gettin it done.  Somebody out there try and find me a better season, in the history of the league, from 2 Goalies on the same team………  I’m gonna go to the bathroom while you find out…….  Okay I’m back.  Thomas and Rask from just last year you say?  Well played sir, well played…