Saturday, January 09, 2016
Race to the Sin Bin (Jan 9)
It has been such a lame duck kind of week for the penalty minutes, I'm sure hoping that we get some really good battles this weekend and our players start picking up some minutes. This mini-game would be a lot more exciting if that happened.
Stuart and Wes have the only two teams that have topped 20+ minutes this week, while the pool is only collecting 8 minutes in penalties per game, so we could really use some rivalry action.
In the 10-game schedule for Saturday night, we'll see most of our big-minute guys in action, starting with a couple afternoon tilts. Dale C. will get to see Wayne Simmonds and the Flyers take on the Islanders this afternoon and John S. has their top PIM guy in the pool, Kyle Okposo. I'm not sure if there is much bad blood between these two sides of late, but being a divisional game, one would imagine it would be okay.
We're expecting a good tilt in the early evening, between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, as Brad Marchand returns for the Bruins, taking on the team that he earned his suspension from and I would imagine that Chris Neil has a few questions that he could answer for at the start of the game. Brian and Derek & Dan will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of this one, I'm sure.
Dale B. will see one of his hired goons in action tonight, as the Dallas Stars, featuring Antoine Roussel, host Central Division rivals, the Minnesota Wild, which has a little bit of potential, albeit not the most optimal potential. The Wild don't boast many goons in the pool in this segment of the season.
As for Wes, the Nashville Predators are playing on back-to-back nights, giving Mike Ribeiro and James Neal another crack at it tonight and they'll be in Arizona to take on the Coyotes, who have another one of Derek & Dan's players, Shane Doan. I wouldn't expect a combination of these three to really mix it up, but they don't take much shit on the ice, so you never know.
Oh, and let's not forget the NHL leader in minutes, Derek Dorsett, as his Canucks are hosting the Lightning in one of the late games tonight. Uninspiringly, the top combatant from the Bolts in the pool is Valtteri Filppula, who isn't going to mix it up with anyone, which is fine by Benson, as he struggles to move up in the points race.