On the fifteenth, Paul Stastny decided he was done waiting for the lockout to end, and signed in Germany, with EHC Red Bull Munchen. He has played in four games since then, and, at least in this early stage, is showing his full capabilities. If one disregards the first game he played in (it started only two hours after his arrival in Germany, so he was most likely a little flustered), he has five points in three games. Two of those points are goals, and he has three assists. Blake Wheeler, another locked out NHLer, has been his winger since the second game he played in, and the two have clicked very quickly. (They are both Americans, and I believe they spent some time together with the National Team Development Program.) I’m expecting Stastny to continue to play well, and it looks like he’ll be ready to help the Avs into the playoffs, if this interminable farce ends before April.
Semyon Varlamov continues to excel in the KHL, where he has 10 wins in 12 games. Three of those wins were shut outs, and three wins came in shoot outs. (I think we can rest assured that his time in the KHL is doing him more harm than good, with these statistics. See? Those of you who were worried, he’s better than fine!) Varly’s save percentage is the best in the entire KHL at .951%, and his GAA is second best. The Eurolanche were able to conduct an interview with Varlamov two days ago. I hope that his optimism about the season is rewarded.
Gabriel Landeskog has played a few more games since I last posted, but he is seemingly in a bit of a scoring funk. Matt Duchene is in a similar position. The Frolunda Indians have been doing poorly, and there was a bit of excitement over some of Dutchy’s comments. Adrian Dater and the guys over at Puck Daddy both posted about it, but if you missed it, this sums things up pretty well. I’m not surprised by Duchene’s fervor; anyone who has watched him during the past three years can see that he is a very passionate, very competitive player.
The Clinton Radars, a team that Ryan O’Reilly has been doing some coaching with, won their tenth straight game on Friday. I’m not sure how much O’Reilly has been involved, but I imagine his presence has only helped the young team. O’Reilly really seems to enjoy working with kids, and I’m guessing that he is enjoying this experience, even if he wishes he was playing instead. Ryan O’Byrne has been doing some coaching as well, signing on as an assistant coach with the Victoria Grizzlies OHL team. The Grizzlies had a solid October (7-2) but have slipped a bit here in November (3-3). They have one more game this month.
Due to the fact I’m such a fantastic twitter stalker researcher, I found a picture of Steve Downie. The Avalanche forward spent last night with a few famous friends (Steven Stamkos and James Neal) at Gary Roberts outdoor rink playing some hockey.
Anyone else a bit surprised that Downie cut his flow off? Gary Roberts posted another picture, a little blurry, of Downie and Stamkos squaring off in the faceoff circle.