Every week there are minor moves and stories around the National Hockey League that tend to fall through the cracks. Consider this our weekly roundup of those stories from the previous week, all wrapped up in one neat little package.
Take for example Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who actually played in the All-Star game a year ago. Currently, he's pacing all NHL Goalies with a .944 save percentage, and, naturally, he's not on the ballot. Yet, Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who hasn't played a game all season, and likely won't play one until March, is on the ballot. That probably makes up for him not being on the ballot a year ago, when, you know, he was playing.
Having said that, the folks over at Battle of California have taken it upon themselves to start their own campaign for San Jose winger Devin Setoguchi. The 21-year old forward currently has nine goals and 17 points for the Sharks (second on the team) who are off to a dominating 13-3-1 start.
Did you have an Obama 08 or McCain Country First sticker on your car? It's time to throw those out because here's the official start of Vote Setoguchi 09. It's going to have to be a write-in vote, but thanks to the magic of the inter-tubes and text messaging, we can manipulate, erm, boost the results to give us all the Chomp We Need.
So, get out there and vote ... or something.
The Penguins, Finally, Have a Player Capable of Winning Faceoffs
This move didn't happen in the past week -- it was actually a month ago -- but it's been paying off for the Penguins and, frankly, it deserves a mention. For years now, Pittsburgh has been one of the worst teams in the NHL in terms of faceoffs. Over the past four years the Penguins have ranked 30th, 30th, 29th, and 30th when it comes to converting on draws. That's not good. Actually, awful would be a better way of describing it.
Well, on October 9, Penguins General Manager Ray Shero made a minor deal that, so far, has been a home run when he acquired Mike Zigomanis from Phoenix for future considerations. Translation: he acquired him for nothing.
As we sit here today, Zigomanis is leading the NHL winning 64% of his draws, and was 9-for-14 in the circle last night against Detroit. It shouldn't be ignored that Jordan Staal's game-tying goal with under a minute to play in regulation was set-up, in part, by Zigomanis cleanly winning a faceoff to the left of Chris Osgood.
The Penguins, after 15 games, are No. 8 in the league in faceoffs and they have Zigomanis to thank for it.Waivers and Rumors
... Edmonton's Steve MacIntyre suffered a broken orbital bone in a fight with Pittsburgh's Eric Godard this past week (seen here) and will be out of the lineup because, well, broken orbital bones aren't good. To replace him? The Oilers claimed Jesse Boulericeoff waivers from Colorado.
... The Thrashers currently have a log-jam of sorts at the goalie position (hold your laughter) with former first-round pick Kari Lehtonen, top-prospect Ondrej Pavelec, and veteran backup Johan Hedberg.
Naturally, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, who never met a rumor he didn't like, suggested this week that Atlanta could be open to dealing Lehtonen.
The folks at Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?offer their take on the rumor.
In the meantime, Pavelec was sent to the minors this week after going 2-0 with a 2.57 Goals Against Average in Atlanta.
Weekly Rebounds: Devin Setoguchi and Tim Thomas Need Your Votes originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Wed, 12 Nov 2008 12:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.