The Habs’ Michael Ryder cemented his spot atop
the poll this month, and Ryan Malone continued his slow climb up the charts, as
a new entry from the Western Conference found his way into the top ten. Here is
February’s Calder Poll of Hockey’s Future staff.
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continued his hot play in the new year by potting five goals, one a game
winner versus the Isles and assisting on seven others while going a
healthy +4 for the month. Now with Alexei Kovalev in Habsland, look for
Ryder to get even more opportunities to fill the net.
– Raycroft went 4-3-1 in the month of February and
saw his goals against rise to 1.97 while watching his save percentage drop
to .930. The last two numbers worsened only marginally, but together with
a win-loss record just over .500, it was enough to keep him out of top
– The Islanders rookie kept producing in February,
to the tune of three goals and seven assists and was a +4, but it wasn’t
enough to get him past Raycroft for second place. Now, as the Isles battle
it out for the last couple playoff spots, the team needs him to come
through more than ever.
The Finnish blueliner keeps chipping in points,
this month two goals and three assists, while taking on a heavier workload
because of injuries on the blueline. A health scratch at the beginning of
February, Pitkanen only managed a +3 this time out. Clearly he is starting to
miss the experience he is used to having beside him on the blueline.
– Sidelined indefinitely with a shoulder injury
since the 26th of February, Bergeron contributed two goals and five
assists to his cause in the last 30 days, while going +2. With Sergei
Gonchar and Michael Nylander coming aboard, expect the youngster’s point
production to go up, providing he makes it back.
– The biggest drop in this month’s poll belongs to
young Staal, who plays for the worst offensive team in the league right
now. He managed to put up only an assist while playing -2 hockey on a side
that is clearly threatening to rebuild. Another month like this and he
could drop out of the poll altogether.
– The left winger had another productive month in
the goal-scoring department, managing to find the back of the net seven
times, including a game winner against the Isles, as well as assisting on
three others. He also finished at -3, quite an achievement considering how
the rest of his teammates turned out. He’s moved up for the second
Zherdev – Zherdev, after a good month of January, followed
it up by netting only a goal and two assists and playing -9 hockey for the
Jackets in February. Clearly he needs to do more to hang on to his spot in
the top ten, and perhaps he will now that Columbus has traded for fellow
Russian Alexander Svitov.
Joffery Lupul – The Anaheim winger has started to come on since
being sent down to Cincinnati for a few games in December. He was able to
put five goals and three assists up in February while improving his
defensive game. To that end he play even hockey for a team just trying to
stay in the playoff race in the last 30 days.
– This month’s biggest gainer, Hamhuis continues to
be played in most situations in Nashville, but the conservative scheme
they play there has him starving for points. In February he was only able
to get on the scoreboard twice, picking up one goal and one assist while
going -4. Clearly he is learning as he goes.
Others receiving votes (position in previous
top ten in parenthesis): Tuomo Ruutu, Matt Lombardi (9), Matt Stajan,
Antoine Vermette, Brett McLean, Jeff Taffe, Paul Martin, Jarret Stoll, Nathan
Horton, Garnet Exelby, Mark Rycroft.